What’s going on?
Imagine you’re stressed out, can’t concentrate, can’t sleep. You feel confused, your mind always racing. You alternate between emotional numbness and wild mood swings or anger issues. You worry constantly.
Or imagine you live for an adrenaline rush. You can’t wait to feel a thrill, so you engage in risky or even dangerous behaviors.
Perhaps you often react badly to situation after situation, yet you have no idea why.
Or maybe you have ongoing struggles with mental health and substance use. They may have helped for a time, but they have their own drawbacks.
No matter which scenario describes you, you feel out of control. You’ve tried psych meds, mental health therapy, substance rehab.
But nothing has really worked, and now, your problems are affecting your work, relationships, and health.
Maybe there’s an underlying reason why.
What is trauma and why focus on it?
Trauma can be virtually anything you can’t cope with physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually at the time – anything that interferes with your life – weeks, months, or even years later.
Trauma lies not so much in the event but in the way you perceived and reacted to the event.
And past trauma is all too often an underlying and untreated cause for a host of other problems.
Trauma effects are cumulative. The more traumas we’ve experienced, the more likely we are to be affected.
And few people have experienced only one traumatic event.
Anytime, anywhere, anyone
Trauma can occur at any point in our lives – from the womb to the present.
And it causes damage to our selves, to our relationships, to our ability to function, to our hopes and dreams for the future.
It hurts us on the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels – and all three levels need attention to recover.
The vast majority of those with mental health and substance problems have experienced more than one trauma as a child and often additional occurrences as an adult.
Trauma is very rarely a one-time event.
And just who has a history of trauma?
Any shape, form, or fashion
Common trauma reactions can involve a bewildering mix of physical, behavioral, mental, emotional, spiritual, sexual, psychological, relational and social contributors.
Reactions can be sudden and acute, but they’re quite often gradual. They may not materialize for weeks, months, or even years after a traumatic event.
But trauma reactions are not disorders or mental illnesses.
They’re painful yet understandable reactions, survival behaviors, to abnormal events.
And everyone can and does have their own unique patterns of reactions.
So, what do we do?
We’ll use a three-phase, structured approach in treating trauma/PTSD, tailored to your specific needs and type of trauma. One-size-fits-all therapy does not work for the various forms of trauma.
I encourage all my clients to do some form of body-work to address physical reactions to trauma, reactions we often carry around as chronic muscle tension and pain.
TRE (tension, stress, and trauma releasing exercises) is my first choice here, but there are other ways.
Finally, you may need medication for initial stability. However, medication doesn’t address underlying causes, should never be used long-term or as the only form of treatment, and may cause more harm than good for some forms of trauma.
Every person is unique, and their needs in terms of treatment will differ.
Some people need all three phases plus body-work. Others do just fine and are happy with only the first phase and body-work, or with body-work alone.
Trauma can occur at any point in our lives. It can and does cause life-long problems.
But trauma is fixable, and you can recover.
Contact me at (850) 684-3059, and let’s get started.