Do I need trauma therapy near me

Do I Need Trauma Therapy?

You haven’t felt like yourself lately. That could mean you’re feeling anxious, depressed, having flashbacks, or something else. So you wonder, “Is this an effect of the trauma I experienced? Do I need trauma therapy?”

For those that do have trauma, therapy can be a godsend. Without therapy, most will live with the effects of the trauma they’ve endured, yet never find relief. Their fight-or-flight system will roar in full force at inopportune times. They’ll have trouble connecting with others. And they will may lack motivation.

But it doesn’t have to be this way forever. Trauma Therapy in Las Vegas can be exactly what you need to get back up on your feet and move forward. Read on to discover what signs to look out for when it comes to trauma, and to see what trauma therapy is all about.

trauma therapy near me

What is Trauma? (Big T vs. Little t)

Trauma is “anything that happened to you that shouldn’t have, or anything that didn’t happen that should have.” That means things like abuse and violence, but also neglect and abandonment.

What makes an experience traumatic is a person’s inability to deal with the emotional impact in the moment. For example, if a 2 year old was bit by a teething puppy, it could register as traumatic. But a 7 year old might take the same experience as playful or funny or cute. So trauma depends on your internal experience of what happened to you, not the event itself.

Then, there’s also the distinction between “Big T” and “little t” trauma. This is a helpful shorthand people and some therapists use to say:

Some experiences are obviously and acutely traumatic, such as a car accident, being in a warzone, or sexual assault. These are “Big T” traumas. But other experiences are less obvious yet still traumatic, such as your parent’s way of teasing you, sibling rivalry, or not being picked for dodgeball. These are “little t” traumas.

At the end of the day, you are the only person who can say if something was traumatic for you or not. Trauma is based on your internal reaction to an experience.

las vegas therapist sonia diaz-ebadi

Some Examples of Trauma

Trauma can come in many different forms, such as:

  • Bullying – can happen once or over months, years, or even decades in the case of family bullying. Can be traumatizing and cause feelings of helplessness.
  • Death of a loved one – Can be a source of feelings of abandonment. Can also compound previous experiences of abandonment and become debilitating.
  • Dealing with a narcissist – Traumatic in that you’re kept in fight or flight mode. You may find yourself being on defense, trying to please the other person, and feeling withdrawn. The acute and cumulative effects are traumatic and life-depleting.
  • War combat – Explosions, violence, witnessing inhumane acts, and more can leave you feeling traumatized.
  • Natural disasters – Overwhelming to experience, can cause traumatic symptoms afterwards.
  • Car accidents – Sudden, intense, dangerous. Can lead to traumatic responses like always checking your rear-view mirror, bracing for impact at stop lights, etc.

9 More Examples of Potential Trauma

  • Experiencing or witnessing physical violence
  • Physical or emotional neglect
  • Humiliation and embarrassment
  • Sexual abuse
  • Racism
  • Divorce
  • Serious Injury
  • Witnessing violence, abuse, or cruelty
  • A sense of helplessness around medical issues

If any of these experiences have impacted you, join me for trauma therapy in Las Vegas.

signs you may have trauma

Signs You Have Trauma

If you’re experiencing trauma, you’re not alone. The APA estimates that about 8% of the US adult population has PTSD, an extreme form of trauma. And this number goes as high as 58% for high-risk groups, such as combat veterans and natural disaster survivors.

So, what are some signs to look for? These can help you answer the question, Do I need trauma therapy?

  • Anxiety and/or Depression
  • Debilitating feelings
  • Overwhelming fear(s)
  • Rage and intense anger
  • Strong startle response
  • Difficulty connecting with others
  • Withdrawing socially
  • Irritability
  • Avoiding places or activities
  • Obsessive behavior
symptoms of trauma

Fight or Flight Response

Behind the pain of trauma lies the fight or flight response. When your brain feels unsafe or recognizes a pattern that is similar to a past traumatic experience, your amygdala goes on overdrive. The amygdala is the fear center in the brain, tasked with keeping you safe. But the problem is that it can continue to show up. 

If we never shake off our trauma (or work through it, perhaps with a trauma therapist), it stays there.

So your body dumps loads of adrenaline and cortisol into your system, keeping you alert for dangers that may or may not be present. This is the source of that “on edge” feeling some trauma survivors get.

Working through the trauma and restoring a sense of safety in your body and brain is essential. Trauma therapy is absolutely necessary if you want to free yourself from PTSD, flashbacks, and debilitating and overwhelming fears, anxiety, or depression. 

The way out of trauma is by addressing it with a trauma trained therapist.

