Trauma Therapy

What is Trauma?

No two traumatic experiences are the same, and everyone responds differently to instances of trauma. Trauma refers to the experience of an event, repeated event, or a circumstance that can have lasting harmful effects on the individual’s physical and emotional wellbeing (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2022). Trauma can occur from physical injuries or psychological injuries caused by a disturbing event or circumstance. Though many people think about trauma in terms of significant negative events, trauma can occur from any instance that causes pain and/or negative emotions on a person. No event is too small to be considered traumatic. There are three main types of trauma: Acute, Chronic, or Complex.

Acute Trauma:

A single event that caused intense stress. The overwhelming threat from a specific incident can cause your body to become stuck in a threat response after the event has stopped. Acute trauma can refer to a natural disaster, physical assault, a car crash, singular instance of sexual abuse, loss of a loved one, bullying, or any instance that causes your autonomic nervous system to become overstimulated by the feeling of threat (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2022).

Chronic Trauma:

Repeated instances of a traumatic event. Some examples of chronic trauma include domestic abuse, war, neglect, repeated instances of sexual abuse, bullying, or any other traumatic instance that occurred more than one time.

Complex Trauma:

Exposure to several traumatic events over time. This can refer to trauma that occurred in the context between people, specifically close relationships. Some examples of complex trauma can include childhood abuse, domestic violence, family disputes, and other familial conflicts.

It is important to recognize that trauma can occur from any instance, and no issue is considered too small or insignificant to cause a traumatic response. Everyone reacts differently to situations. Whatever the type of trauma may be, it is important to seek help and work through the traumatic experience.

 

Responses to trauma: how can trauma impact your wellbeing?

There are many ways that trauma can impact your psychological health. Responses to trauma can happen immediately after the event occurred, or you may experience a delayed response.

Possible emotional responses to trauma:

  • Feeling anxious, sad, angry
  • Trouble sleeping and concentrating
  • Frequent crying
  • Flashbacks to the event
  • Feeling irritable
  • Having nightmares
  • Avoiding places, people, or things that bring back memories of the trauma
  • Isolating from family and friends

Possible physical responses to trauma:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain and digestive problems
  • Feeling unusually tired
  • Fast heart rate and sweating
  • Being easily startled
  • Spacing out and trouble living in the present moment

We want you to know that there is no right or wrong way to response to trauma. Though experiencing trauma may cause feelings of hopelessness, there are psychologists that can help you navigate your experience and support you through difficult times.

 

Trauma therapy

Know that you do not have to keep feeling the way you are right now and you do not have to deal with this alone. In working with an Atlanta based trauma therapist you will have a safe and confidential space to work towards helping you heal from the trauma and it’s impact on your life. You can meet with a therapist in the office or virtually. Many of our therapists are also licensed throughout the US, so you do not need to live in Atlanta to meet with our team.

We pride ourselves on providing compassionate, personalized, and thoughtful therapy for trauma. During the first therapy appointment, will work with you to establish trust and understand your experiences. We will go at your own pace and will not push you beyond what you are ready for. You may be ready to talk about your trauma or you may not, and both are okay. Therapy for trauma may be focused on how to ground and calm yourself when you are feeling distressed, how to set appropriate boundaries and when you need these boundaries, and how to feel relief of your symptoms. When you are ready, therapy may move towards processing the trauma. Your therapist will be with you to process the painful emotions, thoughts, memories, and the impact they are having on you.

 

Benefits of Therapy For Trauma

Some of the things you may notice changing in trauma therapy include:

  1. Reduced anxiety, sadness, and distress and having tools to manage difficult emotions
  2. Improved healthy coping skills
  3. Better understanding of yourself
  4. Reduced guilt and self-blame
  5. Improved relationships
  6. Improved ability to respond to triggers of your trauma

 

Trauma therapy in atlanta. Person overcoming their trauma

Questions about trauma therapy 

 

 I am afraid to think about the trauma, how can therapy help if I am not ready to talk about it?

Therapy for trauma moves at your own pace. You will have control of what you do not want to talk about. Our experienced Atlanta based therapists will check in with you throughout therapy about how you are feeling. It is even typical in trauma work to first start with anxiety management techniques to help you feel more safe and secure before diving into the trauma.

I don’t know if my experience is technically trauma, is therapy the right fit?

If you have experienced an event or events that are having a negative impact on you today therapy can help.

 I have been to therapy before and it didn’t help, how will this be different?

Working with someone who has specific training, experience, and expertise is incredibly important. The psychologists who specialize in trauma at the practice have worked with clients who have experienced trauma in settings such as private practice, counseling centers, medical centers, and the veteran affairs administration. At Best Within You Therapy & Wellness our therapists uses somatic therapy for trauma, EMDR therapy, as well as cognitive therapy. We use research supported approaches to help you. 

 

We know that asking for help might feel challenging. We offer complimentary consultations  and are happy to answer any questions that you have.

*While our office is based in Atlanta, we are able to provide therapy to clients throughout the state of Georgia. We also hold various other state licensures and provide online therapy to clients throughout the country.

Ways to cope with trauma

It is so important to turn to positive coping strategies after a traumatic event. It may be easy to turn to unhealthy coping strategies like drugs, alcohol, and isolation, but these types of coping behaviors can worsen your psychological and physical well-being. Though it is not easy to face trauma, it is critical to engage in positive coping strategies to recover.

Healthy coping strategies:

1.Try not to isolate yourself, spend time with loved ones

After experiencing a traumatic experience, you may be tempted to withdraw from friends, family, and social instances. However, connecting with others can be helpful in your healing process. Connection and companionship can help reduce feelings of stress and hopelessness. Though talking to a loved one about your trauma may be helpful, it is also perfectly okay to not talk about it with others.

2.Find a licensed therapist who has experience with trauma to help you navigate your struggles

It is a very overwhelming experience to try to navigate trauma by yourself, and a therapist or psychologist that has experience with trauma can certainly guide you towards healing and help you cope better. It is also so important to have a safe person to discuss your feelings with. Know that in therapy it will go at your pace, and you will not be pushed to talk about anything you are not ready for. At Best Within You Therapy & Wellness we are here to support you whenever you are ready.

3.Try meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga

Meditation, diaphragmatic breathing, and yoga are a great way to relieve stress and connect your body with your mind. There are even trauma informed yoga providers available. It is normal to feel a sense of numbness after a traumatic experience, and these forms of self-care can help you connect with the present moment. =

4.Take care of your body

Is it important to give your body the fuel it needs to be able to function throughout the day. It is important to eat regular meals and to drink water throughout the day. Also try to get outside and get some sunshine if you are able to. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and elevate your endorphins. Though exercise may be the last thing you want to do when you are feeling poorly, exercise can be a great way to enhance your mood.

5.Follow a routine.

Routines can be a healthy way to establish consistency within your life.

Trauma can really disrupt your normal routine and make it difficult to prioritize certain responsibilities. When your mind is elsewhere, daily tasks can be tempting to ignore and feel impossible to accomplish. However, slowly trying to reestablish a routine can help feel more fulfilled. Though easier said than done, establishing a routine can reduce feelings of hopelessness and stress.

 

If you are looking for a trauma therapist, know that you are in the right place.  The psychologists at Best Within You Therapy & Wellness are not only experts in trauma therapy but specialize in help with insomniaeating disorder treatment, and much more. You can schedule a video appointment or in office appointment with one of our psychologists today.