At Anchor Therapy, we have extensive experience working with people who have suffered from various forms of trauma. Trauma can leave you feeling lost and confused because it affects the body and mind in different ways. You may have difficulty sleeping at night or feel like your thoughts and emotions are out of your control. Whether it occurred last week or years prior, trauma symptoms can be triggered at any time.
High rates of depression and anxiety are also common, which sometimes make it difficult to distinguish. We use trauma-informed care to help our clients identify and understand the situations in their lives that damaged their sense of safety and wellbeing. We utilize mindfulness, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), and Narrative Therapy tools to help work through the trauma and regain a sense of control. A wide range of life events can cause trauma, and some are easier to recognize than others.
Trauma-informed therapy is not just for people with an obvious source such as violence and abuse, but also applies to those with a history of loss or difficulties that have impacted the way you experience the world. Once you are able to learn healthy coping skills, you will be able to see the future with a new outlook.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM TRAUMA COUNSELING AT ANCHOR THERAPY:
Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extreme events in life that cause a person to lose their sense of security in the world. Trauma can be caused by a number of events where the person feels frightened and helpless.
One-time events such as:
Violent attack, or
Witnessing another person experience any of these is one cause of trauma
Additionally, this effect can happen from ongoing and extreme stress such as:
Living in a community where there is a lot of crime
Years of bullying
Domestic violence, or
Neglect in childhood
There are many causes to trauma that have gone overlooked yet can cause long term struggles. Including:
The sudden death of a loved one
A contentious break up of a long term relationship
Years of struggling with anxiety or depression
Seeing violent images daily on social media or the news
Anything that causes long term stress in a person.
Another focus of Anchor Therapy is working with childhood trauma.
Loss of a parent
Long term illness
Surgeries or medical procedures that occurred in childhood
Studies have shown that there can be significant long term effects of such experiences in childhood. Early intervention and support is key in repairing a child’s self-image and trust in their environment.
How to know if you are experiencing trauma symptoms…
Emotional and Psychological trauma Symptoms include:
Anger, irritability, mood swings
Guilt, shame, and self-doubt
Fear and anxiety
Withdrawal from loved ones
Feeling sad, hopeless, or disconnected
Flashbacks of vivid memories
Avoidance of reminders of the trauma
Physical Trauma Symptoms Include:
Insomnia or nightmares
Fatigue and excessive sleepiness
Racing heartbeat or tightness in your chest
Being easily startled by sounds and other people
Body aches and pains
What is Trauma-Informed Therapy?
Trauma-informed therapy was designed to connect the body and mind in order to fully heal and manage any symptoms that may arise. Using experiential and cognitive treatments help the client to be able to process their trauma, and reduce their symptoms in the moment.
trauma-informed therapy Techniques include:
Somatic Experiencing/ Mindfulness: you will work on relaxation to help control and understand your body when experiencing symptoms of trauma.
Mindful breathing for when you are feeling disoriented, have racing thoughts, or sudden change in mood
Sensory work to help you identify what sounds, smells, and tastes to help you to relax. As well as identifying sensory triggers to trauma symptoms
Grounding exercises such as progressive muscle relaxation to work on being more present in your life from moment to moment
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): this allows you to identify and change the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that have become connected to your trauma
Narrative Therapy Techniques: this experiential component is addressed after you have worked through relaxation techniques, and will focus on the trauma at a pace that allows you to feel safe
Trauma narrative is used to help you make sense of the experience, release the memories that have been buried deep in your mind
Restorying is the next step which involves going over the experience multiple times in order to reduce and eventually remove feelings of shame and self-blame. This allows you to take control over the narrative, and also open your mind to looking at positive aspects of life
Feelings of safety is at the heart of all trauma therapy.
In order to provide true trauma-informed care we will first work on helping you feel emotionally and physically safe in the therapy room. You will learn coping skills, self-care tools, and relaxation techniques to use at home. We will always move at a pace that feels good for you with respect and understanding. The effects of trauma sometimes feel overwhelming and endless. The most important thing to remember is the symptoms and the trauma are not who you are, but how you have made sense of an extreme situation. Whatever the experience may be, you have survived it, and deserve to live a full and happy life.