Trauma

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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.

 

If you’ve experienced trauma in your life, there is help available to you. We have specialists who are experts in trauma therapy and treating PTSD. Contact us today to get started.
 

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:

 

  • Sleep

  • Concentration

  • Mood (irritability, depression, anxiety, numbness)

  • Relationships

  • Decision-making

  • Work, school, and/or social activities

  • Impulse control

  • Self-esteem/safety/security
     

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

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Amy Schlonski

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

Specialties

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Jessica Murray

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

Specialties

Licensed Professional Counselor, EMDR Therapist

Ethan Tuxill

As a licensed professional counselor and EMDR therapist, I’ve worked in the fields of addiction, hospice, family therapy, group and individual therapy. My goal is co-create a safe and accepting space to process these experiences, develop effective skills to enhance your mental well-being, and empower you to find lasting liberation and mental healing from your traumas.

Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Family of Origin Concerns , Shame and Vulnerability, Trauma, Stress Management, Life Transitions

Specialties

Psychiatric Nurse, MSN, RN, PMHCNS, BC

Mary Hatam

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

Specialties

PhD, RN, LCSW, LISW

Janet Arida

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

Specialties

Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, BCD

Jennifer Strohm

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, Teens

Specialties

Licensed Professional Counselor, PhD, LPC, BC-TMH, ACS

Michelle Colarusso

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

Specialties

Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC

Jena Skelton

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

Specialties

PhD, PMHCNS-BC, RN Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist/Therapist

Kathleen Spadaro

As a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist, I offer a holistic approach to clients. You bring into therapy your physical self, feelings, thoughts and spirituality needs, all of which are accepted and supported in my practice.

Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Chronic Illness & Mood, Stress Management, Life Transitions

Specialties

Founder & Owner/Therapist, MSW, LCSW, BCD

Wendy McSparren

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 30+ years of experience, I have specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and EMDR.

Trauma and PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, LGBTQ, EMDR, Stress Management, Life Transitions

Specialties

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