Trauma Therapy in NYC
You just wish it never happened. Maybe it’s one traumatic event, maybe it’s several smaller traumatic events that have compounded over time. Regardless, surviving trauma can make you feel forever changed. However, trauma does not have to define you. You can take back control of your life and how safe you feel in the world.
An experience that causes us to fear that we are in significant danger, without protection, and helpless in regard to our safety, can be trauma. Just witnessing or being exposed to such an event can be trauma. Trauma also doesn’t have to be one specific major event. Smaller, more chronic incidents that slowly chip away at our sense of safety over time can just as easily be trauma. Trauma robs us of something precious – a sense of security in what used to feel was a safe world – and its impact can have devastating consequences. However, trauma does not have to dictate who we are, nor does it need to keep us in its grasp forever. There is a way through. The ways in which trauma can affect our minds and bodies are complex, vast and can feel out of our control. When we seek therapy to address our trauma, we begin the process of taking the power back that the traumatic event is holding over us.
The Symptoms are Traumatic
You just want to sleep again. The nightmares have to stop. You can’t take reliving it. When you’re asleep, it’s dreams. When you’re awake, it’s flashbacks. You fear someone is behind you, or you return to the experience in your mind. You're hypervigilant, agitated, irritable. You feel an overwhelming sense of fear or of detachment. You don’t even recognize yourself anymore: you’re isolated, sad, no longer enjoying things you used to. You feel lonely, guilty, ashamed. Nowhere feels safe anymore. Your relationships are suffering because it feels like nobody can possibly understand. You fear that you’re not fun to be around. You’re quick to anger, but also quick to apologize. You don’t even understand your own behavior sometimes, so how could you explain it to anyone else? It can feel like there is no escape and that you’re trapped.
So, here you sit, searching for answers, feeling alone, scared, angry, hurt, and you just want the pain to go away. You are not alone.
A Light Can Shine Through
It’s important that you know that you don’t have to stay where you are. Resolving trauma can certainly be difficult, but the process of healing doesn’t have to be traumatic itself. You can absolutely heal from traumatic incidents, no longer feeling you just have to deal with the aftermath, suppress your symptoms, and suffer through the toll it takes on your life. Healing from trauma can be a complex and complicated issue and is often accompanied by other symptoms such as anxiety, depression, anger, isolation and physical ailments. In trauma therapy we look beyond just the symptoms you are experiencing and focus on building (or rebuilding) your life so you feel safe, confident and in control. It is possible to regain the happiness and fulfillment you took from life prior to your trauma.
Therapy can help us better understand our trauma's roots and the impact it has on us. It can assist us in being more attentive to our bodies when we're triggered by a trauma response, evaluate our eating and sleeping patterns, identify intrusive thoughts and emotions that disturb us, recognize impulsive behaviors, illuminate challenges we have with communication, and gain insight into experiences where we feel disconnected from our bodies. We can use therapy to recreate a sense of trust that may have been stolen from us due to the traumatic event. With greater awareness of the real impacts trauma has had on you, the more equipped you will be to reestablish healthier and more productive ways of living your life.
In healing from trauma, more than any other struggle, it is necessary that you establish a safe relationship with your therapist. You need someone who you can trust to bear witness to the pain you're living through and is able to handle the frightening questions you have been left with:
How will I find a way to bring order to these new and painful pieces of my life? How will I make sense of what happened to me? How can I trust again? Will these symptoms ever stop? Who am I, now that I feel defined by what happened to me? How have I changed – what has remained the same? This happened long ago, so why is it affecting me now? Are people judging me? Will anyone ever understand? Is this my fault? Can I ever feel safe again? The questions can seem endless.
These are the questions we will bring to bring to the surface and look at together so you don't hold them alone anymore. We will work together to explore possible answers to these questions while focusing on recreating your sense of safety and stability. When something traumatic has happened it can feel nearly impossible to heal. You don’t have to fight through this alone. When you’re ready, give me a call.