Trauma affects individuals in different ways, and what is traumatic to one person may not be traumatic to another. Trauma is experienced when one perceives threat of danger to one’s safety or the safety of another. Some examples of traumatic events include:
- Sexual abuse/assault
- Domestic violence
- Military combat
- Car accidents
- Natural disasters (hurricane, tornado, fire)
Some situations are more obvious, whereas other circumstances may be less understood by others as traumatic. This includes experiencing:
- Significant loss, illness or injury
- Unhealthy family dynamics that threaten one’s well-being or result in sense of abandonment or neglect (for example, parent with substance or other mental health issues)
- Other unexpected upsetting event that results in fear for one’s sense of safety/security, with other long-lasting damaging effects.
To meet the criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) according to the DSM-5, the person may:
- Directly experience the trauma
- Witness the trauma
- Learn that a relative or close friend was exposed to a trauma
- Be indirectly exposed to details of the trauma, such as first responders, paramedics, law enforcement, etc.
With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the person also…
Re-experiences the traumatic event:
- Unwanted upsetting memories
- Emotional distress after exposure to traumatic reminders
- Physical reactivity after exposure to traumatic reminders
Avoids reminders of the trauma:
- Thoughts, feelings, people, places
Has negative thoughts or feelings related to the trauma:
- Inability to recall important aspects of the trauma
- Overly negative thoughts and assumptions about oneself or the world
- Exaggerated blame of self or others for causing the trauma
- Decreased interest in activities
- Feeling isolated
- Difficulty experiencing positive affect
Experiences arousal and reactivity related to the trauma:
- Irritability or aggression
- Risky or destructive behavior
- Heightened startle reaction
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
Needless to say, trauma affects most areas of functioning and is extremely distressing. The good news is that therapy has been proven beneficial for many.
Monarch Wellness has several therapists specializing in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Our trauma therapists have advanced training and experience with trauma treatment, including Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), sand tray therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR).
Intensive Trauma Transformation is also an option based on availability. This includes a combination of EMDR, sand tray therapy, and other mindfulness-based techniques in longer blocks of time over a shorter period of time overall.
Trauma treatment is not an easy process, but with commitment and dedication, healing is possible. If you are ready to take the first step towards peace, freedom, and renewed safety, give us a call.