For trauma survivors entering therapy is often an act of courage. When those you have trusted have betrayed or hurt you, the thought of trusting another human being is daunting, safety seems elusive, and hope difficult to sustain.
Survivors often feel out of control, unaware that they are experiencing normal responses to the experience or witnessing of trauma or abuse.
What We Understand About Trauma
Trauma disrupts the sense of self, and the ability to trust and to experience safety. In the aftermath difficult and intense feelings of fear, horror, shock, anger, grief, sadness, disgust and shame can be overwhelming. Nightmares and flashbacks are common as is the desire to numb through activity, addictions or distractions.
Trauma has many faces. It may be a single incident: sexual assault, witnessing violence, betrayal or a sudden loss. It may also involve a prolonged experience of childhood abuse, or exposure to unhealthy emotional environments. Silencing, isolation and shame are some of the crippling impacts of trauma.
The effects of trauma disrupt relationships at the times that they are most needed. It is a natural instinct to want to retreat and self-protect in the face of adversity and from the challenges that life and loss present, yet connecting with others is essential to healing.
What Counseling Provides
We provide a safe place where respect, presence, compassion and mutuality are the foundation of the counseling relationship. We do not expect the counseling process to be easy; it requires commitment from both the survivor and the therapist. We will listen carefully and counseling will proceed at your pace. The process of healing occurs differently for each survivor but the relationship is key to developing the capacities necessary to heal, restore self-esteem, and establish healthy, mutual and non-traumatizing relationships.
Our staff's expertise includes:
- Treatment of posttraumatic stress (PTSD), complex posttraumatic stress disorder, dissociative disorders, and traumatic grief
- Individual and couple therapy around the impact of trauma on intimate relationships and sexuality
- Play therapy with traumatized children
- Integrative approaches, including hypnotherapy and attention to the mind/body connection
- Individual, couple, and group work with male survivors
- Art therapy for adolescent girls
- Trauma therapy groups for female, male and adolescent survivors
- Workshops for survivors that support management of feelings as well as skill building in areas such as relationships and communication, self-soothing and boundary setting
- Workshops for parents to understand the impact of trauma on themselves or their children
- Workshops for the restoration of healthy sexuality for survivors and their partners
For questions or to discuss an initial appointment, please contact our intake counselor,
Jan Smallwood, MS.Ed, LCPC, CADC at 847-475-7003 x 10, or email her at email@example.com.