Trauma refers to any real or perceived life-threatening situation that causes you emotional distress. Research shows that trauma, especially childhood trauma, can negatively impact your physical and mental health in different ways including possible increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and other potentially risky behaviors, including self-medicating with drugs and alcohol or engaging in self-harm. Untreated trauma can also impact sleep, work performance and your relationships with family, friends, and intimate partners.
Some may develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms after a trauma. But even if you don't develop PTSD, your past trauma may still affect your self-esteem, relationships, and sense of safety in the world.
My clients have experienced various types of traumas over the course of their lives. Here are some common types of traumas I treat in my practice:
Complex trauma can be challenging to define, as it doesn't necessarily have a specific beginning or end. This type of trauma could continue or repeat for a prolonged period of time for months or years and may entail multiple forms of trauma. Some examples include childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence, and cases of physical and sexual abuse.
Oppression, discrimination, and maltreatment due to race are common issues that minority populations face. This type of trauma is often intergenerational and collective. However, it can still feel incredibly isolating for the person enduring it.
An American is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds. Sexual assault includes any unwanted sexual act. This type of trauma can significantly impact one's emotional and physical health.
Physical abuse includes any act of violence, such as hitting, pushing, kicking, or otherwise assaulting. Many clients who were physically abused as children internalize that they somehow "deserved" the torture they received.
Emotional abuse can include within any relationship, but it's often most traumatic when it's between a child and caregiver or romantic partners. Emotional abuse can include threats, coercion, name-calling, criticism, and hostility.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based therapy commonly used for treating trauma and PTSD symptoms. Both the American Psychiatric Association and World Health Organization endorse it as an effective treatment for both children and adults.
The decision to enter trauma therapy is incredibly brave. It can also feel incredibly unnerving and scary. I understand these competing emotions, and I am here to gently support you in your journey toward healing.
Trauma doesn't have to define your present or future anymore. Therapy can help you recover from the emotional and physical pain from your past.
No matter which type of trauma you endured — or which negative beliefs you hold about yourself or the world around you — I would be honored to know your story. I am here to help you untangle yourself from your past to move forward in your healing.