What Trauma Therapy Is and Isn't

Published on October 30, 2022

Trauma therapy is for those struggling with hypervigilance, anxiety, agitation, relationship struggles, past abuse, grief, loss, custody, divorce, and lack of trust in themselves and others. Past abuse and trauma can make us feel insecure and unsafe. It can also harm our self-worth and our relationships. You are the only person who can tell you if something was a trauma. Everyone reacts differently to different traumas and losses. Therefore, you only need to process potential traumas if they affect you.

Desensitizing

Trauma therapy helps you to desensitize painful flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts after a loss, abuse, or trauma. Some people are concerned that they will uncover a repressed memory if they process what is causing them distress. However, repressed memories have been discredited by psychologist Elizabeth Loftus. Therefore, the memories that you desensitize are memories that you are already aware of. The point is to be able to talk about the memory or think about the memory without distress. The felt sense becomes an awareness that the event happened in the past, and you are now safe in the present moment.

Balancing out Your Mind and Body

According to the book “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel Can Der Kolk, trauma is stored in our body. When we think of traumatic memory, we might feel hypervigilant or nauseous. Often when people have desensitized to these memories in therapy, they can relive them. Some people might be afraid of this process. However, processing these memories with a trusted mental health professional can help you to have fewer flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, and agitation. The alternative is to have these traumatic memories intrude into your mind when triggered. Processing memories is less distressing than a flashback or a nightmare because a trained trauma professional can ease the distress through different methods. Trauma therapy helps to release the trauma and stress from your body, balancing your mind and body. In turn, this decreases hypervigilance, agitation, and anxiety.

Different Trauma therapies

Some trauma therapies include cognitive behavioral therapycognitive processing therapy, somatic therapieswritten exposure therapyEMDR, and Brainspotting. Cognitive behavioral and cognitive processing therapy helps you understand how thought distortions lead to different moods. Our thoughts dictate how we feel and how we behave. EMDR and brainspotting use your eyes to process traumatic memories. EMDR and brainspotting also focus on negative thoughts that might make you feel anxious, depressed, or unsafe. Somatic therapies, brainspotting, and EMDR concentrate on releasing the trauma through your body. Written exposure therapy desensitizes trauma through writing. Brainspotting, EMDR, and body scans are less distressing than talk therapy because the focus is on the body.

If you feel like past abuse, trauma or loss has lowered your self-worth, harmed your relationships, or caused you distress, I would love to help.

Contact me to set up an online session by calling the MindNLife Clinic at 2521 4668 or emailing info@doctormonicaborschel.com.


Category(s):Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions, Anxiety, Caregiver Issues / Stress, Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD, Social Anxiety / Phobia, Stress Management

Written by:

Dr Monica Borschel

My goal is to help you out of the pain that you are feeling from abuse, loss, and unhealthy relationships and into loving yourself and your life again. I understand how scary it is in the darkness and I want to help you transition back into the light. Do you feel invisible? I can help you to feel seen and heard again.

I have helped hundreds of individuals go from suffering to thriving. I have studied the effects of abuse, loss, and unhealthy relationships on self-worth, trust, depression, and anxiety for almost fifteen years. My education and clinical experience have enabled my clients to understand their own worth, make positive changes in their relationships and careers, and have more confidence.

I specialize in attachment, trauma, and loss. I am experienced in helping adults, teens, children, and families adjust to anxiety, trauma, abuse, divorce, separation, and loss. This may include deciding what is in the children’s best interest during disputes and strengthening the relationship and communication between the parents and the children. As an attachment specialist, I help individuals understand and deal with relationship patterns that prevent them from developing or maintaining healthy relationships.

I have had the privilege of working with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. I am from Salt Lake City, Utah. I graduated with my master’s in psychology from Columbia University in New York City. I pursued her doctorate in Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. I live in California and work on my PsyD at California Southern University.

Registered Clinical Psychologist with The Hong Kong Society of Counseling and Psychology (HKSCP). Member of the American Psychological Association (APA), The British Psychological Society (BPS), and the Hong Kong Family Law Association (HKFLA).


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