Therapy for Trauma
DO YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF TRAUMA?
Severe symptoms of trauma and-or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) include:
Trauma can also cause generalized anxiety disorder, clinical depression, suicidality and other mental health conditions.
Less severe, but still very damaging, symptoms of trauma or PTSD have the following impact:
WHY DOES TRAUMA CAUSE THESE SYMPTOMS?
Traumatic incidents are stored differently in the brain than non-traumatic experiences. The emotions, thoughts and sensory perceptions which were appropriate at the time of the trauma can be triggered throughout the person’s life at times when trauma is not present.
Sometimes people remember exactly what trauma caused these symptoms. Sometimes people don’t remember at all. Either way, therapy can help.
WHAT IS TRAUMA? WHAT IS A “BIG T” OR A “LITTLE T” TRAUMA?
Definitions of Trauma vary, but the “official” definition required for a PTSD diagnosis requires that the person was exposed to death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence through either direct exposure, witnessing it in person, indirectly by learning that a close relative or friend was exposed to trauma or repeated or extreme indirect exposure in the course of professional duties. Any event that falls into this category would be a big “T” trauma. The “Big T” traumas are what people usually think of when they hear the word trauma: war, rape, major accidents, childhood physical or sexual abuse.
A “Little T” trauma includes childhood neglect, repeated verbal abuse from a close family member or authority figure, bullying, domestic abuse, complex grief. “Little T” traumas are more common events that people usually don’t identify as traumatic. The “Little T” Traumas, particularly when they happen to children, can have a major impact on how people view themselves and the world. Coping with ongoing “Little T” traumas can have long lasting effects.
Recovery is possible!
Therapy can be very effective for trauma, whether you have PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), ASD (Acute Stress Disorder), Panic Attacks, Generalized Anxiety Disorder or a Dissociative diagnosis.
The World Health Organization states that trauma-focused CBT and EMDR are the only psychotherapies recommended for PTSD. (2013 Report).
Barbara Heffernan specializes in working with adults and older adolescents who have experienced trauma. Barbara is an Approved EMDR Consultant and a Certified EMDR Therapist, and she utilizes a combination of CBT, EMDR, visualization, mindfulness and grounding techniques. Barbara has worked extensively with clients with dissociative symptoms, PTSD, and anxiety. Barbara also works with couples using EMDR and EMDR concepts to facilitate emotional and physical intimacy.