Southlake Counseling - Mental Health Counseling & Psychologist/Therapist located in Davidson, NC & Charlotte, NC
Trauma is a common human experience; millions of Americans of all ages have traumatic experiences, and many go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can have long-lasting effects. At Southlake Counseling, in Charlotte and Davidson, North Carolina, Kimberly Krueger, MSW, LCSW, and the team offer compassionate, customized therapy to help you cope with trauma, including dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprogramming (EMDR). Call Southlake Counseling or make an appointment online today.
What is trauma?
Trauma is the psychological response to having a physically or emotionally painful experience. Trauma is highly relative, and everyone responds to experiences and situations differently. For example, trauma can stem from personal violence, combat experience, natural disasters, or a history of abuse, poverty, and neglect.
Approximately 3.5% of American adults develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a long-lasting and distressing mental health issue, after a traumatic experience. It affects clients of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. While most people experience symptoms after trauma, those symptoms usually subside with time. PTSD symptoms, on the other hand, emerge slowly and tend to become progressively worse and more disruptive as time passes.
What are the symptoms of trauma?
Trauma, and PTSD in particular cause symptoms that fall under four distinct categories:
- Intrusive thoughts
- Avoidance behavior
- Negative thoughts and feelings
- Reactive symptoms
Flashbacks and nightmares are typical examples of intrusive thoughts. Distressing memories might also plague you. These intrusive thoughts often lead to avoidance behavior. You go out of your way to avoid people or places that trigger your memories.
Negative thoughts and feelings include guilt, distrust, fear, anger, guilt, and shame. You might become detached from your friends and family or lose interest in previously enjoyed activities. Reactive symptoms often include increased irritability, angry outbursts, and reckless behavior. You might also develop a substance abuse disorder if you try to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.
How is trauma treated?
At Southlake Counseling, the team of expert therapists begins with a comprehensive evaluation. Your evaluation feels like a long conversation, and it helps your therapist get to know you and your needs and look for signs of the diagnostic criteria for trauma.
Then, your therapist creates a customized treatment plan to help you explore and resolve your thoughts and emotions surrounding your experiences in a safe environment. Depending on your needs, they might recommend dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) or eye movement desensitization and reprogramming (EMDR). These therapies use different approaches to help you heal from your trauma and reduce negative thoughts and feelings that lead to unhealthy behaviors. DBT and EMDR are suitable for clients of all ages, and your therapist can tailor your treatment to meet your specific needs.
To supplement your trauma recovery program, you can participate in Southlake Counseling’s selection of additional therapeutic support groups and activities, including:
- Journaling and self-expression
- Yoga and movement therapy
- Equine therapy
If you’re concerned about trauma or feel like your experiences are getting in the way of your quality of life, call Southlake Counseling or make an appointment online today.