Do I need trauma therapy

The Importance of Therapy for Trauma

Therapy is a sign of strength and courage. It’s not easy facing past painful experiences. It takes real guts, so kudos to you for considering trauma therapy.

The importance of therapy for trauma cannot be overstated. It’s critical if you want to heal from traumatic experiences, reduce flashbacks, remove the emotional pain from memories, and move forward in life. 

Without therapy for trauma, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll feel better. That’s because painful traumatic energies linger in our systems – our brain and body. It takes support, guidance, and consistent attention. 

In trauma therapy with me, my clients benefit from Somatic Experiencing. This is an increasingly popular therapy method. In SE (as it’s often abbreviated), we’ll establish a sense of safety, then gently approach your trauma, finally shaking it off with guided movements. This has proven to be effective, not just for my therapy clients, but in clinical studies.

For example, in one review of 16 studies, there were positive effects of SE for PTSD.

Do I have trauma

EMDR Therapy for Trauma

Yet another therapy modality you can benefit from is EMDR. It stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing – using guided eye movements to help your brain process memories that haven’t been fully processed or processed correctly.

I will be offering EMDR for Trauma and other concerns starting in June 2024. For now, please know that it’s one of the most requested modalities due to it’s benefits. Clients love that they can just follow along during guided eye movements, check in with the therapist about the intensity of their body sensations, and… that’s it.

In other words, you won’t even need to TALK to your therapist or tell them about your traumatic experiences. EMDR works without the need to go into detail or even talk about your trauma at all. It’s an internal process, and you can feel free to share as much or as little as you want.

friends at computer smiling

Misconceptions About Trauma Therapy

The word trauma has made its way into pop culture. Celebrities, social media influencers, and probably your friends or family members have a basic sense of what trauma means. But that doesn’t mean we’re all on the same page about it. In this section, learn a few misconceptions about trauma therapy so you can go into it with positive expectations.

First misconception: All therapists are trained to deal with trauma.

There’s a difference between being “trauma-informed” and “trauma-trained.” Make sure any trauma therapist you work with is the latter. They’ll be able to work with you on relieving the effects of your trauma.

Second misconception: Any trauma therapist will do.

This isn’t true. As with any type of therapy, the biggest factor in success is the relationship you have with your therapist.

Trauma therapy can be liberating and life-changing if you find the right therapist for YOU. Many therapists say they’re trauma-informed and that’s a good start, make sure your therapist is trauma-trained. 

Third misconception: Trauma therapy will be fast.

Trauma therapy is a slow and purposeful process so managing expectations around “how long it will take” is subjective at best and depends on your ability to get in touch with your body and emotions. 

There’s no timeline for recovery. Some people with severe trauma recover very quickly, while others take longer. And sometimes, those with moderate trauma recover more slowly than someone with severe depression. So the truth is that it depends on your personality, traumas, and how well you respond and open yourself up to therapy.

Fourth Misconception: To heal, you need to relive your trauma.

Trauma therapy doesn’t have to include going back into the memory or traumatic event and “rehashing it.” It will involve some amount of discomfort but doesn’t include retraumatizing to heal. 

For therapy to be optimal, your inner sense of safety will be monitored at all times. If things feel overwhelming, your therapist can help ground you and slow things down.

Effective trauma therapy doesn’t overexpose you to your trauma. Nor does it expose you too fast, too often, or too intensely.

trauma therapist near me las vegas

Choosing a Good Therapist for Trauma

Don’t be afraid to ask the therapist how they would go about treating your symptoms or trauma. How they answer will be an important indication if are right for you. 

The right therapist, as I’ve said above, is trauma trained. This sets them apart in an important way. If a therapist is only trauma informed, that means they know about trauma. But trauma trained means they have practical experience and supervision in the art and science of helping someone like you with trauma.

In addition to this, you’ll want a therapist that fits your personality and style. This can make all the difference between steady progress in therapy, and therapy that feels like a long slog to nowhere.

Lastly, do some basic research on whatever modalities your therapist uses for trauma. This will help you get comfortable with the process and understand what to expect. It will also help you ask the right questions and get the most out of therapy.

woman in therapy

How Trauma Therapy in Las Vegas Can Help

Now you know what the signs and symptoms of trauma are. You’ve learned that “trauma” depends upon your internal experience of an event, rather than the event itself. You’ve also learned the most common misconceptions about trauma therapy (and the truth that is less talked about).

Now, you should be closer to answering your question: Do I need trauma therapy?

If you’re leaning towards yes, or perhaps just curious, I invite you to look at my Trauma service page. It’s angled towards those who have childhood trauma, though I am trauma trained and can help with any type of trauma you may be experiencing.

And if you’re ready to book a free phone consultation, give me a call any time at (805)637-7630, or contact me.

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