Trauma therapy helps you to identify and come to terms with feelings and emotions you may experience during or after a traumatic event. These emotions will vary from individual to individual. It can be helpful to discuss traumatic experiences, feelings of grief, and relationship difficulties with a professional who is familiar with the complex effects of trauma.
Trauma Therapy also offers you new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving as well as:
- Validation for your experiences
- Helping you to make sense of what has happened to you
- Healing from trauma and abuse
- Greater awareness
- Improved self-esteem
- Emotional healing
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Coping with depression
- Dealing with sexuality Issues
- Empowering ways to cope with daily life challenges
- Helping you cope with loss and grief
- Childhood trauma and abuse
- Severe fear, anxiety, stress or depression
- Relationship difficulties which may be causing you pain
- Unable to form close, satisfying relationships
- Trouble functioning at home or work
- Experiencing terrifying memories, nightmares, or flashbacks
- Avoiding more and more things that remind you of the trauma
- Emotionless and disconnected from others
- Using alcohol or drugs to feel better
After experiencing traumatic situations, many people find their relationships with others are affected. No matter what traumatic event or circumstance a person endures, whether it is the sudden death of a loved one, an aviation disaster, a hate crime, community violence, childhood abuse, sexual assault, war, or refugee circumstances, it is natural for the experience to affect relationships with others. It can influence how an individual interacts with family, friends, coworkers and other people.
Survivors of traumatic experiences might feel vulnerable and confused about what is safe, and therefore it may be difficult to trust others. It may feel frightening to get close to people for fear of being hurt in an unsafe world. Or people may feel angry at their helplessness and the loss of control in their lives, and become aggressive or try to control others. Anger and aggression may also arise because, after traumatic experiences, a person may feel threatened very easily. Aggression is a natural response for an individual who feels threatened.
Trauma survivors may feel intense shame, unlovable or bad in some way, or guilty about what happened to them or about something that they did or feel that they should have done in the traumatic situation.
When people have encountered childhood abuse or neglect, they struggle to develop basic trust and create safe attachments. This unsecure attachment can affect an individual’s capability to feel calm and responsive, comforting connections in adult life. Memories and feelings of betrayal, loss, shame, secrecy, violation, and low self-esteem may surface.
If trauma has happened in an intimate relationship, such as an adult abusing an adult, it can be extremely difficult to communicate comfortably and feel secure in close relationships because trust has been betrayed, an intimate connection has vanished, and instead of feeling supported they feel danger instead. A fear that others are not trustworthy and not safe.
Many trauma survivors feel emotionless and have difficulties expressing positive feelings in a relationship. Physical intimacy may also be more challenging and some survivors of traumatic experiences may find it hard to have an enjoyable sexual relationship. These feelings can be confusing or frightening.
Emotional and psychological symptoms of trauma:
- Shock, denial, or disbelief
- Anger, irritability, mood swings
- Guilt, shame, self-blame
- Feeling sad, hopeless or despairing
- Confusion, difficulty concentrating
- Anxiety and fear
- Withdrawing from others
- Feeling disconnected or numb
- Emotional overwhelm
- Physical symptoms of trauma:
- Insomnia or nightmares
- Being startled easily
- Racing heartbeat
- Aches and pains
- Difficulty concentrating
- Edginess and agitation
- Muscle tension
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
After a traumatic experience, it’s normal to feel frightened, sad, anxious, and disconnected. Usually, with time, the upset fades and you start to enjoy life again. But sometimes the trauma is so overwhelming that you find that you can’t move on. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop following a traumatic event that threatens your safety or makes you feel helpless. Feeling stuck with a constant sense of danger and painful memories that don’t fade. PTSD develops differently from person to person. While the symptoms of PTSD most commonly develop in the hours or days following the traumatic event, it can sometimes take weeks, months, or even years before they appear.
Most people associate PTSD with battle-scarred soldiers—and military combat is the most common cause in men—but any overwhelming life experience can trigger PTSD, especially if the event feels unpredictable and uncontrollable. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect those who personally experience the catastrophe, those who witness it, and those who pick up the pieces afterwards, including emergency workers and law enforcement officers. It can even occur in the friends or family members of those who went through the actual trauma.
If you went through a traumatic experience and are having trouble getting back to your regular life, reconnecting to others, and feeling safe again, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With PTSD, it can seem like you’ll never get over what happened or feel normal again. But by seeking treatment, reaching out for support, and developing new coping skills, you can overcome the symptoms of PTSD and move on with your life.