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The Effects of Trauma

What is Trauma?

Research suggests up to 70% of people experience or suffer from traumatic events in their lives.

Despite this statistic, only 20 percent of adults consider consulting a mental health specialist to receive treatment. Perhaps this is one reason why the rate of trauma-related mental health disorders have increased exponentially in the past few years.

Unresolved trauma can trigger drug or alcohol abuse and distressing symptoms of psychological disorders.

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress manifest in people who have had significant emotionally overwhelming experiences. Trauma lives in the body and traumatic events can physically change your brain. According to trauma researchers, when a person experiences a trauma, certain areas of the brain change due to the hyper-arousal of trauma.

The good news is that advances in trauma treatment and the neuroplastic nature of the brain mean that there is help for people who have suffered trauma, whether in the form of shock or developmental or complex traumas.

As a trauma-focused therapist in Costa Mesa and Los Alamitos I know there is hope and I look forward to your call.

What is Trauma Therapy?

Trauma therapy works to heal the mental and emotional consequences of traumatic life events. In clinical terminology, a traumatic event can be any incident that threatens a person’s life or overwhelms the person’s internal resources, leaving a distressing impression in the mind and body.

Traumatic experiences may involve a threat to safety or life. And, any situation or event that leaves a person feeling overwhelmed can cause traumatic effects whether or not there is physical injury. Objective circumstances do not necessarily determine whether an incident is traumatic, it is the subjective emotional experience of a person caused by an event.

The more vulnerable or terrified one feels, the more likely he or she is to be traumatized. This can apply to accidents, physical or sexual assault or repetitive emotional abuse and neglect growing up. While many people can move on from distressing events without experiencing adverse reactions for years, others are more susceptible to emotional and psychological wounds.

Reach Out When You're Ready.

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Trauma Therapy Approaches

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Only clinically trained therapists can perform therapies like EMDR. An EMDR therapy session follows a sequence of eight steps.

After a period of developing resources so you are never re-traumatized, treatment generally involves an individual mentally focusing on his or her traumatic experiences while visually tracking a moving light or the therapist’s fingers. In some cases, therapists use auditory tones or buzzers that activate bilaterally in the client’s hands. EMDR operates under a theory called “adaptive information processing” and replicates the brain’s natural process of REM sleep, when memories are being integrated into consciousness. EMDR is an extensively-researched and evidence-based trauma resolution therapy. As research continues into exactly how it seems to rewire the brain, it has been proven to successfully alleviate distress related to traumas.

Somatic Therapy

Trauma gets trapped in our bodies. Somatic Therapy addresses the ways the nervous system is dysregulated as a result of different kinds of trauma. Using processes that integrate the mind and body, it is possible to reset the nerve system and address the often unconscious trauma responses like dissociation, shame, and fight, flight, freeze and appease. Working within your “window of tolerance”, your therapist helps you experience co-regulation with and learn to regulate yourself.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Therapy

The approach involves exploring dysfunctional thought patterns and learning to reframe cognition and beliefs. This often involves stress-reduction and strategies to help individuals restructure thoughts, increase awareness, and learn skills. Some common elements of trauma-focused cognitive therapy include:

  • Teaching an affected individual how to practice conscious breathing techniques to manage stress and anxiety
  • Education on how to control reactions
  • Identifying and assessing negative and irrational thoughts and emotions and replacing them with less harmful and accurate thoughts

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic approaches to trauma and PTSD explore different factors that cause symptoms, including early childhood experiences and parental attachment. They explore current relationships and unconscious behaviors, thoughts, feelings and defense mechanisms In psychodynamic therapy, a therapist may:

  • Take a developmental history of an individual
  • Place emphasis on understanding and integrating the trauma
  • Explore how an event has impacted the developing sense of self

The Kinds of Trauma a Therapist Can Help With

Working collaboratively, we will find the approach that works to help you regain your life.

  • Acute trauma / PTSD
  • Complex trauma
  • Developmental trauma
  • Intergenerational trauma
  • Medical trauma
  • Vicarious trauma

Reach Out When You're Ready.

Trauma Therapist in Costa Mesa and Los Alamitos

James Brillon is a clinically trained and experienced professional. He believes that the right kind of help can reduce isolation, create hope and build resilience.

He also works with the anxiety and depression that accompany traumatic experiences.

Get Help Today – Trauma Therapy in Costa Mesa and Los Alamitos

Don’t let trauma continue to undermine your life – Get help from a compassionate trauma therapist.

Healing is Possible.

Contact me in Costa Mesa or Los Alamitos for support and relief from painful and distressing experiences.

Reach Out When You're Ready.