Empower Yourself Through Trauma Therapy – Your Guide to Healing and Hope: by Empower Counseling.
Trauma can leave lasting scars, not just physically but emotionally and mentally as well. Seeking help for trauma, whether months or even years after trauma can be a difficult step to take, as it requires an you to open up about your experiences which may make you feel vulnerable. However, with the right guidance and support from a professional therapist or counselor, taking this step towards healing can also bring hope and empowerment back into your life. Through understanding one’s own trauma and working through it with the help of an experienced licensed counselor, you can finally start to move forward in a positive direction again.
What is Trauma informed Therapy and How Can It Help You Heal
As a therapist, I can attest to the profound impact that Trauma-Informed Therapy can have on individuals who have experienced traumatic events. Trauma-Informed Therapy refers to an approach that takes into account the pervasive nature and impact of trauma in clients’ lives. It operates under several principles, including safety, trustworthiness, collaboration, empowerment, and sensitivity to cultural, historical, and gender issues.
This therapy is especially beneficial for clients who have experienced traumatic events such as physical or emotional abuse, severe accidents, or natural disasters. It acknowledges the significant influence of these experiences on an individual’s brain, shaping their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Rather than focusing solely on symptoms, Trauma-Informed Therapy emphasizes the inherent strengths and resilience of each client, fostering a sense of empowerment and self-efficacy.
Safety and Control
A key goal of this therapeutic approach is to restore a sense of safety and control in the client’s life. This is achieved by creating a supportive and secure therapeutic environment where you feel comfortable exploring your past traumas. As therapists, we collaborates closely with our clients, validating your experiences, and providing tools and strategies to help you navigate your emotional responses effectively.
Through Trauma-Informed Therapy, you can gradually process your traumatic experiences, reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress, and cultivate healthier coping mechanisms. Moreover, this approach promotes personal growth and resilience
At Empower Counseling, our compassionate therapists are trained in Acceptance Commitment Therapy for trauma and PTSD. This trauma informed form of therapy is a scientifically proven effective method of treating trauma and the effects of trauma. Our counselors will not push you to discuss anything you are not ready to discuss when it comes to the trauma you have experienced. Instead we will support you and empower you on your journey to heal.
Identifying Your Needs for Effective Trauma Therapy
As trauma therapists in Birmingham, we can attest to the profound psychological and physical effects of traumatic experiences. Trauma refers to an emotional response to a distressing event, such as an accident, disaster, or other forms of violence. Trauma can occur after one single event or multiple events. The effects of trauma can range from subtle to debilitating depending on the event and the individual affected. It disrupts the brain’s normal functioning, particularly in areas responsible for memory, emotion regulation, and threat detection, leading to an altered stress response and heightened arousal.
How Trauma Manifests
Trauma can manifest in various ways in an individual, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), dissociation, anxiety, and depression, among others. PTSD is characterized by intrusive memories, flashbacks, and nightmares related to the traumatic event. Dissociation involves a disconnection from reality, often seen as a coping mechanism to shield oneself from overwhelming distress. Anxiety and depression often stem from the chronic sense of fear and helplessness associated with trauma, leading to pervasive worry, sadness, and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.
Initial reactions to trauma can include:
Common reactions to trauma and PTSD include:
Though it might be difficult to assign names to these feeling as they are being experienced. Trauma can cause disregulation of emotions making you feel like you are out of control and can not handle your emotions. A want and need to regulate emotions can lead to different forms of substance abuse.
Moreover, there is a significant connection between trauma, including adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and chronic health conditions.
Common physical disorders associated with trauma and PTSD: trauma therapy needed
hyperarousal or hyper vigilience
Skin or dermatological disorders
Therapy and various coping mechanisms play a crucial role in helping individuals dealing with trauma overcome hyperarousal and better manage its effects on their lives.
Your trauma informed therapist will identify how trauma is effecting you on a regular basis.
Hyperarousal refers to a state of heightened emotional and physical arousal often seen in individuals who have experienced trauma. It’s one of the primary symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but it can also occur independently.
Hyperarousal can manifest in various ways, including restlessness, irritability, hypervigilance, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances. It’s as if the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response has been activated and remains stuck in the ‘on’ position, leading to a constant state of alertness for potential threats. This continuous stress response can significantly impact different areas of a person’s life. It can lead to insomnia due to persistent fear and anxiety, strain relationships due to increased irritability and emotional volatility, and impair overall functioning due to constant fatigue and concentration difficulties.
Trauma-informed care: Find a qualified therapist
You don’t want just any therapist to guide you through the healing process of therapy for your trauma and PTSD. Look instead for a trauma informed therapist who only uses proven methods of therapy to treat trauma. There are several effective methods of therapy to treat trauma.
Look for Proven Methos of treatment for trauma
One scientifically method for treating trauma is Acceptance Commitment Therapy.
How do you know if you are working with a trauma informed therapist?
At trauma informed therapist understands the widespread impact of trauma and understands roads to recovery.
A licensed counslor who is trauma informed will recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma.
Your trauma informed counselor will respond appropriately in your care, supporting you in unraveling your trauma without pushing you.
A knowledgable therapist in the area of trauma will understand how you experienced your trauma and the lasting effects it has had on you, your life, and your relationships.
Preparing for Your First Session of Trauma Therapy
You get to decide who you want to work with on this most personal journey. So when in your first session, instead of simply answering the therapist’s questions, think about whether you want to work with this person. Think about the personality and demeanor of the trauma therapist. Do you like this person? Therapy can be a challenge at times. Liking your therapist will make it easier to show up at therapy, even when it might be difficult for you, increasing chances of successful treatment. You do not have to settle for just any therapist. You have the right to decide who you want to work with.
