Trauma is a term that is very broadly applied in mental health. It refers to any major event in a person’s life that creates psychological damage. Psychological injury can occur from a wide variety of sources. Untreated trauma causes increased problems over time. In other words, the simple passage of time does not heal these kinds of wounds—they just get worse, affecting larger and larger parts of your life.
Rapid, effective treatment for trauma is available. I can help you select the best treatment approach for your specific needs, and help you become ready to deal with your grief, sorrow, loss, rage or shame. I am certified in the current leading methods of trauma treatment including EMDR.
I have been working with combat veterans since 1983. I conducted the first of its kind, large scale national research study for the VA to determine the treatment needs of in-country Vietnam combat veterans and their family members. In the past five years I have conducted nearly 800 psychological evaluations of returning veterans to identify their appropriate treatment needs. I have not experienced combat trauma myself, but I know what an emotionally and morally wounded veteran needs in order to regain the ability to love, work, play and sleep.
Among the most devastating sources of psychological trauma is any form of sexual assault or abuse. The shame, guilt and humiliation associated with this experience can invade every aspect of a person’s life, contributing to recurring patterns of dangerous and emotionally unhealthy behavior. Therapy can help a victim of sexual trauma learn to recognize and repair these patterns so that you can enjoy meaningful and satisfying relationships with others, free from unnecessary conflict or manipulations to get what you want. Therapy can help you find your voice and be happy.
There is no doubt about the fact that troubling childhood experiences can have a profound effect on an individual for the rest of their life. Experiences of abandonment, neglect, abuse or being raised by emotionally disturbed parents frequently have a lasting and pervasive impact. Childhood trauma can result in ineffective patterns of relating to others, mood disorders, personality disorders with dangerous behaviors such as self-mutilation or suicidal features, and drug abuse. Adults who suffered childhood trauma can benefit tremendously from specific trauma management techniques such as EMDR. Children who have recently experienced a personal or social trauma can have extremely rapid resolution of emotional disturbance, with a preventive effect that can help build powerful resilience, blocking the development of trauma-related adult problems.
I help victims of trauma recognize their triggers and maladaptive coping strategies. I help you learn to insert better, healthier patterns and ways of being into your daily life and your interactions with others. If you suffer from psychological trauma, there is a high likelihood that relief will come from treatment. Without treatment, it is highly likely that things will get worse, life will get harder, you will continue to push others away or send them confusing, mixed messages, and happiness will seem like it happens for others, but not for you.
Relief in the form of a greater sense of self-control happens almost immediately. You’ll feel calmer, less volatile after just a few sessions of therapy. Resolution of the brain-related effects of trauma (such as emotional numbing, repeated memories, avoidance of triggers and drug abuse) and skill with using better ways of coping or relating with others takes longer. A typical course of treatment for the effective management of psychological trauma takes six months to a year of consistent effort if the trauma has been untreated for a long time. Rapid resolution of trauma can occur in less than six weeks if treatment begins in less than a year after the traumatic experience.