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Sunrise over Mountains
Forest Road

Therapy for Trauma and PTSD

  • “I'm worried all the time"

  • “I can’t concentrate”

  • “I’m ‘on edge’ all the time, and I can’t shut it off”

  • “I shame myself by saying things like ‘I should’ve…’”

What are Trauma and PTSD, and how can you help me?

What is PTSD? 

Think of your brain is like a library. It's filled with all sorts of books, each representing different memories and experiences from your life. Most of these books are neatly organized on shelves, easy to find when you need them.  But what happens when something really scary or traumatic happens to you? It's like someone comes into your library and throws those books all over the place. Suddenly, the shelves are a mess, and it's hard to find anything. Some memories might feel like they're popping up at random times, causing you to feel scared or overwhelmed, even when you're safe.

That's kind of what PTSD is like. It's when your brain has trouble processing and storing traumatic memories in the right way. Instead of keeping them safely tucked away, they keep popping up when you least expect it, causing distress and making it hard to go about your day-to-day life.

Just like a librarian might need help cleaning up the mess and organizing the books again, people with PTSD often need support and therapy to help their brains process those memories in a healthier way. Over time, with the right help, it's like slowly but surely putting those books back on the shelves, making it easier to find what you need and feel more in control again.

How is trauma different than PTSD?

Trauma is the scary or shocking experience itself, while PTSD is when those feelings of fear and anxiety stick around long after the experience is over and start to interfere with your daily life. PTSD is also a diagnosable mental health condition. If you've experienced a traumatic event but don't meet the criteria for PTSD, that doesn't mean that your trauma isn't valid, or that you can't work through that trauma during therapy. 

Our Approach

We offer a couple of approaches to treating trauma and PTSD, depending on your unique needs. For clients who have experienced a single incident trauma, Cognitive Processing Therapy can be highly effective in reducing not only the impacts of the trauma you've experienced, but also any underlying anxiety or depression. CPT is delivered in 12 structured, weekly sessions. If you participate in this type of therapy, you'll be given homework between sessions and learn to better understand the relationship between your thoughts and behaviors. You'll learn to modify unhelpful beliefs related to the trauma that you experienced or witnessed. Clients who utilize this therapy often don't need follow up sessions beyond their 12 sessions, but this can be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. This type of therapy is often used for first responders and members of the military, but can be used for anyone who has PTSD. 

We also treat trauma with EMDR. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. But don't let the jargon overwhelm you. At its core, EMDR is a therapy approach designed to help people process distressing memories and traumatic experiences. Picture it as a gentle guide through the maze of your mind, helping you make sense of past events so you can move forward with greater ease.

So, what does an EMDR therapy session look like? Well, it's not your typical therapy setup. You won't find a couch and a clipboard here. Instead, you'll be invited into a safe and supportive space, where your therapist will guide you through a series of techniques to help your brain to process memories in a new way.  These might include bilateral stimulation, like eye movements or taps, that engage both sides of your brain. Think of it like giving your mind a workout and helping it get stronger. 

If you're ready to rewrite the script of your life, EMDR might just be the missing piece of the puzzle. Take that first brave step toward healing, and remember – you don't have to walk this journey alone. Reach out today to get started! 

Lake Landscape

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206-501-1189

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