Any event or series of events that causes an increase in stress and threat to safety (physical, emotional, social, or psychological) can create a traumatic response that impacts us deeply. There are many life experiences that can be traumatic, including war, terrorism, neighborhood or school violence, domestic violence, rape, child abuse, bullying, car accidents, or robbery, and many others.
Many experts define a traumatic event as something that happens too fast, too soon, and with too much intensity for us to appropriately respond and cope. Under this definition, an experience of trauma is highly individualized to an individual person - two people might experience the same traumatic event together, but have completely different responses.
The impacts of trauma can infiltrate into many different areas of life, from your physical state of being, to your thoughts, behaviors, and your relationships.
What is Trauma?
Any event or series of events that brings about an unbearable amount of stress or threats to safety can be traumatic. Some common causes of trauma include witnessing or experiencing physical violence, emotional abuse, natural disasters, threats to the physical safety of your loved ones, such as the illness or death of a family member, or threats to social safety, which includes trauma that occurs within the context of relationships.
Our bodies and our minds are set up to respond to and learn from our environments. Unfortunately, in the case of trauma, we receive messages that we are not safe and need to stay on high alert to protect ourselves. This can fundamentally change the ways that we go about the world and interact with those around us.
Some of the areas of life that trauma can impact include:
Mood (irritability, depression, anxiety, numbness)
Work, school, and/or social activities
What is PTSD?
PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a condition that is caused by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.
PTSD symptoms can include:
Intrusive thoughts, such as replaying the traumatic event in your mind or having repeated intrusive, unwanted memories about the event.
Flashbacks to the event, which often included physical reactions to the event as if you were reliving it (e.g., racing heartbeat).
Avoidance of people, places, and/or events that are associated with the traumatic event. This also includes avoiding thinking about the traumatic event.
Physical arousal and reactivity to those around you. This includes things like being easily startled by sudden noises or movement, feeling irritable or angry, having a hard time falling asleep, and just generally feeling tense and on high alert.
Depressed mood, including thinking negative thoughts about yourself and others, loss of interest in activities, difficulty feeling happy or joyful, and feeling socially isolated and lonely.
PTSD symptoms are physical, cognitive, emotional and social, creeping into many different areas of your life. If you recognize these PTSD symptoms in yourself or someone you know, please reach out for support. PTSD treatment can be life-changing in helping you heal from trauma and alleviate your PTSD symptoms. Our specialists are experts in trauma therapy and can partner with you on your healing journey.
What is C-PTSD?
Traumatic events typically fall into two different categories: acute and chronic. Acute traumatic events are single incidents that have a distinct beginning and end, such as being in a car accident or witnessing a crime. Chronic trauma happens over a longer period of time and can have repeated instances of trauma. This includes things like childhood abuse and intimate partner violence.
Chronic traumatic events can be particularly devastating because they can deeply damage your trust in other people. Sometimes, chronic trauma can result in complex PTSD, also known as C-PTSD. C-PTSD occurs as the result of repeated traumatic events that are typically interpersonal in nature, meaning that they occur within the context of relationships and negatively impact a person’s sense of social safety.
People with C-PTSD often experience the PTSD symptoms outlined above. Although C-PTSD shares many similarities to PTSD, people with C-PTSD may also experience challenges with regulating their emotions and fight/flight responses, negative self-image, and persistent shame.
Do I Need PTSD to Benefit From Trauma Therapy?
No, you do not need a diagnosis of PTSD in order to benefit from trauma therapy! Trauma therapy can help you process and heal from all types of trauma, whether your experience resulted in PTSD or not.
If you’ve experienced any traumatic event, no matter how big or how small, trauma therapy can help you.
Healing From Trauma Through Trauma Therapy
Healing from trauma is possible through trauma therapy. Trauma therapy can help process the traumatic event(s) and explore the resulting consequences to resolve the crisis. The initial focus is on personal safety and security and expands to increase the individual’s feelings of control and return to optimal functioning.
There are several types of trauma therapy that can help you. Treating PTSD and other forms of trauma typically involved one or more of the following therapies:
EMDR: Eye-movement desensitization therapy (EMDR) is a type of trauma therapy that uses rapid eye movements to help people process and re-frame traumatic events. EMDR is a life-changing trauma therapy for many people because it is backed by science and can have tremendous impacts. We have several EMDR therapists at our practice who can partner with you in processing trauma of all kinds.
