Are You Haunted By Painful Memories?
"Trauma is the invisible force that shapes our lives. It shapes the way we live, the way we love, and the way we make sense of the world."  – Dr. Gabor Maté
- Have you experienced a traumatic event that has left you feeling depressed, anxious, or disconnected from life?
- Do you feel trapped in the past when memories of the event flood back into your head without warning?
- To block out the emotional pain they cause, do you resort to numbing or addictive behaviors, such as overeating, scrolling through social media, or using substances?
Rather than feeling fully connected and grounded in your life, perhaps the effects of trauma continue to hijack the present moment. Whenever you are triggered by something that reminds you of what happened, you might be transported back to that moment in time. As you vividly recall the sights and sounds of the event, your body may experience physical symptoms, such as rapid heartbeat, headaches, digestive issues, muscle tension, sleep disturbances, and trouble concentrating. There may even be times when you feel outside of your own body and the world doesn’t seem real.
Afterward, you feel irritable and edgy, left with a pervasive sense of dread and unease. Sadly, trying to minimize being triggered may cause you to avoid the places and activities you once enjoyed.
Perhaps You Blame Yourself For What Happened
Maybe you ruminate over the circumstances surrounding the event, wondering if your actions— or, perhaps, inaction—were to blame for what happened. If you’ve internalized shame, anger, and guilt, the hurt you originally experienced has never fully subsided. These feelings could make maintaining trust and connection in your close relationships challenging, leading to isolation and conflict.
If only you could put what happened behind you and move forward with a renewed sense of hope. Fortunately, trauma therapy offers a safe space to be supported and heard so you can reconcile what happened on your terms.
Traumatic Events Affect Over Half Of The Adult Population
From the sudden loss of a loved one to living through a natural disaster, trauma impacts each of us in profound ways. Approximately 61 percent of men and 51 percent of women report having at least one traumatic event in their lifetime.  Although only 3.6 percent of Americans develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following trauma, traumatic events can still have a debilitating impact on how we think and feel. 
The Common Culprits Of Trauma In Our Community
Although we are situated east of “Tornado Alley,” in recent years, Kentucky has experienced a spike in severe weather that has caused fatalities and significant destruction to our communities.  Some survivors live in perpetual fear of when the next EF5 will hit. Additionally, car accidents—both on country roads and in bigger cities—are common in our area. Being involved in an accident often leads many to avoid driving altogether, severely impacting their ability to work, see loved ones, and engage in their communities.
Trauma can shift the way our brain and body function, whether caused by a one-time event or from years of abuse and neglect. We can’t heal from trauma by living in avoidance or trying to diminish our experience. If we downplay our experience rather than recognize it as trauma, we remain stuck and unable to move forward.
The good news is the recovery that happens in therapy helps build an understanding of how trauma and PTSD affect you so you can recognize the signs and symptoms. Our mantra is you are not the problem—the problem is. We will help you identify the tools and resources you need to resolve the negative impact of trauma.
Trauma Therapy Can Help You Change The Narrative
Whether you experienced trauma recently or have waited years to seek treatment, we are here to walk along your healing path with you. Your trauma counselor aims to be your co-pilot in therapy, honoring the fact that you’re the utmost expert on your life. By taking your lead, we will empower you throughout therapy, reminding you that you are capable and worthy.
Therapy provides you with a sacred space to share your struggles without judgment. We will listen patiently, gently acknowledging patterns to help you make sense of how trauma has impacted you. With clearer insight into its effects, you and your therapist will collectively agree on which symptoms to target first so you can move forward with less fear and discomfort.
What To Expect In Sessions
Our therapists take a holistic, integrative, and collaborative approach to trauma recovery. In counseling sessions, we will explore the impact trauma has had on your mind (thoughts), heart (emotions), and body (physical sensations and actions). Relieving pain points can help you rediscover a life that flourishes with hope and possibility. We will support you in becoming the author of your own story, reminding you that you are in charge of what happens next.
Throughout the healing process, your leadership and feedback are of utmost importance. By identifying and exploring your experiences with greater objectivity, awareness, and mindfulness, you can create a treatment plan you feel is authentic and meaningful to you.
We Engage Both Body And Mind In The Healing Process
We initially utilize grounding and breathing skills to support connection with your body and the present moment. From there, our approach will be tailored to your specific needs. Common strategies for addressing trauma include:
- Identifying triggers to reduce their influence;
- Managing emotions, challenging automatic thoughts, rebuilding self-esteem, and exploring identity beyond the trauma;
- Releasing muscle memory through yoga therapy or somatic experiencing for trauma;
- Improving assertiveness and boundaries, increasing self-care, reconnecting to meaningful activities and relationships; and
- Practicing acceptance and forgiveness.
If you are open to it, we can also integrate the healing power of energy work into therapy, such as trauma-informed Reiki and tapping for trauma and PTSD.
Additionally, utilizing narrative therapy for trauma and PTSD is an effective way to gain perspective, allowing you to recognize that you are not the problem and helping you write a new story for your life. And if traumatic events from your childhood still affect you, attachment-focused trauma therapy can help you better understand their impact on your relationship style and ways to move toward a secure, trusting connection with others.
What you’ve experienced doesn’t have to define you. It’s time to release the past rather than continue to be impacted by it. Guided by your expertise and a new set of helpful tools, you can move into wellness and empowerment.
But Maybe You’re Not Sure If Trauma Therapy Is Right For You…
I’m nervous to talk about what happened to me in trauma counseling.
It’s normal to feel scared about revisiting a traumatic memory for fear of reliving it. Above all, ensuring you feel safe, comfortable, seen, and heard throughout trauma and/or PTSD treatment is sacred to us. Your feedback will guide us each step of the way so that we move at a pace you’re comfortable with. What’s more, any tool, approach, or modality we incorporate into trauma therapy will be decided upon collaboratively.
Can trauma or PTSD be addressed in couples or family counseling?
Nothing happens in a vacuum. If you or someone in your family has been impacted by trauma, it affects everyone involved. That is why in addition to individual trauma treatment, our team provides couples and family therapy. Within the safe space of counseling, you can unpack the ripple effects trauma has on your close relationships and find ways to rebuild trust, understanding, and connection.
What happens if trauma therapy doesn’t seem to be helping me?
Because we aim to make therapy a collaborative and interactive experience, your feedback is essential to ensure safe, meaningful progress is occurring. Your therapist will not dictate a predetermined pace or approach in trauma or PTSD therapy. Rather, they will identify what works best for you. During every session, they will check in to gain feedback to help guide you toward the most beneficial and effective tools for your recovery.
You Have The Power To Write The Next Chapter Of Your Life
You can be the hero of your story. If you would like to find out more about trauma therapy with Scottsville Counseling Center, you may visit our contact page or call 270-943-7818 to schedule a free 15-minute call to get more information.