Counseling for PTSD and trauma

Have you been feeling tense, anxious, or overwhelmed?
Or, numb and disconnected from your body?
You might feel jumpy and on edge – like you can’t let down your guard.
Maybe you’re tired of repeating the same unhealthy relationship patterns over and over.
Or, you might have realized that you’ve been taking care of everyone in your life but yourself.

If you’ve been through terrible events, it doesn’t have to affect you for the rest of your life. PTSD treatment can help.

Many people who have experienced traumatic events say they feel like they are stuck on an emotional roller coaster.  Sometimes they feel tense and nervous, other times they feel numb and disconnected. In trauma therapy, we help people learn healthy coping skills to manage anxiety, overwhelming emotions, and depression.

You might be wondering if what you went through was a traumatic event.

Dealing with the aftermath of a terrible event can be difficult to handle, no matter what type of experience you went through. Some people begin to question if what they experienced was really a traumatic event. The experience of trauma is unique and individual. It is about your own emotional experience – you get to decide if an event was traumatic for you. Sometimes this could be a single event like a car accident, sexual assault, or death of a loved one. Or, you may have experienced a long-term pattern like child abuse, a chaotic family, or domestic abuse. This pattern of events over time is called complex trauma.

Other traumatic experiences may include:

Physical or sexual abuse or assault
Childhood abuse
Childhood neglect
Chaotic childhood
Witnessing domestic violence
Bullying
Witnessing violence
Natural disasters
Divorce
Serious accidents or injuries
Emotional abuse
Unexpected loss of a loved one
Traumatic pet loss
Military or combat stress
Any other event that you experienced as traumatic

No matter what you’ve been through, there is hope for healing the wounds of the past.

If you’re struggling to cope with trauma or post traumatic stress (PTSD), you might be feeling:

Overwhelming emotions
Depressed
Tense and anxious
Hyper-vigilant
Disconnected from your body
That you can’t trust others
That you trust too easily
That you repeat the same dysfunctional relationship patterns
Like you take care of everyone but yourself
Physical problems – stomach aches, headaches, muscle tension
Sleep problems – difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, nightmares
Flashbacks of traumatic events

These are all normal reactions to the traumatic events you have been through.

We specialize in Body-based trauma therapy

There is increasing evidence of the usefulness of alternative and integrative techniques in trauma therapy including yoga, meditation, guided imagery, and hypnosis. These techniques allow us to remain present in the here-and-now and to stay grounded in our bodies. We incorporate body-based techniques in PTSD treatment and offer trauma sensitive yoga and meditation groups.

Mind-Body Healing from Trauma Group

This class focuses on body-based techniques for healing from trauma and anxiety such as meditation, trauma-sensitive yoga, and guided imagery. These techniques allow participants to re-inhabit their bodies, stay grounded, relax, decrease anxiety and panic, and feel safe. This group includes some “talk therapy” but the majority of the session is spent practicing techniques. The skills you learn will get more and more powerful over time. Designed for people with PTSD, a history of abuse, trauma, or distressing events, chronic stress physical pain and tension, or anxiety.  Find out more about the Trauma Therapy Group. 

You might still have some questions or concerns about PTSD/trauma therapy.

Will I have to re-live my trauma in PTSD treatment? Talking about my past in counseling might make me feel worse.
As PTSD therapists, our goal is to keep you feeling safe and in control.  Often, the first skills we help people with are to stay grounded and feel safe.  We meet clients where they are and let them set the pace. Some people feel that they need to revisit the traumatic experience in order to heal. This might mean telling the story but reprocessing it new ways. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. Our bodies know how to heal and can release the stress of trauma without talking about it.   Everyone’s recovery is different, so we will work together to help you develop the skills you need to feel better.

I can’t change the past. How will trauma therapy help?
While we can’t change your past, we can change how it impacts you today. In PTSD treatment we can explore and shift long-standing patterns and beliefs that may be holding you back. Through body-based approaches, like yoga, meditation, or grounding, we can shift the way the nervous system processes stressful memories. Many people find that their body feels better – they notice less headaches and muscle tension and they fall asleep easier. As a result, they can live their lives more fully without the weight of traumatic memories and emotion stored in the body.

How will PTSD treatment improve my relationships?

Many people who have been through traumatic experiences, especially complex trauma during childhood, struggle in relationships. It can be difficult for some people to open up and trust. Others find that they are overly trusting and get hurt easily. We help people to stop repeating dysfunctional relationship patterns. Our trauma therapists help people learn to open up in healthy, affirming relationships. We can also help you to feel more confident saying “no,” and setting healthy boundaries.

 

I’ve been to counseling before and still struggle. How will trauma therapy with you be different?
Many of our therapists have a background in yoga, meditation, or hypnosis.  This gives us a unique view of how stress and emotions are stored in the body. Traumatic memories can be stored in the body and it has been shown that the most effective techniques include the body in the healing process. We incorporate body-based approaches like yoga, meditation, and guided imagery, with evidence-based talk-therapy.

Recent articles about PTSD and trauma:

Therapists who work with PTSD and trauma:

Phyllis Pierce, LCSW
Kriston Nixon, LPC
Natalie Wingfield, LPC

Call for more information about how we can help.

To schedule an appointment, you may call 757-453-2144 ext. 1 or email our intake scheduler below:

*Please choose your insurance type. The therapists listed are in network with these insurances. If you have an insurance that is not listed, you may use your out of network benefits or pay our out of pocket rate. Our residents in counseling offer a reduced rate (Lilani).


*Please let us know your insurance ID number so we can check your benefits.
*Tricare Prime requires an authorization from your PCM


*Please let us know what you are seeking counseling for. If you have certain days or times in mind, please let us know here.