When you experience a traumatic event, it can change your life. Our brains are altered as a result of trauma, becoming overactive and hyper-alert in an effort to keep us safe. Trauma also lives in our bodies, affecting the way our nervous system functions. After a traumatic event you may feel more fearful and anxious, and you may worry that you’ll never feel truly calm again. You may feel that life will never return to normal. Often, people who have experienced trauma feel afraid to take any risks or try something new. Some feel afraid of life itself. A common reaction is to shut down and try to pretend the event never happened or that it didn’t affect us. We may feel that we deserved it or that it’s our problem alone and shun others’ help.
Some common reactions to trauma are:
- A heightened alertness or vigilance
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Substance Abuse
- Withdrawal from life events
It can be very scary to think about coming to therapy to talk about a traumatic event. Diving right away into a recounting of the traumatic event has been shown to be ineffective - and in some cases, can be retraumatizing. Instead, therapy starts with building a foundation of support, self-regulation, and safety. Therapy can help build upon your strengths and your resilience (you are more resilient than you think!). This helps manage your natural fight, flight, or freeze reactions and can help dissipate some of the hyper-arousal you may be feeling. Once this foundation has been built, it may or may not be helpful to explore the traumatic event in greater detail as you work to integrate the traumatic event into your life.
Therapists at Live True Counseling Can Help
Live True Counseling therapists have the training and the experience to help you manage trauma. We offer a warm and welcoming safe space and we move at a pace that feels right for you. We can help you build and access the supportive foundation that will allow you to move forward. We understand that learning to trust again and take risks may include small, incremental changes. We also understand that you can’t wish away trauma and that moving forward means finding a way to live your life with the experience of trauma as part of it.