Trauma, PTSD and Complex PTSD Counseling

We often think of trauma as being a frightening event that happened or something that veterans experience in war, and while those can be true, trauma is much broader than that. Any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and unsafe, not just those that involve a threat of physical harm, can result in trauma.

Trauma can be anything that’s happened to us that overwhelmed our ability to effectively process and cope with it. Simply put, trauma is not just about what happened and it’s also about how it affected affected us.

Common traumatic situations we help clients deal with include bullying and discrimination, abuse of all kinds, violence, medical trauma, natural disasters, intense grief and loss, and more.

Unhealed trauma can lead to disorders like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD and cause significant issues with our physical and mental health, including:

  • Shock, denial, or disbelief
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating and memory problems
  • Anger, irritability, and mood swings
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Guilt, shame, and self-blame
  • Isolation from others
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Hypoarousal (feeling disconnected or numb)
  • Hyperarousal (feeling “on edge” and startling easily)
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Attempts to emotionally numb by inappropriately using alcohol, drugs, or food
  • Physical symptoms like aches and pains, headaches, chest pains, digestive issues

What to Expect in Trauma and PTSD Counseling

Everyone’s trauma experience is unique, so how we treat it for each person is too. Some of the ways we can help you heal your unresolved trauma is through techniques like:

Brainspotting therapy (BSP) – Brainspotting is a branch of EMDR therapy that uses spots in a person’s visual field to help them process trauma in a more effective way than just talking about the event.

Somatic (body-focused) techniques – Trauma can change your brain and nervous system, so treating things from body perspective is just as important as doing the psychological work. Somatic therapy aims to “release” pent-up trauma to relieve mental health symptoms and chronic pain, using methods such as developing body awareness and grounding in your body. Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) is one form of somatic healing that we offer.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – CBT helps you learn to challenge and change unhelpful beliefs about the trauma that are keeping you “stuck.” The aim is to help you understand and think differently about the traumatic event(s), which can help relieve your emotional distress and symptoms.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) – DBT is a branch of CBT that focuses on changing problematic thinking patterns as well, but also focuses on 4 key areas: increasing mindfulness, helping you learn to regulate emotions and tolerate distress, and improving how you relate to other people.

Internal Family Systems (IFS) – IFS Therapy is a therapeutic model that views the mind as composed of various subpersonalities or “parts,” and aims to promote self-awareness, healing, and integration of these parts.

Team members who have the most experience with trauma and PSTD counseling:

Cherie Miller, MS, LPC-S
Tierra Yonker, LCSW, LCDC
Amy Scott, M.Ed., LPC
Alessandra Capasso, MS, LPC
Andie Dillow, LPC-Associate
Lauren Dorsett, Graduate Intern

Ready to get started on your trauma counseling and healing?