Do You Feel Stuck Reliving The Pain Of Trauma?
Have you experienced trauma — either during a single distressing incident or through prolonged abuse or neglect — and worry you cannot let go of the pain of the past? Perhaps you are experiencing some of the physical symptoms of trauma, such as body aches, headaches, physical weakness or a racing heartbeat. Do specific smells, sounds or other sensory information trigger unwanted memories and physical reactions? Have you experienced trauma flashbacks, during which you feel like you are reliving the most painful moments of your life? Maybe you avoid certain people, places or situations in order to feel safe. It’s possible that you have distanced yourself from your loved ones and friends because you worry you will need to make yourself vulnerable to spend quality time with them. Do you wish you could clear the lingering painful effects of trauma and move forward in a calm and fulfilling life?
Living with the aftereffects of trauma can make you feel like you have lost control of your life. You may wake up in the morning with a sense of underlying anxiety or fear, which may cause you to feel hyper-alert or irritable throughout your day. Daily tasks, such as chores or errands, may be overwhelming because you worry that an interaction, sensation, thought or emotion will trigger a traumatic memory. Maybe you do not know why certain people or environments trigger painful emotions. At work, you may feel preoccupied, tense or fearful, and you may spend a great deal of time and energy on thinking about how to avoid specific workplace situations. Your relationships with your partner and your loved ones may be suffering because they do not fully understand how your past experiences impact your life. Built-up tension from your day may cause you to feel exhausted at night, but racing thoughts and feelings of hopelessness may make it difficult for you to fall asleep. You may also continually wake up in the middle of the night due to recurring nightmares related to past trauma. Maybe you feel that your days are not your own.
Feeling Overwhelmed by Trauma Is Very Common
While most people know that trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are especially common for individuals who have been exposed to military combat and extreme violence, it’s important to recognize the many other sources of trauma. Individuals can experience trauma first-hand through a single incident, such as a car accident, robbery or difficult birthing process, or through prolonged experiences, such as childhood abuse or emotional neglect. It’s also common for people to struggle with secondary trauma after witnessing abuse or life-threatening situations.
One of the most difficult issues accompanying trauma is the way individuals — and society as a whole — react to it. Individuals are often told to stay strong, forget the past and move on, unfortunately, without fully processing the intense emotions they experienced during a traumatic incident. As a result, it is very common for people to push aside their emotions and then feel guilty and ashamed when they eventually get stuck replaying and revisiting the pain in their pasts.
In truth, however, you have nothing to be ashamed of. The good news is that, with the help of a trauma therapist, you can process your pain in a calm and nonjudgmental environment and build lifelong resilience.
Regain Your Peace Of Mind Through Trauma Therapy
During compassionate and safe trauma treatment sessions, one of our well-trained therapists at the Relationship Counseling Center of Austin (RCC Austin) can help you gain a better understanding of how trauma has impacted your life and create a personalized path for you to find freedom from your past pain. Depending on your specific needs and interests, you may decide to work with a specific therapist at RCC who best fits your style and approach to therapy.
One approach to treating trauma involves working to modify the thoughts that lead to painful emotions and bodily reactions. In sessions, you will be able to dig deeper into your thought process to better understand why certain people, environments and situations cause you to feel tense, fearful or out of control. Your therapist will then teach you ways to reframe your thoughts in order to feel calmer and more secure in your day-to-day life.
You and your therapist may also choose to clear your lingering pain through Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) and/or Somatic Experiencing Therapy. EMDR treatment can help you use both your mind and body to change your perception of past trauma and remove your triggers to your painful memories, while Somatic Experiencing sessions will focus on releasing the trauma that has built up in your body. Because the pain of trauma is held in the body, these comprehensive mind-body approaches can bring you relief at your very core.
Another helpful technique you can learn during trauma counseling sessions is mindfulness. Both in sessions and in your everyday life, mindfulness practices can help you center your mind on the present moment, rather than dwelling on painful memories or uncertainties about the future. Mindfulness exercises, such as breathing techniques, can be especially helpful in overcoming trauma because they work to relieve pain stored in both the mind and body.
The therapists at the Relationship Counseling Center of Austin are well-trained in a variety of trauma counseling approaches. Even though you may now feel stuck and hopeless to change, the truth is that with the help of a skilled therapist, you can find relief from the physical and emotional effects of trauma.
You may be interested in trauma therapy, but you still have questions or concerns…
I’m worried about how much time and money I will need to spend on PTSD therapy.
Since our sessions are personalized, the amount of time and money spent on therapy often varies. We understand that the costs of therapy may cause you to feel hesitant about seeking help. That is why we offer sliding scale fees that fit your budget.
While therapy for trauma takes time, it is a crucial investment in your well-being. By addressing the pain in your past now, you can save yourself from years of tension, fear and sadness. Clearing the effects of trauma can also benefit other areas of your life. For example, you are likely to find yourself learning to trust others and growing closer to your family members, loved ones and friends.
Will bringing up my traumatic memories make me feel worse?
It’s very common to worry that treatment sessions will cause you to revisit or relive your past pain. However, with the help of a supportive and thoughtful therapist, you can approach your emotions and thoughts related to your traumatic experience in a safe and comfortable way, at your own pace.
How can trauma therapy improve my relationship with my partner?
If you want your partner to better understand how trauma has affected your life and how you are healing through therapy, the two of you can work together with your therapist to identify both of your needs and foster a lasting healthy connection in the future. Your partner can learn ways to help you through the treatment process and become a lifelong advocate whom you can rely on if you need extra support.
Processing your trauma and building resilience through therapy can also allow you to focus more on your relationship and embrace your bond.
Heal And Recover From Trauma
If you are ready to clear the lingering effects of trauma and find lasting peace in your life, please contact us to schedule a free in-person or phone consultation. We are happy to answer your questions, address your concerns and discuss how trauma therapy can help you.
Schedule your appointment today by calling us at 512-270-4883, or complete the form on our Scheduling Page and you will be contacted to schedule your appointment.