Is The Past Making It Impossible To Focus On What’s In Front Of You?

Are you processing a distressing or frightening experience? Do intrusive thoughts and uncomfortable memories keep you from feeling that life is ever normal? Have your productivity, relationships, or sense of self-esteem been impacted by an inability to stay present? 

You may often feel anxious, hypervigilant, or on-edge. Perhaps it feels as though you’re never safe in your surroundings or from the memories that seem to haunt you. You may even experience flashbacks or nightmares that paralyze you into a constant state of fear. 

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It could be that your relationships have suffered as a result of your adverse experiences. For instance, if you are grappling with the effects of child abuse, neglect, or a distressing incident from your past, you likely find it hard to trust or relate to others. And despite a desperate desire to feel safe and secure in your relationships, you may believe that there is no other option than to put up barriers. 

When struggling with unresolved trauma, it can be hard to focus or stay present. You may have troubling thoughts or bodily sensations that frequently surface. Or perhaps you can’t shake feelings of shame, guilt, or self-doubt. If this is the case, it probably feels like a single incident or series of incidents from your past have taken over your life entirely. 

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All you want is to return to the person you were before trauma took over. But it’s important to remember that, while you can’t turn back time and change the circumstances of what happened, therapy can help you to accept, understand, and heal from trauma. 

There Are Many Forms Of Common Traumas

 

Though humans have endured violent, dangerous, and distressing experiences for centuries, we are only now beginning to understand the far-reaching implications of trauma. It’s estimated that 70 percent of adults in the U.S. have experienced some form of trauma during their lifetime.[1] And according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, 8 million people in the general population struggle with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in any given year.[2]

Because trauma is defined as an emotional response to a distressing event, any number of experiences can qualify as traumatic. The first thing that may come to mind is an instance of abuse or assault, which is incredibly common in the U.S. Take, for instance, the fact that 1 out of every 6 women in our country has been a victim of a completed or attempted sexual assault or that over 80 percent of American women have experienced sexual harassment.[3] [4]

Beyond sexual and domestic assault, of course, exists rampant instances of child abuse and neglect (which includes emotional, verbal, physical, sexual, and psychological abuse), community violence, disasters, attacks, medical traumas, and traumatic grief. Not to mention, there are compound and systemic forms of trauma that, while not a singular event, nevertheless, have adverse effects on the individuals who experience them. 

Unfortunately, we live in a fiercely independent culture that praises people for working their way through obstacles on their own. Moreover, we can often deceive ourselves into thinking that others have it worse than we do, keeping us from voicing our feelings and experiences. 

And while the idea of talking about our pain sounds uncomfortable and scary, it’s precisely those uncomfortable feelings and fears that will continue to ruminate until we work through our experiences. 

However, at Rhapsody Behavioral Healthcare, we will give you an opportunity to unpack your trauma with an empathetic therapist who can facilitate your healing. 

Therapy Takes The Control Away From Trauma And Gives It Back To You 

When trauma enacts so much control over the day-to-day aspects of life, it’s important to regain a sense of agency and empowerment. Our therapeutic approach is both patient-focused and trauma-informed so that you can take control of the narrative and define treatment goals for yourself. 

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Your Rhapsody Behavioral clinician will use their professional experience and expertise to aid you in achieving your goals, which will be outlined during the first few sessions of therapy. As we learn more about your history and hopes for trauma treatment, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and demystify the process. Because we are client-centered, we’ll take care to move at your pace and employ trauma-informed therapy techniques to ensure that you feel comfortable and safe along the way. 

Using Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and elements of narrative therapy, you can learn to adjust distorted thinking patterns and change the way you think about your story. In addition, we will incorporate body-based techniques that will help you to regulate your breathing during times of anxiety or distress. And we may also use elements of exposure therapy that can be helpful in regulating your nervous system and challenging the phobias and fears you have developed as a result of trauma. 

In exploring the impact that trauma has had on you with one of our affirming therapists, you can learn to shift the perspective on your experience, create a more positive and accepting mindset, and develop more self-compassion.

Research supports that anywhere from 77 to 100 percent of clients who attend regular, individually customized trauma therapy sessions notice a reduction in symptoms and distressing associations with their experience.[5] And we know from working with a population who has experienced a wide range of traumas, that it’s possible to recreate the narrative and establish a sense of healing. 

You don’t need to struggle alone, and trauma doesn’t have to dictate your life any longer. Through trauma therapy at Rhapsody Behavioral Healthcare, you can establish a new relationship with your past, present, and future. 

Perhaps you’ve considered counseling for trauma, but you still have some questions…

 

I don’t feel comfortable talking about my trauma with a therapist I’ve never met.

We understand that if you’ve endured trauma, it can be hard to trust others—let alone a counselor you’ve never met. As such, we don’t expect you to be completely comfortable in therapy right away, and we are prepared to meet you wherever you may be in your process. We want to assure you that we will always move at a pace that works for you, even if that means taking time over multiple sessions of getting to know one another first, before discussing your trauma.  

 

I’m worried about being judged for seeking treatment for my trauma. 

Though perceptions in our culture have become better with time, there still remains a stigma when it comes to going to therapy. Unfortunately, our society is really good at placing the blame on the person who is experiencing emotional distress—and not the event that caused it. But, please be assured, there is nothing weak or selfish about seeking support. And given our rapidly developing understanding and awareness about the impacts of trauma, we are likely to see a need for therapeutic treatment become more and more in-demand.

 

I’m afraid counseling will just make me feel worse about my trauma. 

It’s normal to feel hesitant and even a little scared about this process. No matter how you feel about your trauma or the prospect of counseling, your reaction is not wrong. It’s precisely this kind of affirmation, however, that will help you to develop a more aware and accepting relationship with yourself and your trauma. And though it may be uncomfortable at times, we are confident that reframing your narrative with one of our supportive clinicians will ultimately aid in your healing. 

You Can Find Peace With Your Past And Hope For Your Future 

If trauma keeps you stuck in the past rather than moving toward your future, therapy at Rhapsody Behavioral Healthcare can help to heal and move forward. To schedule a free, 15-minute consultation or to learn 

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more about how we can help, please send us an email or contact us via our site.