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    Counseling for Trauma

    When most people think of trauma, they think of death, violence, abuse, and grief; however, the umbrella of trauma contains much more than that. Most people will experience trauma in their lifetime whether it’s a car accident, abuse or neglect, the sudden death of a loved one, a violent criminal act, “failing” at a prospective dream, the termination of a relationship, loss of a job, exposure to the violence of war, or a natural disaster, or being the victim of bullying at school, etc.

    Did you know that around 60% of the population has shown observable symptoms of PTSD. Throughout history, PTSD was “a label” placed for those involved in heavy combat. In today’s society, trauma is a common occurrence. All ages, genders, ethnicities, and populations can be affected by trauma.

    While many people can recover from trauma over time with the love and support of family and friends, others may discover effects of lasting trauma, which can cause a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or posttraumatic stress far after the event has passed.

    In these circumstances, the support, guidance, and assistance of a therapist is fundamental to healing from trauma.

    Trauma Symptoms

    According to the four types of symptoms listed in the DSM-5

    Avoidance Symptoms

    • Avoiding specific locations, sights, situations, and sounds that serve as reminders of the event
    • Anxiety, depression, numbness, or guilt

    Re-experiencing Symptoms

    • Intrusive thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks

    Hyperarousal Symptoms

    • Anger, irritability, and hypervigilance
    • Aggressive, reckless behavior, including self-harm
    • Sleep disturbances

    Negative Mood and Cognition Symptoms

    • Loss of interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable
    • Difficulty remembering details of the distressing event
    • Change in habits or behavior since the trauma

    Symptoms typically arise a few weeks after a traumatic event; however, in some instances, observable symptoms do not display until months or years later. The gap in observable symptoms can create cognitive distortion, emotional disturbance, and space for avoidance. Often this comes from a place of not recognizing the traumatic event or the inability to acknowledge its impact on one’s life

    Research has proven psychotherapy to be the most effective form of treatment for trauma. Most commonly, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) are used in treating trauma.

    If you or someone you know matches the trauma symptoms listed above, there is no shame in reaching out for help. Therapy is designed as a safe space to tell one’s story.