CBT: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is typically used to treat depression and anxiety, but it can also be used as trauma therapy. CBT is most often used as a trauma therapy for children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. CBT can be very beneficial in helping to resolve the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral challenges that result from experiencing trauma.
How We Can Help
You don’t need to overcome trauma all on your own. Our therapists have a vast wealth of experience using several kinds of trauma therapy to help clients heal from trauma and re-establish a sense of physical and psychological safety.
We’re here to support you in healing from trauma. Contact us today to get started.
Our Trauma Specialists
We all experience struggles in life which are unique and often leave us feeling overwhelmed and weighed down. I feel a strong therapeutic relationship is essential when working to bring you relief.
Anxiety, Teens, Family Therapy, Depression, Trauma and PTSD, Self Esteem
I am a Licensed Social Worker who has experience working with kids, teens, and families through a strength-based approach. I seek to create an environment in which my clients feel safe and supported.
Anxiety, Teens, Family Therapy, Stress Management, Life Transitions, Trauma and PTSD, LGBTQ+, Self Esteem
LPC, MSIMH, EMDR trained
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with a graduate education specialized in Infant Mental Health and trained in EMDR.
Anxiety, Teens, Family Therapy, Depression, Stress Management, Life Transitions, Trauma and PTSD, Self Esteem, Anger Management, prenatal, attachment, early childhood 0-6 yr and new parent/co parenting skills
Therapist, Ed.D, MSW, LSW
I am a mental health professional with 30+ years. I have experience working with children, adolescents and families who struggle managing anxiety, depression, stress, family challenges and trauma.
I strive to create a safe and nurturing atmosphere in which individuals can express themselves.
Adolescents, Children, Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, LGBTQ, Family
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 30+ years of experience, I have specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Social Rhythm Therapy, and Family Focused Therapy.
I work with children, teens and young adults struggling with depression and anxiety. As a clinician, I worked for 20 years in the Child & Adolescent Bipolar Spectrum Clinic at Western Psychiatric Hospital. As such, I have expert knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in children, adolescents, and young adults.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Family Focused Therapy, and Interpersonal Social Rhythm Therapy, Teens, Depression, Trauma, Stress Management, Life Transitions
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has experience working with individuals, couples, and families, especially those who have a history of traumatic experiences. I ground my work in a strengths-based framework as I believe that my role is to assist my clients in identifying, refining, and highlighting the strengths they already have within themselves.
Anxiety, Grief Counseling, Family Therapy, Depression, Stress Management, Life Transitions, Trauma
Licensed Professional Counselor, EMDR Therapist
As a licensed professional counselor and EMDR therapist, I’ve trained specifically to help individuals struggling with PTSD, complex PTSD, and the lasting effects of trauma. I primarily work with adults and young adults (ages 17+) who have PTSD, depression and anxiety. I pull from a diverse set of therapy models to meet each individual's unique needs, including EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness.
Trauma, PTSD and Complex PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Shame and Vulnerability, Family of Origin Concerns, Stress Management, Life Transitions
Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, MSN, RN, PMHCNS, BC
Humans are physical, mental and spiritual beings with each facet being interdependent on the other. Together, we will explore the many influences of your life on each aspect of your being and determine the best plan for you…
Chronic Illness, Grief, Life Coaching, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Stress Management, Life Transitions
PhD, RN, LCSW, LISW
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Registered Nurse for more than 35 years. I have experience working with teens and adults experiencing stress, trauma, and other forms of adversity.
Anxiety, Chronic Illness and Mood, Grief and Loss, Stress Management, and Life Transitions, Depression, Trauma
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, BCD
We all have times when we feel like we’re on repeat, stuck, overwhelmed or stressed. I offer a safe and supportive environment to help you make positive changes in your life.
Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Chronic Illness & Mood, Stress Management, Life Transitions, Children & Teens
Licensed Professional Counselor, PhD, LPC, BC-TMH, ACS
My goal as a therapist is to create an environment in which my clients can safely work though the complexities of their thoughts, feelings, and personal experience.
Anxiety, LGBTQ+, Relationship Issues, Depression, Trauma, Stress Management, Life Transitions
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC
Struggle is something that I believe every single living thing experiences. It is a concept that can bring us into some of our hardest moments in life, but it also presents the opportunity to connect, grow, and learn. I believe that confronting our struggles and working through them is one of the most valuable journeys that life brings.
Anxiety, Depression, Addiction, Grief Counseling, Trauma, Chronic Illness & Mood, Stress Management, Life Transitions, Teens