Have you experienced some type of painful event in your life- whether as a child or adult? Does this painful experience seem to continue to hold on to you no matter how much you want to let it go-almost like a weight that just can't be lifted-holding you back from living a life free of this past?
In trauma therapy (or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Therapy), we call these traumatic events. Trauma is often associated with a loss of power and control in one's life. In my experience, as a result of adapting to overcome trauma, many people develop tremendous strength and survival skills or what we call-resilience. However, at some point, those same skills they found helpful to make it through at the time, can sometimes develop into unhealthy patterns later on such as difficulty building healthy relationships, trust, anxiety, anger, and low self-esteem. Therapy can help to overcome the past and break those patterns so you can live a life empowered and of your own design.
As a trauma therapist, I have worked with clients who have experienced a wide variety of trauma including physical, sexual assault, or emotional abuse as an adult and or childhood trauma. Sometimes these traumas have been perpetrated by people they know. Sometimes, they have been victims of crimes by someone they did not know. Yet, trauma does not have to be someone that did something to you. It could also be becoming aware of, witnessing, or experiencing a terrible accident, injury, or death. Additionally, military veterans and first responders/others in the helping field can find themselves experiencing Secondary or Vicarious trauma from the nature of their work.
There is no clear cut explanation in determining what has the potential to actually be traumatic to someone since we are all individuals and experience things in our own way. The symptoms of trauma, Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD), or Complex-Post Traumatic Stress (C-PTSD) an also vary greatly from anxiety and depression to isolation-even anger. Some are reactive responding with misplaced anger being labeled as "the angry person" not making the connection between this response and past trauma. This is why things like anger management may not always be effective as it is not addressing the underlying issue. Trauma informed care, specifically EMDR Therapy, can be powerful in regards to addressing the root of the problem. This is why I have been trained and utilize this model in my work with clients. As an EMDR therapist, I have found greater hope and effectiveness in helping my clients heal from their past to live productive and happier lives.