This article was contributed by guest author, Marian Mullahy, LCSW, a psychotherapist and friend of Psych Choices.
As one clinician said, trauma is a gift that keeps on giving. For individuals who have suffered a single-event trauma or have experienced multiple traumatic events and complex PTSD, the first step in healing is to connect with a safe professional who understands what you have been through.
In addition to feeling safe (often the first time in an individual’s life), you will get a chance to process the events and emotions you experienced within a therapeutic environment where you will be “held” in a non-shaming, gentle place.
Trauma can impact a person’s life in a variety of ways. Physical, psychological, sexual and emotional trauma affect individual development as well as the ability to maintain healthy relationships.
Unhealed trauma can also limit your ability to have intimacy in your relationships, and it can influence beliefs you have about the safeness of yourself, other people, and the world. It also underlies many emotional health issues such as depression and anxiety.
A real life example might help. Lee R (not her real name) came in for therapy for a level of depression and anxiety that could not be explained by her life circumstances or stressors. After careful and gentle exploration of her past, she discovered the she had never come to terms with the traumatic death of her mother.
We spent time and care and helping her to process both her emotions and subsequent assumptions about herself, her relationships, and the world. At the end, she reported a significant decrease in both her symptoms and the role she played in not being present when her mother needed her. We also did some grief work around how she could come to terms with her responsibility about her role and how to wanted to interact with others in the future.
Many traumatic events which are stored both physically and psychically can be helped with therapy. It is a safe opportunity to explore your issues in depth within a supportive relationship.
Many of the therapists at Psych Choices of the Delaware Valley are skilled in helping people heal from traumatic events in their lives. To make an appointment, please use our Request an Appointment page.