Trauma Therapy

in Moscow, Idaho

Do You Wonder If Trauma Therapy Is Right For You?

Do you find yourself acting unlike who you want to be?

Irritable with loved ones, jumpy, too adrenalized or too sluggish? You might have trouble concentrating, or you could feel detached from others. There are things you can’t get out of your mind, and your thoughts get in your way.

You beat yourself up for it, and you want to fulfill your potential. Or, you’re already successful, yet you’re still not comfortable in your own skin. You know who you want to be at home, but you can’t seem to get there. It’s unsettling.

Something happened.

Out of the blue, something terrible happened to you or someone you love. Or your past was pretty rough for awhile. You keep telling yourself you should be “over it.”

You might have baffling or disturbing symptoms:

  • Trouble sleeping or disturbing dreams
  • Seeing painful images in your mind
  • Avoiding things you used to love: an activity, place, or relationship
  • Being with others, even people you like, might be hard
  • You might feel irritable, disconnected, or even spacy

You just can’t relax.

Some days, you wake up with a sense of dread, especially if you know the day has too much going on. Too many people. Situations you can’t control. You stay busy to avoid thinking, but you get an upset stomach or massive headache.

You wish you could just relax, get it together, and live the life you know you’re capable of.

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If You Think You Might Have PTSD, You’re Not Alone

Seven or eight percent of the U.S. population will have PTSD at some point in their lives, according to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs’ National Center for PTSD.  About 3.5% have PTSD during any given year. That amounts to millions and millions of people in the U.S. alone.

Many of the thousands who experience traumatic stress downplay their experiences. They assume only people who have been through certain things could have PTSD. They feel like something is “wrong” with them. PTSD symptoms can include feeling disconnected. So, they suffer in silence, not realizing many others experience the same things.

There’s a lot of confusion about what “trauma” means. People often have no idea that their experiences “qualify” as traumatic. They might not realize their symptoms are related to their experiences. Even some professionals who haven’t specialized in trauma therapy might not recognize trauma symptoms.

PTSD sufferers don’t realize how many people share their daily symptoms—many of whom they see in the grocery store, on the job, or in hundreds of other everyday settings.

With a trained trauma therapist, help is available.

The good news is that we now understand PTSD better than ever before. Advances in the field of traumatic stress, including neurobiology, have yielded effective, research-based PTSD treatments built on how the nervous system responds to, recovers from, and adapts to stress.

I’ve worked with many men and women who have healed from trauma, who have seen their symptoms significantly decrease or disappear altogether, and who have found the joy, freedom, wholeness, and peace to live their lives as they wish.

Looking Under the Hood:  We’re going to take the mystery out of your symptoms.

Your responses to stress no longer work well for you, but there’s a good reason why you respond like you do.  You’re going to learn a lot about your nervous system!  Your automatic responses to stress might seem like the enemy. But, you might be surprised that learning more about your stress can come as a huge relief.

We’ll use research-supported methods to work through the stress responses that don’t help you, and almost all clients tell me it’s a relief to understand that their responses were actually adaptive.

What Can Trauma Therapy Do?

A big piece of recovery is that clients begin to respect themselves and understand their resilience and courage. Many come to see their bodies as a friend again, rather than the enemy, or even a separate entity. Many clients learn to make peace with all the parts of themselves that they were feeling separated from.

Clients begin to trust themselves and regain a sense of control. This work has improved their relationships, work lives, health, and contentment.

Woman in mountains looking free after trauma therapy.

What is Trauma Therapy or PTSD Treatment Like?

Trauma therapy has to be safe.

You need to know that your therapist knows what she or he is doing.  We do this work using specific, research supported techniques and approaches.  You must be allowed—with guidance—to choose what you share, what techniques are used, and when.

To shed your old responses to stress and find new freedom, we’ll use a “phasic” approach in accordance with best practices in trauma therapy. This means we’ll approach it in stages, taking time to build trust before we do anything else. Sessions are never about “ripping the band-aid off.” Everything we’ll talk about and every exercise is collaborative and will be within your control. That said, there are treatments for trauma, such as Lifespan Integration, that can help many people experience relief more quickly than they expect.

Remembering everything is not required.

While many clients will want to participate in an evidence-based approach to telling their story, there’s no need to discuss every event from the past. You will have the option to choose or change whatever methods we use. Together, you and I will discover your own resources of strength and safety (which you might not realize you have), and use them in the counseling process.

What’s My Background as a Trauma Therapist?

I have worked with PTSD sufferers for about twelve years. I’m a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional with the International Association of Trauma Professionals and a member of the International Society of Stress and Dissociative Disorders.  My graduate education research focused on trauma, PTSD, and the intersection of trauma and grief. And, I am trained in Lifespan Integration, Internal Family Systems, and other powerful options for healing trauma.

I have worked with survivors of violent and traumatic events and losses, first responders, veterans, survivors of sexual assault and childhood abuse, medical trauma survivors, and those who have difficulty putting their finger on the cause of their symptoms.

I have worked with many people like you whose symptoms have since subsided. It is an honor to work with people through their stress and see them begin to feel whole.

You are not destined to be anxious, irritable, and disconnected.

It is possible to make peace with yourself. It is possible to feel at home in your body, in relationships with others, and moving around in the world. It is possible to develop respect for yourself and to trust yourself. You can learn to believe in a hopeful future.

Man in the mountains looking free after trauma therapy.

Common Questions About Trauma Therapy

Do I have to spill my guts and relive everything?

Counseling can feel like the biggest, messiest can of worms in the world. You’re trying to hold it together, but you think you could come unglued if you unwrap what you’ve been through, or be crushed by the impact of a traumatic loss. These worries are scary, but normal. It is very important that your trauma therapist understands your concern and has ways of working that do not require you to tell any part of your story that you don’t want to share. Sometimes the hardest part is deciding to start. But, I emphasize your safety, control, and choice.

I’ve had counseling before and it didn’t really help.

Not all counselors or methods are the right fit for all clients. When it’s not a good fit, sometimes counseling isn’t helpful. You need a counselor who is experienced with PTSD and who will take time to collaborate with you on the approach. Since each person is unique, not every counselor will be a good fit for every client. Don’t give up!

Research shows that the “fit” of the client/counselor relationship is a key factor in a successful outcome, regardless of the techniques used. It’s worth persisting to find that best fit. The right therapeutic relationship can help you find your freedom.

Do I have to be in counseling forever?

Every counseling journey is different.  The length of time needed depends on your goals and your readiness to roll up your sleeves and work a little.  It also depends on how the process develops and your counselor’s ability to offer various approaches. Counseling usually isn’t “either/or.” There are ways to hit short-term goals as well as long-term goals involving more complex changes.

Sometimes when you meet short-term goals and get some day-to-day relief, you see what is possible. Then, you’ll either set long-term goals and stay in counseling, or you’ll come back later to make more changes when you’re ready. I’ve often told clients, “It’s a counselor’s job to make herself obsolete.” The main thing is you reaching your goals!

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