Trauma Counseling and Therapy
Trauma Counseling and Therapy
Traumas in the past can form the core of our problems today. Our trauma informed therapy can guide your recovery. We are ready to help.
How Should One Approach Trauma? What is the Trauma Treatment That Gets Us Back to Living Life?
It’s been a long time “after the event” and you find yourself still fixated on it. Reliving and rethinking what happened. That “event” is different for everyone, but usually involves a specific moment, experience or person. It doesn’t have to be traumatic in the sense of the word that we use day-to-day (assault, abuse, etc.) but if a past experience still affects you deeply, even long after the fact, we would consider it trauma.
What trauma means to each person differs greatly. One person may be focused on a betrayal in a past relationship, while another person may be focused on their difficult childhood. It can also be as simple as a job loss, and how it jarred your sense of self-worth.
Many people that find themselves fixated on past traumas also have other struggles that keep them from the “normal” that they had before. This includes mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, addiction or body image perceptions. If you think that you are struggling with something from your past that is keeping you from living your full potential, and it is related to a past trauma, then having a therapist who is trauma-informed can make all the difference.
Many of our patients find it frustrating to not be able to participate in activities that once made them happy due to their fear of “triggering” a past memory. It’s a common goal for trauma patients to want to overcome this. We hear, “If only I could go to that family event…” or “If only I could get past this.”
You’re ready for everyday to stop feeling like Groundhog Day, to stop relieving the past, to stop feeling so numb and passive. No more letting your trauma define you and limit your life. It’s time to move from letting trauma control you, to take control of your past, and to start the life you want to live.
1-on-1 Therapies for:
OUR THERAPY APPROACHES
Our Clinicians also help with:
- Personal Growth
- Navigating Life Transitions (relocation, career changes, stage of life growth)
- Existential Concerns
- Managing Anger or Panic
- Gaining control over Substance use & Addiction
Contact us to schedule an appointment or ask a question:
Common Symptoms of Trauma
Coping with trauma looks different for every person. Here are some of the common signs of trauma that you may be experiencing. If any of these resonate with you, you may benefit from a trauma focused therapy.
Long term trauma symptoms:
- Chronic fatigue
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Unexplained physical pain
- Avoidance (especially of emotions)
- Feeling “always on guard”
- Dissociation with daily life
- Feelings of powerlessness
- Acting out
- Self esteem and body image issues
Common Types of Trauma That We Address
In addition to identifying your specific symptoms, understanding the type of trauma you are struggling with can help inform a plan for treatment. Here are the most common trauma related conditions you may be struggling with:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Acute Stress Disorder (ASD).
- Adjustment Disorders (AD).
- Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).
- Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder (DSED).
- Other and Unspecified Trauma- and Stress-Related Disorders.
Does your situation feel like your living a broken record, or worse, a broken record player? Call us for help.
It’s Not Only PTSD: Trauma is Common and Trauma Counseling and Therapy May Help.
Recent research suggests that around 67% of adults disclose having experienced something traumatic in their lives. 5-10% of those adults have experienced severe trauma to the point that they are diagnosed with a traumatic injury such as PTSD. You can see that the largest group of people that deal with trauma do so beyond our usual perceptions of trauma. These traumas may simply be events that worsened the person’s life in a significant way.
Many people can live productive lives without ever examining their traumatic experiences, but these people can feel that something is missing. That they haven’t fully recovered. We firmly believe that only by coping with the past can you build a better future. Counseling can help you understand the root of your traumas, change how you interpret and interact with that memory, and alter how you can put that experience in context of your life today.
Too many are told by friends or family to “suck it up” or “quit whining about that.” We can’t allow ourselves to think like that. Trauma is like a broken bone, you can’t just ignore it and suck it up, you have to see someone to treat it. Even then, trauma remains an ongoing struggle, it requires us to dig deep and act, to create meaning in the experience, and to take back control.
By increasing your self-awareness, you can begin to develop skills and coping strategies for addressing the triggers and symptoms of your trauma (with an emphasis on self-care). It may sound impossible, but over time and with guidance, at LifeStance you will learn to acknowledge the lingering thoughts of your trauma, and let them pass, giving you back control in your life.
