Our Approach: Compassionate Trauma Therapy
At Morrisville Counseling and Consulting, PLLC, we recognize the interconnectedness of trauma with the mind and body. Our trauma therapy approach is integrative and client-centered, focusing on the unique needs of each individual. We specialize in EMDR, Brainspotting, and Somatic Experiencing, providing an integrative process that helps clients process traumatic memories, develop new coping strategies, and find life balance.
Tailored Trauma Therapy
Our trauma therapists are trained to address developmental needs, especially related to attachment wounds and complex trauma. We prepare clients to heal from relational trauma, offering tailored interventions to support their journey to embodied well-being. Through Trauma Therapy at Morrisville Counseling and Consulting, PLLC, individuals can find the pace and rhythm that best supports their recovery.
Understanding Trauma: More than Just an Event
Trauma can manifest in many ways, impacting not only our minds but also our bodies. Our nervous system, designed to be adaptive and self-protective, can get stuck in modes like "fight or flight," "freeze" shutdown, or "please and appease." Such states can lead to chronic anxiety, pain, fatigue, issues concentrating, maintaining healthy relationships, or difficulty regulating emotions.
Trauma also leaves an imprint on the body, making it challenging for individuals to tolerate certain sensations or feel comfortable in their own skin. However, the good news is that healing is possible. Through trauma therapy, we guide clients in integrating embodied awareness, an essential aspect often missed in traditional therapy.
Recognizing Trauma Symptoms
Trauma can manifest in a variety of ways, affecting both the mind and body. According to the DSM-5, there are distinct symptom categories:
Individuals may avoid specific places, sounds, or situations that remind them of the traumatic event. This avoidance can be accompanied by feelings of anxiety, depression, numbness, or guilt.
Trauma survivors might face intrusive thoughts, nightmares, or flashbacks, vividly reliving the traumatic event even when safe.
Trauma can lead to heightened arousal, causing anger, irritability, and hypervigilance. Some individuals may engage in aggressive or reckless behavior, including self-harm, and experience sleep disturbances.
Negative Mood and Cognition Symptoms
Trauma often results in a loss of interest in once-enjoyable activities, difficulty remembering specific event details, and significant changes in habits and behaviors since the traumatic incident.
Seeking Trauma Therapy: When and Why
When to Seek Treatment for Trauma
Not everyone who experiences trauma requires therapy, but if symptoms persist for more than a month and significantly impact daily life, seeking trauma therapy is essential. Symptoms such as nightmares, dissociation, irritability, and emotional numbness may indicate the need for professional support.
Untreated Trauma and its Consequences
Leaving trauma untreated can have severe consequences, affecting relationships, careers, and overall well-being. Unaddressed trauma may lead to conditions like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), causing trust issues, flashbacks, and emotional reactivity. Some individuals may turn to substances for relief, further exacerbating the situation. Although symptoms might lessen with time, there is no guarantee that PTSD will resolve without intervention.
Recovery and Potential Relapses
PTSD symptoms can reoccur even after successful treatment due to the nature of the disorder. Trauma therapy does not offer a definitive cure, but it equips individuals with coping skills to manage symptoms effectively. Periodic "maintenance sessions'' are encouraged in many trauma therapies to reinforce coping mechanisms and ensure ongoing symptom management.
Trauma Therapies and Modalities
At Morrisville Counseling and Consulting, PLLC, we understand the complexities of trauma and offer a range of evidence-based therapies tailored to individual needs. Our trauma treatments include:
Our therapists provide empathetic and supportive counseling to help individuals process their emotions, fears, and anxieties related to trauma. Through a trusting therapeutic relationship, clients find comfort and strength, fostering resilience in the face of adversity. Supportive counseling is often utilized in combination with other techniques and modalities, such as EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, Brainspotting, CBT, or mindfulness-based approaches.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a widely recognized therapeutic approach for trauma. It focuses on identifying and challenging negative thought patterns and behaviors related to the trauma. Through CBT, individuals learn healthier coping strategies and develop a more positive outlook, facilitating recovery. A popular form of CBT therapy for trauma is Prolonged Exposure Therapy. In PE the therapist will help develop coping strategies, and ask clients to verbally process traumatic memories.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a specialized form of trauma therapy designed to alleviate post-traumatic stress symptoms. Like Somatic Experiencing and Brainspotting, EMDR is informed by neurobiological research about the impacts of trauma on the brain and the brain’s ability to heal. It consists of an 8-step protocol to ensure your therapist understands your trauma history, prepares you for processing painful memories, and fosters long-term success long after therapy ends.
Somatic Experiencing (SE)
SE is a type of body-based trauma therapy, rooted in scientific research on the intersection of physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics. SE helps to resolve symptoms of trauma that accumulate in our bodies (e.g. changes in the biological stress response). Through various body-based exercises and education about the autonomic nervous system, SE has helped many heal from trauma.
