Perhaps you notice that you are easily startled, often feel “on edge,” and find yourself fearful of people or places that you reasonably know are safe. You might have unwanted thoughts and memories about a specific event that seems impossible to let go of. Maybe you feel distant from the things that once brought you joy and disconnected from your body in times of distress. For the first time, you may be wondering if it’s time to see a therapist who works with trauma survivors.
Maybe You’ve Wondered If Your Experience “Counts” As Traumatic
You may have asked yourself if you suffer from trauma, but each time, you might conclude that your experience wasn’t that bad or that other people have it worse. Nonetheless, trauma is serious no matter what kind of experience you went through. A traumatic experience is essentially any event—or series of events—that disrupts your life and negatively impacts your sense of safety.
This can include physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Other examples may include prolonged exposure to something aversive, such as the experiences of first responders, or witnessing the death of someone close to you. If you are struggling with one or more of the experiences listed above, you may be suffering from symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or another trauma-related disorder.
Thankfully, you don’t have to keep living in the shadow of the past. At MindWell NYC, our therapists are committed to helping you process and resolve your trauma so that you can regain control of your emotions and live a fuller, more joyful life.
Trauma Can Feel Deeply Isolating, But It’s Incredibly Common
It’s normal to feel alone in your trauma, as if you’re the only one dealing with it. But in reality, trauma occurs quite frequently. Some statistics report that up to 70% of people have experienced a traumatic event (1) and it’s estimated that around 6% of individuals will struggle with PTSD at some point in their lifetime (2).
Sadly, many people don’t realize just how universal trauma really is. They may not even recognize it in their own lives. They think that trauma is exclusive to combat veterans and people who’ve suffered from tremendous violence. They don’t realize that many of their own experiences—being in toxic relationships, growing up with controlling parents, or enduring a chronic illness—can be traumatizing. A mental health professional can help you understand how some of your own life experiences may have caused hidden emotional scars.
Many People Feel Too Ashamed Of Their Trauma To Talk About It
Experiencing a traumatic event often prompts feelings of sadness, fear, shame, and anger. Those feelings can be difficult to talk about. As a result, it’s all too easy to hide your emotional injuries and keep your experiences a secret. However, it is important to note that PTSD and other trauma related disorders are treatable and that learning to talk about your experience can be a critical part of overcoming it.
In counseling, you have the chance to share your story with someone who is comforting, compassionate, and deeply informed about trauma and PTSD. Our therapists can provide you with the knowledge to better understand your experience and the tools to cope with it more effectively.
Therapy Can Help You Heal From Your Trauma And Move Forward In Life
Many people seeking trauma therapy believe that they will experience painful thoughts and emotions for their entire life. While it is true that many symptoms may wax and wane over the course of a lifetime, MindWell NYC offers effective treatments that can greatly reduce the impact trauma has on your life. The past does not define you—traumatic experiences can be part of your life without being your whole life.
Working together, you and your therapist will come up with a goal-oriented plan based on your past experiences, current symptoms, and future goals. The qualified providers at MindWell NYC are dedicated to your healing. We understand how brave it is to seek therapy for PTSD and other trauma-related disorders and will assist you in reaching your goals using the latest and most researched treatment interventions available.
What To Expect In Trauma Treatment Sessions
During sessions, we will collaboratively help you recognize ways in which your traumatic experiences have impacted your thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. Next, we’ll identify what has gotten in the way of moving forward and start to work towards removing those roadblocks.
Given that trauma symptoms are often maintained by avoiding any thoughts, places, or people that prompt those symptoms, we will help you build your readiness to safely confront the sources of your fears. To do so, we’ll equip you with effective coping skills for managing your distress and relaxing your body.
What these skills look like depends on what works best for you. For example, maybe you know that exercise, meditation, or making art helps you feel less tense. By using those tools, combined with the new skills you learn in therapy, we can help you move toward a future that includes less worry and more freedom.
Approaches We Use To Treat Trauma And PTSD
Our practice draws from a wide range of evidence-based treatment methods. To help you learn to tolerate and reduce your distress, we often utilize Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE). And to help you reframe your perspective and overcome negative beliefs related to trauma (such as “My experience was my fault”), we may use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT).
As we work together, we will incorporate whatever approaches and modalities are best suited for your situation. Along the way, we will help you celebrate your successes by highlighting the progress that you have made and celebrating the skills you are starting to incorporate into your daily routine.
We understand the challenges that trauma can bring as well as how brave it is to come to therapy. We are here to help you connect with an evidence-based therapy plan that works for you and that can break you out of the exhausting cycle of memories, feelings, and behaviors you have been experiencing.
With the right help and support, you can learn more adaptive ways of being, have positive new experiences, and relate to yourself with more kindness and compassion.
You May Have Questions About Trauma Therapy….
Will you make me do something I don’t want to do?
It is important to know that everything we do in treatment is a collaboration between you and your therapist and we want you to feel safe at all times. That’s why we focus on gradually building up tolerance for difficult situations over time.
We’ll start by teaching you to navigate challenges that are the least anxiety-provoking. Then we’ll give you new skills and techniques, including breathing and relaxation methods, to help you cope with more difficult challenges when they arise.
Can I take my medication while I am in therapy?
This is another commonly asked question for individuals who are considering participating in therapy for trauma-related disorders. We will work with you and your prescriber to determine the plan that we believe will help you be most successful in managing your symptoms. Whether or not you stay on medication is entirely your choice.
How long will it take me to feel better?
It makes sense that you are trying to get a sense of timing and how long it will take you to feel better. People tend to feel better after several weeks of therapy, although treatment itself can take several months. As your therapists, we will help you take small steps to decrease your trauma reactions over time. Regardless of how long therapy takes, we encourage you to be kind to yourself and move at a pace that’s right for you.
You Can Feel Less Burdened And More Joyful Again
If you want to learn more about our evidence-based approach to trauma therapy, contact us for a free 15-minute phone consultation today by calling 646-809-5440 or using the contact form. We look forward to welcoming you soon at MindWell NYC!