Trauma can include PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), difficulty adjusting to a sudden difficult event, such as a job loss or a health crisis or secondary trauma related to a child. Trauma can also come from adverse childhood effects, a cumulative set of stressors that shape one’s sense of safety, of predictability and of attachment. Developmental trauma impacts our ability to form healthy relationships and to recognize and accept our emotions, and especially, to manage stress and emotional regulation.
What is PTSD?
PTSD may stem from traumatic experiences such as a serious accident, a sexual assault, violence, war or shooting. It can be misconstrued as a disorder only occurring in veterans, but PTSD affects all people no matter the background, at any age. People with PTSD may have disturbing thoughts or emotions that linger well after a traumatic event has occurred. They may feel sad, angry or fearful. Some may also detach themselves from loved ones. Additional symptoms of PTSD may include:
- Intrusive thoughts or nightmares
- Avoidance (people, places, thoughts)
- Negative thoughts about oneself
- Trouble sleeping
PTSD can also trigger unhealthy habits such as overindulgence of alcohol, drug use or other substance abuse.
What are acute stress and adjustment disorders?
Life circumstances can change in the blink of an eye, with an accident, a health crisis, a job loss, loss of a relationship. When this kind of crisis affect one’s ability to focus at work, to maintain healthy relationships, then therapy can help is adjust and regain our ability to cope with distress.
What is attachment and developmental trauma?
Both adults and youth may experience challenges with maintaining healthy relationships. Ongoing trauma in childhood (such as having a parent with a serious mental health problem or substance use disorder, absent parents, being asked to care for siblings at a very young age) can negatively shape our behaviors, thoughts, ability to manage emotions, our core beliefs, our ability to trust or ask or help.
Symptoms of developmental trauma may include
- Emotional regulation difficulties
- Feeling isolated and disconnected
- Feelings of shame or of not being good enough
- Feeling powerless, that life is unpredictable or that people will let you down
- Physical health problems from insomnia, chronic stress, headaches
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, EMDR and brainspotting, stress debriefing, attachment-based therapy and emotionally focused therapy are just some of the ways that our therapists approach PTSD treatment and trauma therapy. Through our sessions, we work together with our clients to understand needs and collaborative work through a solution journey. Trauma is unique to each individual, as are our treatment plans. Our trauma therapists are trained to help clients overcome without re-experiencing the traumatic events.