You may find that you are avoidant in everyday situations, even within your closest relationships. If this is the case, you’ve likely lost your ability to feel joyful, hopeful, or take pleasure in the activities that once fulfilled you.
Perhaps you’ve noticed your worldview has become increasingly pessimistic. It’s possible that you have developed intense shame and self-critical beliefs. Or you may have a persistent inability to experience positive feelings or emotions.
Maybe the physical symptoms of post-traumatic stress, including hypervigilance and exaggerated startle responses, keep you from ever being at ease. Perhaps you have trouble falling asleep or experience recurrent nightmares. During the day, you may find it difficult to focus and stay present.
Living with trauma, you may find yourself in constant distress. If so, you might be engaging in self-destructive behaviors as a means for release or using substances to numb your feelings.
Whatever your trauma response may be, symptoms of PTSD can leave you feeling burdened by memories of the past. But with therapy for trauma, you can begin to feel free and hopeful for the future
Trauma comes in many forms, and traumatic responses can look different between those who survived similar experiences. Nevertheless, most of us will endure some kind of traumatic event in our lives, which may or may not result in symptoms of PTSD.
Clinicians like to characterize the difference between “Big T” Trauma and “little t” trauma in order to demonstrate just how nuanced and widespread traumatic experiences are.
“Big T” Trauma characterizes the experiences we’ve traditionally associated with the word trauma, including assault, abuse (physical, emotional, mental, or sexual) as a child or adult, neglect, combat, and life-threatening injuries or accidents.
“Little t” trauma describes events that are highly distressing, emotionally taxing, and impactful that create intense reactions in the individuals who experience them. Such traumas may be an instance of grief, verbally abusive parents, or emotional invalidation at the hands of a loved one. These experiences, while not life-threatening by nature, can nevertheless lead to emotional, cognitive, and physical symptoms of PTSD.
Trauma is not always just one experience, nor is a traumatic response limited to the person who experienced it.
Complex trauma (or complex PTSD) results from multiple traumas or repeated trauma over a prolonged period of time—especially if such experiences took place early in childhood. Symptoms of complex PTSD differ from those of general PTSD, in that feelings of hostility, hopelessness, and emotional dysregulation are greatly intensified. Those who struggle with complex PTSD often feel that they are damaged by their experience and/or completely different from others.
In addition, vicarious trauma can occur in individuals who have personal proximity to a traumatic event, including those who become aware of child abuse and neglect within their families, those who work directly alongside traumatized individuals (including therapists and first responders), and those who witness violence against others.
We as a society are becoming more acutely aware of the impact of vicarious trauma across communities, especially in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread footage depicting police brutality and other forms of violence in marginalized communities.
Yet, many continue to blame themselves for the lingering emotional response they have following an event. And without proper treatment, trauma can have debilitating effects, including self-harm and substance abuse.
Healing is possible, though. With therapy at Kind Mind, you can learn to process, cope with, and overcome your trauma.
Too often, the impact of trauma makes it so our past is in the driver’s seat. However, by working with a therapist, you can regain control over your thoughts and emotions.
Our clinicians create a safe and empathetic space where you’ll be encouraged to explore your experiences at your pace. As you get more comfortable with your Kind Mind therapist, we will begin to examine your PTSD symptoms and gauge which evidence-based therapy will likely provide you with effective strategies for coping and emotional resilience.
In instances of complex PTSD or other childhood traumas, we will identify any compounding variables, including attachments and early relationships, to create a multifaceted approach to therapy.
The therapists at Kind Mind use safe and verified methods to target trauma and help our clients heal on a deep and fundamental level. Addressing trauma can be hard work, but our evidence-based approaches have been researched as effective means for targeting trauma and distress in a lasting way.
Regardless of approach, our clinicians incorporate psychoeducation into treatment to help you understand trauma’s impact on both mind and body. From there, therapy is tailored to meet your needs using a combination of methods that have been shown to reduce symptoms of PTSD in a wide range of individuals.
Working with a therapist, you can rebuild your cognitive response, develop coping skills, cultivate resilience, and create an existence free from trauma. At Kind Mind, we are investing in helping you become unstuck from your trauma so that you can cultivate a worthwhile life in which you can thrive and find fulfillment.
My trauma wasn’t life-threatening—can I still benefit from counseling?
We’re learning more and more about the effects of trauma and how widespread they are across communities. No longer do we only characterize trauma as a major life event—any occurrencethat creates a prolonged and distressing emotional response has the ability to traumatize.
Therapy can help you understand the impact that trauma has had on your brain so that you can learn skills to process, cope, and live in the present instead of the past.
How is talking about my trauma in therapy going to make me feel better?
If you’re struggling with the lingering emotional, mental, and physical effects of a traumatic experience, we understand that discussing certain memories can be distressing and uncomfortable. But we hope you can see treatment as an opportunity to free yourself from your trauma so that it no longer takes control over your life.
We find that it frees our clients to discuss their trauma in therapy, and we will take every measure to make sure the process feels safe and comfortable.
I am concerned about the cost of trauma treatment.
At Kind Mind, we are committed to providing quality, accessible mental healthcare. Our clinicians partner with Cigna, but can offer courtesy billing for out-of-network providers, meaning we will file your reimbursement claim on your behalf. In addition, for those who qualify, we offer sliding scale therapy sessions.
Please contact us for more information about our rates.
If you struggle with lingering emotional, physical, and cognitive symptoms following a distressing experience, therapy at Kind Mind can help you learn to cope and heal from your trauma.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, please contact us.