Are You Experiencing Unresolved Childhood Trauma?
Past trauma that has not been properly processed can deeply impact your present-day life and relationships. Not only that, but your physical and mental health can also be affected.
You may be dealing with a myriad of different emotions, such as feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, or like you’re about to explode at any given moment.
“Am I going crazy?”
No, you are not going crazy.
You are hurting.
The issue is that your trauma hasn’t been properly addressed. By becoming aware of your trauma and processing it with a therapist, you can find relief, feel more comfortable with yourself and your feelings, and gain a sense of safety.
Trauma Can Affect Us In Many Different Ways
In addition to struggling with emotional pain, you may notice that you experience headaches and chronic pain or become tired easily.
Sometimes, trauma can even reach your social life. Do you have difficulty feeling safe when you are around people? Do you feel as if everyone is judging you? Maybe you feel better when you self-isolate and avoid social situations altogether.
What about relationships?
Do you find it hard to trust people? Or do you have problems with commitments? Maybe you sacrifice your own feelings and desires in order to make someone else happy?
Choosing a healthy relationship for yourself can feel impossible if your trauma has not been processed.
Living this kind of life day after day can feel exhausting. You may often think you must work harder, faster, and stay busy to keep your mind off your struggles.But overworking yourself to forget traumatic events could lead to depression. You might also try to cope with your pain through unhealthy addictions like alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, or gambling.
You want to be able to feel safe in your own body.
Seeking help through trauma therapy can help facilitate the ability to feel comfortable in your own skin while processing and resolving your past.
Trauma Is More Common Than You Think
Unfortunately, trauma is very common, especially during childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “research showed that more than 64% of adults experienced at least one adverse childhood experience by the age of 18. Nearly 1 in 6 (17.3%) reported they had experienced four or more types of adverse childhood experiences.” (1)
A straightforward definition for trauma is “anytime a child felt stuck,” and they were powerless.
Unlike children, adults hold the power.
I would say 90% of clients that I work with have unresolved childhood trauma.
Most people minimize how their childhood experiences impacted them. Many parts of their childhood may have been good, but they might have still experienced traumatic moments. Little “t” traumas—such as a toxic relationship, a chronic illness, or growing up with alcoholic parents—are still traumas. These traumas might accumulate over long periods of time, but they can still deeply impact your nervous system.
According to Stephen Porges, PhD, and polyvagal theory, “not only does the body remember a traumatic experience, but it can actually get stuck in the trauma response mode.” (2).
This means that even when the ‘threat’ is gone, the body still perceives danger and is engaged as if there is still danger.
If you start to suspect that these symptoms could be affecting your life, trauma therapy may be a good option for you.
Trauma Can Manifest In Different Forms
“People have a range of capacities to deal with overwhelming experience. Some people, some kids particularly, are able to disappear into a fantasy world, to dissociate, to pretend like it isn’t happening, and are able to go on with their lives. And sometimes it comes back to haunt them.” – Bessel van der Kolk . Psychiatrist, Author ‘The Body keeps the Score” (3).
The tricky thing about trauma is that sometimes you may not even realize you went through it.
Many families that migrated from another country have experienced various traumas, such as economic factors, division of the family, deportation effects, or generational trauma.
On top of that, there is the stigma that we have to be OKAY, no matter what. Some cultures do not believe in seeking treatment with a therapist, so trauma stays unresolved. This way of thinking perpetuates feeling ashamed about what happened, which is a symptom of trauma.
Thankfully, resolving traumatic events through therapy can give you back your life and help you put the pain of the past behind you.Therapy Can Help You Re-establish Safety And Trust
Therapy Can Help You Re-establish Safety And Trust
The most important factor in resolving and addressing your trauma is to create a safe, warm, and trusting environment between you and your therapist. Here at Reflections Creative Therapies Group, that is our commitment and your first step..
Once that is created, we will invite you to gently open up and visit the experience with your trauma counselor always by your side. Together, we will take a closer look at your childhood experiences and the impact they have on your present life. We will allow you to become aware of what the child version of you needs.
In addressing trauma, it’s also essential to identify and increase relational resiliency. Relational resilience means feeling safe in any type of relationship. Relationships play a critical role in our life. They can help you maintain emotional well-being.
“Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.” – Bruce D. Perry Psychiatrist, Researcher, Author of “What Happened to You.”(4)
Treating your unresolved trauma will also include resolving your false beliefs about yourself. With this new paradigm, you can change your feelings about yourself and your life leading to a new, healthier version of you.
You will also learn how your behaviors attempt to protect you and learn healthier coping methods for managing them. The work you put in will help release you from the grips of trauma so you can develop a safe environment and healthy, happy relationships.
The trauma specialists at Reflections Creative Therapies Group can teach you how to address your mental, emotional, and physical symptoms.. By doing so, we will be able to identify how you feel about yourself because of your traumatic experience and attempt to create an accurate new belief about yourself and your life.
Modalities Used To Treat Trauma
It’s not natural for the human brain to process trauma verbally. As a result, we use experiential therapy methods to help you heal your symptoms.
- Sand Tray Therapy: helps you create a world using figures in a tray of sand and allows for the uncovering and discovering of unresolved thoughts and feelings.
- Experiential Art: involves doing various forms of creative art activities that facilitate the release of emotions and taps into unresolved thoughts and feelings. The process is meant to help with “being in the present moment.”
- Psychodrama: Psychodrama is “psyche in action.” A therapeutic technique that uses role-playing and other creative action methods to help people work through emotional issues.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is a gentle method for processing trauma. It allows you to be present as you pay attention to your body, moving your eyes back and forth to reprocess your feelings.
- Mindfulness: uses breathing techniques, meditation, emotionally-focused tapping, and other exercises to relieve negative thoughts. This approach can help you be present in the moment and stop overthinking.
Feeling better, calmer, safer, and more hopeful is possible.
Trauma affects how we feel about ourselves, thus affecting our relationship behaviors. We owe it to ourselves to love ourselves through our journey of healing.
You May Still Have Some Concerns About Trauma Therapy…
What if I won’t be able to keep it together?
Your safety is important.
You can talk about as much or little as you want.
We are never going to push you.
With our help, you can identify inner resources, outside resources, and spiritual resources. These resources will help you stay grounded before any processing. This way, you can remain calm and functional while addressing trauma.
I don’t want to be re-traumatized.
Addressing it won’t make it worse. Eventually, the discomfort decreases, and the symptoms of unresolved trauma lessen. Digging deeper is worth the effort for the amount of relief you can receive. It’s one session at a time. You are worth the effort.
What if I can’t remember anything about the trauma?
This is very common. We will work with your body and feelings to uncover the unconscious material. And since the focus is on helping you feel more at peace in the present, you don’t have to remember everything about your traumatic experience.
Are You Ready To Stop Pretending To Be Okay?
If you want to start living a life of freedom, we encourage you to pursue trauma therapy with us. Call us for a free 15-minute consultation at (561) 810-6631 or visit our contact page.
(2). The Polyvagal Theory by Stephen Porges, PhD
(3). Van der Kolk, Bessel A. “The Body Keeps The Score: Memory And The Evolving Psychobiology Of Posttraumatic Stress”. Harvard Review Of Psychiatry, vol 1, no. 5, 1994, pp. 253-265. Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), doi:10.3109/10673229409017088. Accessed 10 Mar 2021.
(4). The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing, with Maia Szalavitz, 2007, ISBN 0-465-05652-0