Traumatic experiences can significantly impact physical and psychological functioning, but they don’t have to haunt you for the rest of your life. Trauma can take various forms – physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; assault; neglect; torture; terrorism or political violence; combat; bullying; racism; weight-stigma; natural disaster; traumatic grief (i.e., losing a loved one unexpectedly); experiencing physical harm (e.g., a car accident); receiving a serious medical diagnosis, etc. – and can impact our emotions, relationships, sense of self, and our behavior, as well as our appetite, activation, sleep, and other aspects of daily living. Survivors may experience anxiety, depression, mistrust, or feelings of guilt. Some might meet full criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Others might turn to substances, eating disorder symptoms, or other self-destructive behaviors to cope.
Healing from trauma does not happen overnight but does not have to involve years and years of treatment. Evidence-based therapies, such as Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) are shorter-term, solution-oriented approaches that are effective in addressing the emotional and behavioral correlates of traumatic stress presentations.
Our therapists are trained in these approaches and can work with clients individually and in groups and can make referrals to psychiatrists for medication evaluations, when appropriate. Initial goals for trauma treatment might be stabilization/containment and symptom management. Once the client is stabilized and a safe, therapeutic relationship is established, the deeper trauma work can begin. Our therapists help clients process traumatic experiences while providing them skills and tools for safety and coping outside of session. While processing traumatic experiences in therapy, clients might concurrently learn how to regulate emotions, cope with distress, and engage in self-care outside of treatment. Clients are encouraged to be active collaborators in the treatment process, providing feedback to their therapists about the pace and depth of the work they are doing together.