Working Through Difficult PTSD Emotions During Sessions
There are many uncomfortable feelings and emotions attached to trauma and PTSD. Anger, fear, anxiety, panic, sadness can all come up when thinking about or processing your trauma. Try not to avoid these emotions, especially in therapy. Therapy is a safe space in which having the perspective of your therapist as you are experiencing these emotions can be extremely helpful. Your therapist can work with you on techniques to ground yourself, or bring you back to the present moment, when these emotions occur.
Taking Care of Yourself After Sessions with Self-Care Strategies
As licensed mental health counselors, we at Empower Counseling understand that therapy sessions, especially those addressing trauma, can be emotionally taxing and it’s crucial to prioritize self-care afterwards.
One helpful strategy is practicing mindfulness exercises, which involve focusing on the present moment without judgement. This could be as simple as paying attention to your breath, observing the sounds around you, or mindfully eating a meal. These practices can help ground you when feelings or memories become overwhelming.
Journaling can also be an effective self-care tool. Writing about your thoughts and feelings after a session can help process emotions and provide a safe space for self-expression. You might consider prompts such as “What did I learn about myself during this session?”, or “What strengths did I recognize in myself today?”. Focusing on the positive take aways can be very affirming.
Certain deep breathing techniques can also be beneficial in managing stress and anxiety. Try taking slow, deep breaths, filling your lungs completely and then slowly exhaling. This can help calm your body’s stress response and promote relaxation.
Self-reflection is another powerful tool. Reflect on your progress, no matter how small it may seem. Acknowledge your courage in facing your trauma and your commitment to your healing journey. Be your own greatest cheerleader!
Avoid behaviors that may hinder your healing process. Self-medicating, whether with alcohol, drugs, or even excessive food or sleep, can lead to further emotional distress. Blaming yourself for past events or for your current emotions only perpetuates negative thought patterns. And while it’s natural to want to retreat when you’re feeling vulnerable, try not to isolate yourself. Reach out to supportive friends, family, or a support group.
Self-Care is not a luxury
Remember, self-care is not a luxury, but a necessary part of your healing journey. Be patient with yourself, celebrate your progress, and know that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. You are not alone in this journey, and with each step, no matter how small, you are moving towards healing.
Reaching Out for Support When Needed Throughout the Process
As a mental health specialist, I cannot overstate the importance of seeking support when undergoing trauma therapy. The process of healing from trauma can be daunting and emotionally challenging, making the presence of a supportive network crucial for recovery. Support can come in various forms, such as professional help from therapists or counselors, peer support groups, or comfort from friends and family.
Professional Support: Trauma therapy
Professional support, like trauma informed Acceptance Commitment Therapy with Empower Counseling in Birmingham, offers structured guidance to help you navigate your traumatic experiences. Our therapists provide evidence-based interventions, like ACT, a higher level cognitive-behavioral therapy tailored to each your unique needs. For instance, our trauma therapists might help someone suffering from nightmares due to trauma develop techniques to manage these distressing dreams effectively.
Peer support groups provide a sense of community and shared understanding. Here, individuals can connect with others who have undergone similar experiences, reducing feelings of isolation. For example, a person struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder might find relief in sharing their experiences with others who truly understand their struggles, and learning coping strategies that have worked for them.
Support from Friends and Family
Lastly, friends and family can provide emotional support and practical assistance. Simple acts of kindness, like listening without judgment or helping with daily tasks, can reduce stress and promote feelings of safety and care.
In essence, support during trauma therapy is not just beneficial—it’s essential. It fosters a healing environment that validates your experiences, reduces feelings of isolation, and equips you with practical tools to navigate their recovery journey. Seeking and accepting support while engaging in trauma therapy can enhance your resilience and expedite your path towards healing.
Results of trauma therapy with empower counseling
As a therapist, the transformation I witnessed with a former client stands as a testament to the resilience inherent in all of us, a testament to the power of hope. This client came to me burdened with the weight of trauma, her spirit encased in a shell of distress and despair. However, through a journey of healing and recovery facilitated by our chosen therapeutic approach, she managed to reclaim her life from the shadows of their past.
The techniques and interventions we applied were instrumental in this journey. Cognitive restructuring helped her challenge and change herharmful thought patterns, while mindfulness exercises fostered a sense of presence and peace. The development of coping skills was an essential aspect of their progress, building resilience and instilling confidence that she could handle life’s challenges.
The therapeutic alliance formed between us provided a safe and nurturing space for the client. It allowed her to express her deepest fears and pains, to confront their trauma instead of fleeing from it. And in doing so, she found that she could move past it, that her trauma was a chapter of her life, not the whole book.
This client’s journey from trauma to recovery illuminates the profound impact of seeking professional help. It underscores how therapeutic approaches can nurture hope, foster resilience, and provide a path towards healing. For those who have experienced trauma, remember that you don’t have to walk the path alone. Therapists at Empower Counseling are here to guide and support you, to help you navigate your way towards a brighter, hopeful future. There is always a way forward, there is always hope.
It’s easy to get started
- Click here and scroll down to the bottom of our home page.
- Request an appointment with one of our trauma therapists, Savannah, Marti, Kathryn.
- Start your healing process.
ACT trauma therapy is not the only service we offer at our Birmingham, Alabama counseling clinic. We also offer in-person or online counseling for depression, anxiety counseling, and counseling for difficult life transitions like graduating from college, getting a divorce, or changing careers. Our services are available for teen counseling, counseling for college students, therapy for young adults and counseling and coaching for professionals. We also happen to be the experts in Birmingham in counseling for perfectionism.