Bringing your trauma history to therapy isn’t easy. We will work together to gently uncover only what is needed to be processed, and to make sure you have lots of resources to support you while you are doing this difficult and fulfilling personal work.
Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a result of exposure to traumatic experience. Everyone who has been exposed to trauma does not get PTSD, and in fact, we are not sure why some people do and some people do not. However, it is potentially debilitating condition but it is also treatable.
Nobody gets through life without experiencing something that is traumatizing. However, human beings are constructed to be able to handle trauma. We have nervous systems that react quickly to threats and when the threat is over, the nervous system reboots itself. In PTSD, that reboot doesn’t happen as it should, and the nervous system becomes like a thermostat that gets stuck on “too high” or “too low.”
Treatment for trauma-related conditions includes medical care and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy includes three phases:
- stabilization, where you learn skills to help you regulate your emotions, improve sleep, and become more stress tolerant,
- reprocessing, where you work directly with the trauma material in a careful, graduated way to develop tolerance for it
- integration, where you work on how you’ll be in the world with your trauma history managed.
There is a strong evidence base for use of particular psychological treatments in PTSD, and those are the ones we work with in this practice. I use EMDR therapy, Prolonged Exposure (PE), or narrative therapy in working with trauma.