Are You Struggling To Get Past A Frightening Or Dangerous Experience?
Have you or someone you know experienced a traumatic event and feel haunted by memories, flashbacks or intrusive thoughts even if the event happened years ago? Perhaps you've withdrawn socially or find it difficult to leave the house because you're afraid of encountering something that will remind you of a past trauma you've experienced. It may be that this feeling of lack of safety is becoming increasingly overwhelming. You may often feel outside your body or on edge, struggling to pinpoint where these and other uncomfortable sensations stem from. Maybe anxiety and depression symptoms are worsening, causing your relationships and productivity to suffer and you're experiencing increased feelings of isolation. As confusing emotions and flashbacks become more intense, you may not feel well enough to perform every day tasks. Do you wish you could understand what happened to you, work through and release painful memories and move forward with more ease and calm in your life?
Living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be a confusing, isolating and frightening experience. The nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, hyper-vigilance, insomnia and heightened anxiety that are often experienced with PTSD can impact all aspects of your life and make what should be easy, everyday tasks feel sometimes nearly impossible to complete. Work performance and relationships can suffer, and you may find yourself turning to drugs, alcohol, or any number of other self-defeating behaviors to find some semblance of relief. You might struggle to trust anyone, including yourself, and wonder if recovery is even possible.
When someone experiences trauma, the body has a survival instinct reaction, often known as fight, flight or (often in cases of PTSD) freeze. If that survival energy never fully discharges from the body, it gets stuck. Unresolved fight, flight or freeze responses can lead to PTSD and cause issues, such as anxiety, depression, anger and lashing out, as well as physical problems, such as body aches and pains, insomnia, numbness and more. These symptoms can make it feel impossible to maintain balance and feel in-control and completely disrupt your ability to function well and feel safe.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, nearly eight percent of the population develops PTSD during some point in their lives. Anyone can develop symptoms associated with PTSD. This includes individuals who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, including sexual assault, physical assault, combat, natural disasters, accidents, childhood abuse, death or injury. Some people are more prone to developing PTSD than others, especially those who grew up in unstable homes and people involved in medical, emergency or high intensity professions, like fire fighters, police officers, EMTs and soldiers.
Any situation that causes extreme fear for the safety of yourself or others or a feeling of near-death can cause trauma and elicit ongoing symptoms of PTSD. The good news is that help and relief are available. With the support of an empathetic, skilled trauma therapist, you can develop practical tools that can help you find both immediate physical and emotional relief, as well as help you process the trauma for good.
PTSD Therapy Can Help You Feel Healthy And Whole
Because of the prominence of PTSD in the military, it has been placed at the forefront of medical research, which is why there are so many effective approaches and resources available for treating PTSD. Drawing from these proven approaches and developing a therapy strategy tailored to meet your specific needs, I can help you increase resiliency, develop healthy coping skills , learn techniques that can provide immediate relief to distressing symptoms and begin to feel more grounded, present and safe.
In PTSD therapy sessions, I can help you understand how trauma and PTSD impact you physically and emotionally, as well as how it disrupts your capacity to foster relationships and feel grounded. During supported, guided and safe sessions, I can provide you with relaxation and grounding techniques that you can use (starting on day one) to deescalate panic attacks and other uncomfortable symptoms as they come on. Although everyone’s experience with PTSD is different, it’s very common for people with PTSD to experience unwanted sensations of anxiety and depression. During our sessions together, I can help you better understand your experience, reframe negative thoughts and manage unwanted reactions, giving you more power to process what happened and expel pent-up survival energy.
Because each person’s experience with PTSD is different, I don't use a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. I honor wherever you’re at and work at a pace that feels comfortable for you. Throughout the trauma treatment process, we’ll be careful to avoid triggering or overwhelming your system. We’ll work together to develop healthy boundaries and a treatment plan that breaks down the trauma into manageable segments. I have experience using a variety of therapy approaches, including EMDR, Somatic Experiencing (SE), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Hakomi and more. Depending on your symptoms and comfort level, we can incorporate these varied approaches until we discover which one(s) are effective for you.
There are so many approaches to treating PTSD, and new research is coming out every day. I have helped many people successfully process trauma using various techniques. I grew up in a military family, and am comfortable working with this population and within the means of The United States Veterans Affairs. Whether you are military or civilian and regardless of when your trauma occurred or the severity of your symptoms, healing and long-term relief truly are possible. With guidance, support and a willingness to engage in the trauma therapy process, you can better manage symptoms, process your trauma and live an empowered life.
You still may have questions and concerns about trauma and recovery…
I thought only people in the military get PTSD.
Although the prevalence of trauma in the military has put PTSD at forefront of mental health research, anyone who has witnessed or personally experienced a traumatic event can experience trauma and develop symptoms associated with PTSD.
I’m afraid that getting help makes me seem weak.
Seeking out treatment for an illness is one of strongest and wisest things you can do. And, actively seeking help for yourself is a sign of intelligence and strength, not weakness. At this point, chances are that PTSD is affecting every aspect of your life, from your physical health to your capacity to feel grounded and safe and foster healthy relationships. PTSD is not something that typically dispels on its own. You can't think your way out of PTSD. It is a physiological reaction to a traumatic event. Getting help now can help you effectively manage stress, depression and anxiety and provide you with the guidance you need to process the trauma and move forward.
I’m afraid that nothing—even PTSD therapy— can help me.
There are many empirically proven and effective forms of PTSD treatment. Beginning on day one, you can acquire tools that are proven to help improve relaxation and stability. If you’ve seen other therapists in the past with little success, I will ask you why you think it was unsuccessful and try not to repeat that experience here. Many therapists have one approach to treating PSTD. As a trauma specialist, I have many. I am trained in a variety of approaches to treating PTSD, and our treatment will depend entirely on what works best for you.
You Can Feel Healthy And Whole
If you’re a survivor of trauma living in Denver, Colorado, please call 720-608-0174 for a free 30-minute phone consultation. I am happy to discuss any questions you have about my practice or how PTSD therapy can help you heal.