Therapy for Trauma Recovery

Your trauma is valid. Give yourself permission to heal. 

Your trauma was never your fault.

What happened will never be okay. You didn’t deserve it. It wasn’t your fault. You needed someone to protect you. You needed a different experience. You needed love and nurturing and safety. The terribleness of it all has left insurmountable pain and the associated suffering that has continued long after the initial trauma may even feel worse than the initial pain. Your trauma is valid. And for those who may not recognize it, trauma is not always visible like the stereotypical depictions of trauma (car accident or combat experience). Most of the time, our trauma can present as emotional neglect, a low sense of belonging, chronic invalidation, unrealized dreams, or poor social treatment that we may have harmfully normalized. We can help you heal from trauma and regain your sense of empowerment.

It’s time to reclaim your power and move toward greater wellness.

What is Trauma?

Trauma brings the most vulnerable parts of ourselves to the surface. Most people think of trauma in terms of large events that have a great deal of visibility, such as a major car accident, a natural disaster, or military service – but it’s important to also recognize trauma that occurs on a smaller scale that can be equally as painful. For example, growing up in a household where there was constant fighting, feeling abandoned by friends, going through a tough relationship breakup, chronic feelings of discouragement or emotional neglect, repeated disappointments, difficulties overcoming life barriers, unresolved goals, and more can all be considered trauma.

There are many signs and symptoms of trauma, as it is a complex process that can manifest differently in every person and vary in severity depending on circumstances. Many people may experience intrusive thoughts and flashbacks, as well as difficulty concentrating, feelings of guilt or shame, or feelings of being abandoned or rejected. Mood swings, fear, distrust, and an inability to sleep, as well as changes in personality and attitude are also common. Some people may feel detached from reality, have difficulty connecting with others, or struggle to make decisions. People who have experienced extreme emotional trauma may also exhibit signs of PTSD, including panicking or feeling constantly on edge, and becoming easily overwhelmed.

Some trauma survivors may experience numbness in their body, headaches, nausea, and stomach problems. In some cases, physical signs may even include blood pressure and heart rate changes, as well as a feeling of tension or tightness in the body. Additionally, changes in weight or appetite are not uncommon. These can range from an increase or decrease in one or the other, often leading to severe complications in the affected person’s health.

Overall, trauma is a very real and impactful condition, and having faced it can be crushing, overwhelming, and can cause feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. It is important for anyone who has experienced trauma to seek help and treatment, as trauma can have long-term effects on mental health if left untreated. At River Oaks Psychology, we deeply believe that all trauma is valid and you are deserving of healing and recovery. If you’re experiencing painful memories, flashbacks, panic attacks, guilt or frustration from past experiences, a diminished sense of self-worth, depression or anxiety – or any other number of trauma symptoms – please reach out to us. We would be honored to work with you in a safe, confidential environment where we can gently explore the things that have caused you pain and create real progress together toward healing and empowerment.

All types of trauma are important.

How can therapy help with Trauma?

Trauma-informed therapy involves exploring the effects of the trauma and the feelings and thoughts associated with it. Through therapy, individuals can identify the root cause of their distress and develop effective ways to manage their symptoms. Therapy can provide validation and understanding, as well as a space to discuss the trauma and process the emotions associated with it. In addition, treatment for trauma may also involve building a strong social support system, finding safe outlets for self-expression, normalizing your trauma story, building upon your coping skills, and reframing negative thinking patterns.

There are a variety of techniques used in trauma-informed therapy, depending on the needs of the individual. These include emotional processing, guided imagery, somatic therapies, cognitive-behavioral therapy, narrative therapies, and dialectical behavior therapy, among others. These techniques are designed to help you gain insight into the traumatic event, process the emotional reaction, gain control of their emotions and behaviors, and develop new ways of being.

The overall goal of trauma-informed therapy is to reduce symptoms, increase a person’s ability to cope, and to maximize their ability to function in their everyday life. It is also important to help the person build resilience and to empower them to make positive changes in their lives. It focuses on creating safety, building trust and establishing effective communication.

In addition, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a specific therapeutic modality that can help with trauma resolution. In this type of therapy, the person focuses on recalling the traumatic incident and utilizing principles of cognitive processing. While you are discussing the trauma and focusing on it, the therapist will gently encourage you to move your eyes back and forth in a specific pattern. This technique is believed to assist the person in reprocessing the trauma, allowing for more resolution and emotional regulation.

Above all, no matter the type of trauma, therapy can provide a safe and supportive atmosphere to process and resolve the emotions associated with it. While trauma can feel overwhelming at times, therapy can offer practical tools to help you heal. Your trauma does not need to be your entire story. You will continue to build a life of fulfilling experiences, relationships, accomplishments, and milestones that you will celebrate and incorporate into your whole life journey. Your trauma experience is just one part of the picture. Therapy provides an environment where you can simply process what you have gone through to better understand how it has impacted your life today. If you or a loved one is struggling with trauma, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would be honored to work with you.