Are You A Trauma Survivor?
Is a painful experience from your past keeping you stuck with feelings of shame and hopelessness? Do you often experience worthlessness, numbness, and emptiness? And have you always struggled with low self-esteem and a harsh inner critic?
Unresolved trauma—often taking the form of abuse, assault, or life-threatening incidents—remains trapped inside the body even long after the traumatic experience is over. Instead of feeling relaxed and confident, trauma survivors often struggle with physical pain and tension, low self-worth, and trust issues. We may even blame ourselves for what happened, further perpetuating a lingering sense of shame and guilt.
Without an ability to trust, it can be hard for survivors to feel connected. You may avoid social or romantic situations due to feelings of inadequacy. Or perhaps you have a hard time setting meaningful boundaries that would allow you to feel safe and secure. It’s possible that trauma has caused you to disconnect from yourself as you struggle with numbness, confusion, and an inability to understand where your emotions stem from.
Fortunately, therapy can help you facilitate a sense of connection in your life. By working to build trust, self-esteem, and emotional regulation skills in counseling, you can overcome the adverse effects that trauma has had on your life. As a trauma-informed therapist specializing in matters of childhood abuse, sexual abuse, and relational traumas, I can help you learn how to feel safe again.
Trauma Describes A Wide Range Of Experiences
Many experiences fall under the category of trauma, including surviving or witnessing dangerous situations, experiencing prolonged illness or critical injuries, and unresolved attachment wounds from childhood that compromise our sense of worthiness.
Our response to stress and trauma largely depends on how emotionally safe our environments were as children. If we were raised by parents or caretakers who neglected us, failed to properly nurture our emotional and physical needs in childhood, or put conditional terms on their affection (i.e., equating our worthiness to academic performance), we are likely to internalize the message that we aren’t inherently valuable. Furthermore, as our experience of trauma accumulates and goes unaddressed, we run the risk of developing long-term symptoms of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or C-PTSD.
Early Attachments Set The Stage For Our Response To Adverse Experiences
Our caregivers ultimately determine whether or not we have a voice and know how to use it. Many of us come from families that did not validate our thoughts and feelings, essentially minimizing our experiences. And in some cases, we were punished or shamed when attempting to express ourselves. These responses conditioned us to suppress our emotions, which is why we remain disconnected, confused, and unhappy today.
If you weren’t offered healthy models for emotional awareness and expression, you are not alone. And though you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of sorting through your relationships, history, and their role in your trauma, therapy offers you a meaningful opportunity to address your pain. I will help you work your way from surface-level symptoms and behaviors to core traumas so that you can fully process what happened to you.
Collaborating with an empathetic, trauma-informed therapist is the first step toward a heightened sense of connection and confidence in your life.
Trauma Treatment At J Lang Therapy & Consulting
Trauma has caused you to have conflicting instincts—on one hand, you may feel hyperaware, underprepared, and anxious; yet, on the other hand, you can rationally recognize that your life is not in danger. Therapy gives you the tools to tap into your authentic and self-protective instincts—instead of the fear that’s driven by trauma—so that you can settle into your inner wisdom.
As I work to understand your trauma(s) and goals for treatment, I will help you develop an awareness of the patterns currently at play in your life and the ways in which those patterns stem from unresolved trauma. With this knowledge, you can adjust your behaviors, thought process, and emotional response in a way that will reconnect you to your body and decrease the feelings of fear you experience.
The Methods And Modalities I Use
I work from a “bottom-up” treatment model, which means that we will focus on resolving core traumas by engaging emotional regulation techniques and body-based skills to promote feelings of calm and relaxation. From there, we will work our way up to address surface-level symptoms and behaviors.
My approach uses a combination of attachment-focused, body-based, and trauma-informed techniques. Somatic Experiencing will teach you how to identify physical sensations related to trauma while helping you to manage external triggers. And attachment-focused counseling techniques will help us understand the degree of emotional safety you felt as a child as we learn more about the messages you internalized from parents and caregivers.
I will also use Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) in trauma treatment. NMT is a tool used in therapy to help track the effects of trauma and adverse experiences throughout the lifespan. Using your own individualized NMT metric, you can meaningfully track your progress throughout treatment, identifying the areas where there is a significant reduction in stress and maladaptive coping techniques. To learn more, you can read about the NMT assessments I use.
If trauma has compromised your ability to love and feel compassion for yourself, it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. By meaningfully addressing your experiences in therapy, you can establish your own identity—separate from trauma—forging new and positive possibilities for your life.
Perhaps You’re Still Not Sure If Counseling Will Help You Heal From Trauma…
How will getting in tune with by body in therapy allow me to heal from trauma?
When we experience trauma, especially if that trauma took place in childhood, our systems move into overdrive in trying to protect us. Our bodies will then experience everything as a potential threat, transporting us back to the maladaptive stress responses that were conditioned as children.
Getting in tune with your body allows you to better understand your unique triggers and tap into your brain’s innate healing capabilities. With this newfound awareness, you can start to override some of the physical and emotional responses that are no longer useful.
Which trauma-informed techniques can a therapist teach me?
I use a variety of approaches to help you move forward from feeling stuck to being action-oriented. By slowing down in the moment, we can adjust how we interpret certain events, thereby improving thoughts and beliefs. By focusing on the body in therapy, you can be given useful information about what you need in any given moment.
My aim as a therapist is to provide you with a full awareness of your body’s unique systems so that we can shape and alter various channels in a way that will promote long-term, sustained healing from trauma.
How long does trauma treatment take? When will I see results?
The time spent in therapy largely depends on the extent of your trauma, current symptoms, and where you are in the process of resolving unprocessed emotional pain. That said, you may begin to notice changes immediately during the counseling process, especially as we dig deep to resolve core traumas (as opposed to only addressing surface-level symptoms).
You Can Learn To Thrive As A Trauma Survivor
As a therapist specializing in childhood sexual abuse, relational traumas, and post-traumatic stress, my approach to therapy will provide you with skills and perspectives that can help you escape the cycle of distress. To find out more about trauma treatment at J Lang Therapy & Consulting, contact me. Treatment is available to residents in California, Florida, and Israel.