Do You Feel Disconnected From the Present, Fearful About the Future and Controlled by the Past?
- Have you experienced something deeply distressing, frightening or life-threatening that you can’t seem to forget?
- Or, do you feel that something is wrong, but you aren’t sure exactly what?
- Are you struggling with flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia and uncomfortable physical sensations?
- Do you feel unsettled in your mind, body and spirit, as though something is holding you back from living as your best, truest self?
- Have you been drinking, using drugs or engaging in other compulsive behaviors in an attempt to find an escape?
- Do you wish you could stop feeling mired in the past and claim your life?
Whether you are struggling with traumatic memories or don’t quite know why you feel so agitated and disconnected from your life, you may feel isolated and overwhelmed. You may be carrying deep shame and guilt, questioning if what happened was your fault and fearing that others will think of you differently if they find out. It may seem as though you are damaged or broken in some way, especially if you’ve never really talked to anyone about your experience. Even when you do attempt to form relationships, maybe you still feel that you can never truly trust or open up to others. No matter how you try to cope and get through each day, it may seem as though the ground is never completely stable under your feet.
You Are Far From Alone
Although the experience of trauma can be extremely isolating, in truth, 70 percent of Americans will encounter a traumatic event over the course of their lives. For some people, that might be what is referred to as “little t” trauma—an accumulation of daily stressors, neglect or verbal abuse. Others experience what is called “big T” trauma—for example, a car wreck, a shooting or work as a first responder. It’s important to note that little t traumas can add up to big T trauma, and that there is no “wrong” way to go through a traumatic experience.
It’s very common to carry childhood trauma into adulthood, sometimes without realizing it. According to the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, 26 percent of adults experienced one traumatic event during childhood, while 38 percent experienced two or more traumatic events. No matter how many years go by, suffering from and/or witnessing abuse, neglect, substance abuse, incarceration, mental illness or parental divorce during your developmental years can have lasting effects. Even if you can’t recall exactly what happened, when it comes to trauma, the body remembers what the mind forgets. In other words, the fear, pain and instability you felt as a child may be “stuck” within you, impacting your career, health and relationships—including your relationship with yourself.
Often, trauma and substance abuse go hand in hand. For many people, behaviors that began as a search for a small amount of peace develop into addiction, which can further derail every aspect of your life. But, even if you feel as though your life is currently shaped by bad choices, know that you are not broken, and you don’t have to carry the immense weight of shame. Rather, like so many others, you have survived in the best way you know how. Few of us go through life without developing a hole in our souls, and we all seek ways to fill that hole up.
Thankfully, a skilled, compassionate trauma therapist can help you figure out how your hole developed, make sense of the past and discover new, healthy ways to move forward and create lasting relief.
Trauma Therapy Can Help You Heal, Grow And Move Forward
Trauma can make it feel as though the dangers of the past are still present, keeping you caught in a seemingly endless state of distress. But, with expert guidance and support, you can stop feeling as though you are merely surviving. You can start moving through the world with a new sense of trust, balance and possibility.
During trauma treatment sessions, my initial focus will be on getting to know you and developing a therapeutic relationship based on security and trust. No matter how unstable the world seems outside sessions, the therapy room is a place of safety in which you can feel and express anything without fear of judgment or criticism. As we gently investigate the challenges you’re facing now, I can help you develop strategies to regulate uncomfortable thoughts, emotions and physical sensations, including deep breathing, mindfulness exercises and calming movement. Once you feel ready, we can begin the process of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.
EMDR is a highly effective therapy approach, recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs as the foremost method of treating trauma. EMDR helps you to release the trauma stored in your body and brain, allowing you to more fully integrate the memories of what happened through a safe, guided process. You won’t forget your experience, but you can become able to look back on it without feeling the same emotional charge. The traumatic event will become just another past experience that contributed to who you are, losing its power to define or control you in the present.
I specialize in both trauma and addiction therapy because I have seen firsthand how many people struggling with addiction have trauma buried inside. EMDR therapy is proven extremely effective in treating both trauma and addiction. As you address the pain of the past, I can also help you better understand how your history might be related to your perspective and behaviors today. With this increased awareness, you can begin to let go of guilt, develop greater self-compassion and feel empowered to make more positive choices in your life.
You don’t have to continue suffering, and you don’t have to go through it alone. I have been a trauma therapist for almost 10 years, and if you feel motivated to reclaim your life and engage with the present, I know that relief is possible. I believe that you have the courage to reach out and declare that you want something better. Once you take that first step, I will be here to guide you toward deep, lasting healing.
You may have questions or concerns about trauma treatment…
Why would I want to look back at what happened?
Many people try to slam the door to the past firmly shut, attempting to lock away all that fear and pain. But, no matter how much we try to avoid it, the truth is that pain is a part of life. Even though it might feel counterintuitive, we actually suffer more when we try to avoid pain and struggle—in other words, when we attempt the impossible. By summoning the courage to open that door to the past and walk through the darkness and fear, you can come out the other side as a different person. You can discover a higher place and the freedom to move through the world as a higher self.
What if I can’t do the work that trauma therapy requires?
Deep healing takes commitment and dedication. But, you do not have to do it alone. Whether you are struggling with trauma or trauma and substance abuse, I will be there every step of the way, guiding you through the therapy process with patience and understanding. I fully believe that you can do the work. You inherently already have what it takes to address the past and make positive changes in your life. As your therapist, I will offer the education, skills and guidance you need to believe it for yourself.
What if therapy doesn’t work?
If you have gone through most of your life feeling threatened, betrayed and defeated, it can be difficult to believe that it’s possible to live in a different way. But, I invite you to consider this—what do you have to lose by trying, except for this suffering? What do you have to gain? Just by finding your way to this page, you have demonstrated a desire to let go of distress and see what else life has to offer. I believe there is so much more out there for you.
You Can Live on Your Terms
I invite you to call me at 303.910.0800 for a free, 15-minute phone consultation. We can discuss trauma therapy and my practice in Englewood, CO.