Do You Feel Trapped By Painful, Traumatic Memories?
Have past events left an lasting mark on you? Does it feel like you’re stuck reliving the past whenever you’re triggered by something that reminds you of the trauma? Even though it isn’t rational, do you live with internalized shame or blame about what happened, as if it was somehow your fault?
Living with unresolved trauma means that at any moment, the past can become the present. Without warning, you are transported back to a time when you felt afraid, unsafe, and not in control of what was happening. In both body and mind, you might reexperience the same physical and emotional distress as if it were taking place again.
The Effects Of Trauma Can Permeate Every Aspect Of Your Life
Perhaps you have recurrent nightmares that cause sleep disturbances, hypervigilance, or flashbacks triggered by anything that reminds you of what happened. Or you may experience physical symptoms, such as panic attacks, an exaggerated startle response, or disassociation that leaves you feeling emotionally numb. As a result, you may avoid people, places, or situations you associate with troubling memories and, sadly, feel trapped by your fears.
If your sense of self is negatively impacted by trauma, it might be difficult to experience positive emotions or feel worthy of love. Rather than sensing safety and connection with others, you might perceive the world as a dangerous place where no one can be trusted. Lacking trust, safety, and self-confidence, you may struggle to maintain close relationships.
If only you knew how to free yourself of the painful memories and restore a sense of calm to your body and mind. Fortunately, trauma therapy can help you come to terms with what happened and heal. With counseling, you can redefine who you are and stop unresolved trauma or PTSD symptoms that keep you stuck in the past.
Trauma Is A Common Experience
Most people will experience some form of trauma. Approximately 61 percent of men and 51 percent of women report having at least one traumatic event in their lifetime.  In addition, “6 percent—or 3 in every 50 American adults—will have gone through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives.” 
We sometimes experience trauma through a single incident—such as a car accident, the sudden death of a loved one, or a difficult birthing process. Trauma can also be caused by prolonged, repeated incidents of childhood abuse or neglect, domestic violence, and religious trauma. What’s more, medical and mental health providers are often impacted by secondary trauma—also known as compassion fatigue—when bearing witness to a traumatic event, causing the same symptoms as if it had happened to them directly.
The Trauma Response Can Make It Hard To Get Help
Healing from trauma can be difficult because we often don’t have a good understanding of how profoundly our bodies are impacted by its protective mechanisms. When our fight-flight-freeze-fawn response gets activated, the body decides we’re not safe and goes into protection mode. Once we are triggered, we might end up pushing people away rather than getting the help we need.
Further, many survivors tend to believe that what happened to them shouldn’t have impacted them so deeply. Instead, they may minimize their trauma, compare what they went through to someone else, or feel weak for not being able to get over it on their own.
However, trauma affects everyone differently. Trying to diminish the impact it’s had on you won’t change how you feel. Receiving treatment for trauma or PTSD allows you to take control of the thoughts and feelings that have never left your mind and body so you can finally heal.
Therapy Offers A Safe And Effective Way To Heal From Trauma
If you have ever been told by someone that you should be grateful for the life you have now and move on from your past, this dismissive sentiment can further entrench your pain, confusion, and fear. Because trauma affects the body and, therefore, how you experience the past, present, and future, it isn’t something you can simply “get over.” To heal, you need to understand how your mind and body have been impacted and learn how to safely process what happened without risking re-traumatization.
Working with a counselor who specializes in PTSD, you can process your trauma in a safe, calm, compassionate space. You can gain a sense of power and control over your experience, develop greater trust in yourself, and rebuild safety in your life.
What To Expect In Sessions
At Cadence Psychology Studio, trauma treatment is addressed in three phases. Although you might begin therapy eager to jump into trauma processing, our first priority will be stabilization, providing you with what you need to feel safe and supported. We won’t discuss any details of your trauma until we have first developed and strengthened your skills for regulating emotions and tolerating distress.
Once you are ready, we will move into our next phase, trauma processing through remembrance and mourning. However, if you would rather not overtly talk about your trauma, we don’t necessarily have to. The final phase will be meaningful reconnection with yourself and others.
We Offer Effective Treatment Modalities For Trauma And PTSD
Whether your trauma or PTSD symptoms relate to childhood sexual abuse, neglect, or assault, in counseling, we will craft an individualized plan using a combination of therapeutic approaches, including:
Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD focuses on the connection between trauma, thoughts, and emotions. It teaches you how to challenge and modify unhelpful beliefs related to your trauma and create a new understanding and conceptualization of your experience;
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) clears the distressing emotional charge associated with painful memories;
Internal Family Systems makes contact with your traumatized parts, allowing you to safely release trauma stored within your body;
Attachment-focused trauma therapy builds a trusting and supportive therapeutic relationship to aid in overcoming the negative effects of early attachment wounds;
Somatic-based trauma therapy focuses on bodily sensations, identifying how emotions appear in the body and how they change and shift when given attention. Completing the stress response allows you to integrate unresolved trauma;
Mindfulness for trauma offers regulation and stabilization skill development, such as grounding techniques and guided imagery.
Living free from the pain of trauma offers a new path to open up ahead of you. With help and support, you can diminish the distress of painful memories, allowing you to build safe, meaningful connections with yourself and others and gain the confidence to navigate life's hardships.
But Maybe You’re Not Sure If Trauma Therapy Is Right For You…
What if I'm not ready to talk about what happened to me in trauma counseling but want to begin the recovery process?
As trauma-informed counselors, we aim to empower you in your healing journey. In trauma and PTSD therapy, you are always in charge, and your therapist will honor your "no" or "not yet." We follow a well-tested roadmap for trauma healing, guiding you slowly and safely through treatment. You get to set the pace, choose the route, change your mind, and take breaks. The body knows how to heal from trauma—talking about what happened is not the only way for the pain to be released.
I don't know if what I experienced was trauma—how can I be sure?
There are many ways to define trauma. Even if your experience does not fit the classic definition, perhaps your nervous system experienced an event as too much, too fast, or too soon. If the stress cycle—fight, flight, freeze, fawn—was initiated, your nervous system may remain stuck in survival mode. In trauma therapy, we can help you get unstuck, complete the stress cycle, and strengthen your nervous system's resilience and flexibility to better cope with future challenges.
I'm worried that healing my trauma could make me feel unsafe and vulnerable to being hurt again.
You might worry that without staying on guard for danger at all times, something bad could happen to you again. Although you have been a good student of life and learned a lot from your trauma, there is also a lot that needs to be unlearned to live more fully and authentically. Thus, healing from trauma will involve not just change—but adaptive change. The body and brain are designed to heal, guiding you toward change that will benefit your well-being and ensure safety.