Our Approach to Trauma Counseling: Trauma Informed Therapy
Our main two evidence-based modalities for treating trauma are EMDR and behavioral therapies such as CBT. Both of these use a similar approach with trauma:
- Develop safety and coping – Build a safe environment with your therapist in which you can discuss your trauma
- Review traumatic memories – Work on processing your traumas
- Integration – Integrate your trauma into your current life without letting it dominate you
“Trauma-focused Psychotherapies are the most highly recommended type of treatment for PTSD. “Trauma-focused” means that the treatment focuses on the memory of the traumatic event or its meaning. These treatments use different techniques to help you process your traumatic experience. Some involve visualizing, talking, or thinking about the traumatic memory. Others focus on changing unhelpful beliefs about the trauma. They usually last about 8-16 sessions.”
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Trauma
If you have a specific behavior pattern related to your trauma that you want to overcome, a behavioral approach works best.
Typically we start by identifying the memories of your trauma and triggers. What brings up the memory, how do you typically react? Do you try and suppress it for example?
Once we understand this, we can begin to work on how you interpret that trauma, and how that interpretation has changed your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Once you understand your patterns of thought and reactions we can work on a path forward. This can mean developing coping strategies, skills and stressor management that help you reduce the severity of your reaction to triggers.
We also use newer variations of cognitive behavioral therapy, often called “third wave” CBT [LINK], which include acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). The new idea behind these treatments is that you shouldn’t be constantly battling and suppressing your negative emotions, but learning to change your relationship to them, ideally to gain knowledge that they are there, and come to terms with them proactively, rather than reflexively reacting. Creating space for your trauma may be difficult to learn, but trying to defeat it is near impossible.
At LifeStance Health, it is especially important to us that you feel seen and heard in a safe space. Our focus is on your future success, and we are here to help you learn the coping skills you need to navigate any future situation.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for Trauma
In many ways, emotional trauma is similar to physical trauma (e.g. a broken bone). In fact, we can see the change in our brains when looking at a brain scan before and after a traumatic event. Trauma can become neurologically ingrained in your brain. EMDR is based on this fact, and used primarily for severe traumas.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) involves a visual stimulation of a client’s eyes. The client is asked to remember and work through their trauma while experiencing the visual stimulation. This method helps to desensitize traumatic memories.
EMDR allows traumatic memories to be dealt with in a therapeutic environment and accelerates our relearning and coping process. Both EMDR and Behavioral therapies encourage developing a deeper understanding and processing of the trauma, which helps to desensitize clients to their traumatic memory and adjust their behavior accordingly.
Regardless of what technique is best to treat your specific trauma, your past experiences can be reconciled with your daily life. Whether you still have daily flashbacks to your trauma or just feel that a past event still is affecting your life today, our therapists are trained to help. We are here to create a safe therapeutic space, and help you move towards a brighter future.
Break-free and begin your journey to
There is a future life where trauma does not control your day. Imagine yourself feeling calm, confident and ready to handle new situations with ease. The tools to living the life you have always envisioned are here, at your fingertips.
LifeStance Health can help.
Reach out directly to our Client Care Coordinator for questions, matching, and scheduling:
Our services are also available online through Zoom. Telehealth/Online counseling gives you the opportunity to explore your challenges in life without complicating your daily schedule.
Learn Tips for Managing Anxiety
Read about how anxiety and it’s symptoms can impact every area of life. From recognizing the signs of anxiety, tips and tricks for lowering Social Anxiety and even more information on how to get help for severe anxiety symptoms such as OCD.
The information you need is at your fingertips with these resources written by our expert team of therapists.
First Session Within 72 Hours of Calling
We book you an appointment within 24 hours of contacting us (usually less) and make sure your first appointment is soon after.
Call our office to schedule your appointment, or for any changes regarding scheduling.
Schedule by phone:
LifeStance Washington Locations
Kirkland (opens April 2022)
Tacoma Meadow Park
12900 NE 180th St, Suite 160
Bothell, WA 98011
21727 76th Ave West, Suite C
Edmonds, WA 98026
5201 Olympic Drive, Suite 210
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
22500 SE 64th Place
Building G, Suite 230
Issaquah, WA 98027
KIRKLAND (opens April 2022)
4030 Lake Washington Blvd NE
Kirkland, WA 98033
350 S 38th Ct
Renton, WA 98055
3707 Providence Point Drive SE,
Issaquah, WA 98029
Plaza 600 Building
600 Stewart St, Suite 1228
Seattle WA 98101
221 N Wall St.
Spokane WA 99201
2420 S. Union Ave, Suite 100
Tacoma, WA 98405
5909 Orchard Street West
Tacoma, WA 98467
17311 135th Avenue NE
Woodinville, WA 98072