Have you experienced stressors so severe that you cannot seem to move on? You may try to put it out of your mind and avoid triggering things, but you continue to feel stuck reliving those painful and frightening memories. Sometimes it is so overwhelming that you may find yourself “checking out.” Feeling controlled by your past can make it feel like you are destined to suffer.
Symptoms of Trauma
There are several different types of trauma (single-incident, complex, developmental). Different kinds of experiences can cause each; no type is better or worse to suffer and recover from. But if you have experienced something that has resulted in any of the following symptoms, it may be time to reach out for help.
- You continue to re-experience the trauma (e.g. flashbacks, nightmares)
- You do whatever you can to avoid triggers and reminders of trauma
- You’ve had increases in negative thoughts and feelings since the trauma (e.g. self-blame, feeling worthless, etc)
- You are experiencing increased reactivity (e.g. hypervigilance, startling easily)
- Relationships with others, and/or yourself, do not feel safe
Therapy to Address Your Trauma Can Help
At this point, perhaps it’s difficult to even remember what you and your life were like before the trauma(s); sometimes it begins before we even have words to describe it, or was so intense and/or repetitive that we don’t know who we are without it. Life without post-trauma feelings and reactions is possible, however. Alleviation of these symptoms can return you to normal functioning, allowing for increased capacity for peace and contentment, finding healthy relationships with self and others, and an ability to rebuild a ‘life worth living.’
Katie Plumb’s Approach
Each therapist working with trauma will bring modalities to the session depending on what each individual client needs. The first step in all trauma work, however, is safety. We will work together to foster a sense of trust and connection within our relationship; I will also teach you skills to cope with stressors and help regulate your emotions and reactions. Some of this work will involve Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Somatic (body-based) strategies, and grounding.
When safety and trust has been established, we can begin the deeper work of processing and working through your trauma. I use Brainspotting, Parts work, Experiential therapies, Narrative, and Expressive Arts for this purpose, tailoring my approach to what each client needs.