Do certain images, sounds or thoughts trigger traumatic memories that make it difficult for you to have a healthy and happy life? Are you constantly on edge, worried the fear, pain, and distress you are experiencing will never end? Do you logically know that you didn’t cause or deserve what happened, but your emotions aren’t letting you feel that way? Maybe you have survived a car wreck, violent crime or physical or sexual abuse. Perhaps you experience physical symptoms such as tension, difficulty breathing or a racing heartbeat, or you shut down emotionally and physically as your mind replays the memory of the traumatic experience. You may criticize yourself or feel ashamed whenever unwanted images run through your mind. Or you might become hyper-vigilant in an effort to push back uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.
It can be difficult to keep up with daily obligations or sleep at night when your mind and body are constantly in fight-or-flight mode. You may prefer to numb yourself to intense emotions and the risk of pain, which can create conflict or distance in your relationships. Over time, the weight of your worries can leave you feeling anxious and depressed. Do you blame yourself for your trauma or PTSD? Do you wish you could escape the self-criticism and feelings of shame surrounding the traumatic event so you could feel calm and in control again? Or, do you wish you knew how to help a loved one who is suffering from trauma or PTSD?
Our ability to maintain our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing depends on a variety of factors, including genetics, cultural influence, learned skills, family relationships and available resources. An experience that is traumatic for someone else may not present any noticeable challenges for you. Similarly, you may struggle to cope with certain events or situations that others seem able to process and move past with little difficulty. Trauma can have many causes and even stem from painful or frightening experiences in childhood. While trauma and PTSD are often associated with physical or sexual abuse, violent crime, military or police service, other events, such as difficult pregnancy, car accident, illness/injury or the loss of a loved one, can also be traumatic.
It takes courage to heal from trauma. If you recognize that you are in pain and it’s disrupting the way you want to experience your life and relationships, there are steps you can take to find relief and be well. With trauma therapy at Integrated Counseling and Wellness in Rexburg, Idaho, you can stop letting your negative experience control you and move forward with greater strength and peace.
There is still hope to reclaim your life by healing your childhood trauma. If you’re living with emotional or psychological trauma from your childhood here are some tips that can help you heal.
–Acknowledge and recognize the trauma. Victims of childhood trauma spend years putting the past behind them and forgetting the events. This doesn’t heal childhood trauma in any way and could cause feelings of guilt or self-blame. The way that you can begin to heal is by acknowledging the event did happen and that you were not responsible for it.
–Reclaim control. When you’re a victim of childhood trauma, the past can control your present actions. Feelings of helplessness carry over into adulthood if you’re not willing to work out your trauma and reclaim control of your life. If you’re willing to let go of your defense mechanisms from the past, you will be able to reclaim control of your new life and heal your pain.
–Seek support and don’t isolate yourself. One thing that victims of childhood trauma carry with them is the difficulty to maintain healthy relationships and social lives. A large part of the healing process is to connect with the people around you, trying to maintain your relationship and seek support, or join a support group.
–Take care of your health. Your ability to cope with past stress will increase if you maintain your health. Create a day-by-day routine to make sure you get enough rest, have a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly. One of the most important things is to stay away from alcohol and drugs as these can trigger depression and other health issues.
-Learn acceptance and letting go. Accepting your trauma is only the beginning of recovery. Just because you accept your past doesn’t mean you’re embracing your trauma or that you agree with it. Once you decide to accept it, you can decide not to let it rule your life and let go. Letting go doesn’t mean that the issues stemming from your trauma are gone, it means that you will no longer allow them to rob you of your life.
–Replace unhealthy habits with good ones. Unhealthy habits can make it hard to overcome a childhood trauma. Most trauma habits fall into the categories of drugs, bad behaviors and other forms of negativity. A support group or therapist can help you learn the tools necessary to break your bad habits and create some good ones.
–Be patient with yourself. When you have had trauma in your childhood, you can go through several types of emotions like being out of control, hopelessness, warped perceptions and defense mechanisms that are hard to let go of. Learn to control these emotions with therapy and/or support groups.
We recognize that there is a difference between knowing that your traumatic experience was in the past and actually feeling calm and secure. In sessions, we provide a safe space and warm, compassionate guidance to help you overcome feelings of shame and self-criticism that have prevented you from healing and moving past your experience. Instead of shielding yourself from pain – and, as a result, love and safety – you can see your situation more clearly and begin feeling the goodness of the world again.
We take a compassionate, integrative approach to trauma therapy to help you set goals and experience healing in your life and relationships. With compassionate mind training, you can calm feelings of anxiety and shame while also cultivate a more peaceful and hopeful state of mind. You can learn how to receive compassion and understanding from others instead of reacting with defensiveness or suspicion. Once you can calm your fears and see your situation from a new perspective, you will give yourself room to experience joy and love in your life.
The strategies we develop during our trauma therapy sessions are tailored to your unique situation. By learning practical skills and tools that address not just your cognitive needs, but your emotional and relationship needs as well, you can resolve trauma and take back control of your life. You may be interested in trauma therapy but still, have questions or concerns…
I’m not sure I deserve to get better.
It is common for a traumatic experience to lead you to question what you could have done differently and carry self-criticism or shame, even when you know that you did not cause or deserve the event you went through. Though you may feel responsible in some way, or you may have grown used to the challenges in your life, it doesn’t mean that you deserve to continue suffering. We can help you view your experience from a wider and more authentic perspective, so you can feel comfortable accepting the healing you deserve.
Can trauma therapy really help me get better?
You may have tried a variety of approaches to manage and overcome trauma or PTSD with no success — from research and support groups to medication and even counseling. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to trauma therapy, but when you are willing to commit yourself to recovery, and build a trusting relationship with your therapist, you can learn to manage trauma symptoms and respond to distressing thoughts or emotions in a healthy and productive way. You can feel hopeful about your situation and confident that wellness is possible.
I’m too scared or embarrassed to talk about certain issues…
Traumatic experiences often carry a great deal of shame, and it can be extremely difficult to share your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly. The first step in overcoming your challenges is to build a trusting relationship with someone who can give you the professional guidance, skills and support you need. This process can take time, and it may be uncomfortable in the beginning, but we offer a safe, confidential environment where you can open up in your own time.
When you are overwhelmed, on edge and exhausted by trauma or PTSD, healing can feel like an intimidating, almost impossible journey. But with professional support, you can learn to process painful thoughts and emotions so you can retain the wisdom you gained from your experience without having to relive it. If you are ready to take control of your life, or if you have additional questions about trauma therapy, we invite you to call 208-357-3104 or contact us through this site to schedule your free 15-minute consultation. We welcome patients from Rexburg, Ammon and Idaho Falls.