Rooted in neurobiological research, Brainspotting is a trauma treatment introduced in 2003. Brainspotting works by identifying, processing, and releasing sources of emotional and body pain while relieving other challenging symptoms. Its name stems from the concept of a Brainspot, which is a fixed eye position that activates a traumatic or emotionally charged issue in the brain. Through holding this eye position and other techniques, traumas can be processed and resolved.
Mindfulness-based therapies, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) teach individuals to stay present in the moment, develop an awareness of emotions, sensations, and thoughts, and respond to these experiences with less impulsivity and more intentionality. These techniques help you to manage overwhelming internal and external experiences, respond effectively to these experiences, reduce stress, and promote overall well-being. Examples include focusing your attention on the 5 senses while taking a walk, cuddling a pet, or eating a meal; noticing and describing your feelings; or journaling.
Art Therapy and Expressive Arts
Art therapy and expressive arts provide non-verbal avenues for individuals to explore and express their trauma. Engaging in creative processes can enhance self-awareness, promote emotional release, and facilitate healing. Many find they are naturally drawn to creative outlets such as painting, drawing, writing, or creating music. Whether you are a talented artist or an interested novice, creative outlets can be very powerful tools to aid in processing trauma, expressing yourself, improving self-esteem, inducing relaxation, and cultivating resilience.
Multimodality & Holistic Trauma Therapy
Many therapists practice trauma therapy in a way that is informed by one or more trauma treatments. For example, your therapist may find that a combination of EMDR and art-based therapies will foster the change you desire. Holistic providers may integrate body-based practices into your treatment plans, such as massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatments. Those who have strong ties to spiritual or religious communities may find it helpful to combine psychotherapy with faith-based practices, such as prayer, chanting, or the reading of spiritual texts. The therapists at Morrisville Counseling and Consulting understand that religion and spirituality are often crucial components of healing from trauma while engaging in psychotherapy, and are committed to being sensitive to these important components of your life.
Participating in group therapy sessions allows individuals to connect with others who have experienced similar traumas. Sharing experiences, learning coping strategies, and receiving support from peers create a sense of community and understanding, fostering healing and validation. There are three main types of group therapy: psychoeducational groups, process-oriented groups, and support groups. Often, groups blend two or more of these types. Support groups typically have no set start or end date, are less formal than process and psychoeducational groups, and accept new members on an ongoing basis.
Understanding PTSD: A Path to Healing from Trauma
What is PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a complex mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a deeply distressing or traumatic event. These events might include natural disasters, accidents, combat, physical or sexual assault, or other life-threatening situations. PTSD can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background, and its symptoms can be debilitating, impacting various aspects of daily life.
The Relationship Between PTSD and Trauma
PTSD is intricately linked to trauma. Trauma overwhelms the body and mind’s ability to cope, leaving a lasting imprint on an individual's psychological well-being. When the mind is unable to process the traumatic experience effectively, it can lead to the development of PTSD. Symptoms can be broad and diverse, encompassing intrusive memories, nightmares, flashbacks, severe anxiety, and emotional numbness. Often, those suffering from PTSD find it challenging to engage in daily activities and maintain healthy relationships.
Your Path to Healing Starts Here.
Contact us today for a free phone consultation, and let us guide you on your journey to recovery.
Trauma may leave lasting scars, but it doesn't have to define your life. At Morrisville Counseling and Consulting, PLLC, we believe in the power of healing. Our Trauma Therapy services provide a safe space for individuals to explore their experiences, process their emotions, and reclaim their lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with the aftermath of trauma, we invite you to take the courageous step toward healing.
Compassionate Trauma Therapy Treatement for Durham, Morrisville, Raleigh, and Cary Residents
Our convenient office location in Morrisville makes it easy for residents of Durham, Raleigh, and Cary to access the mental health services they need to address trauma or whatever is affecting their lives.
Find us just off of i40 and 540 at:
2880 Slater Rd, Suite 100 Morrisville, NC 27560
Frequently Asked Questions about Trauma Therapy and PTSD
What Happens During a Trauma Therapy Session?
In a trauma therapy session, you'll work closely with a trained therapist to master coping skills to manage distress and triggers. Once you are able to manage distress more effectively, you will begin to explore and process your traumatic experiences. The therapist may use techniques like EMDR, talk therapy, Brainspotting, Somatic Experiencing, or art therapy to help you confront and manage your trauma-related emotions.
How Long Does Trauma Therapy Take?
The duration of trauma therapy varies based on the individual and the type of therapy used. Some therapies may last a few months, while others could extend for long periods of time. It depends on the severity of the trauma and the progress made in therapy sessions. Often, clients meet their initial goals that brought them to therapy, and shift towards working on new goals. For example, your symptoms of PTSD may subside, but you may desire or require additional support navigating family or relationship difficulties, depression, or anxiety.
Can Trauma Therapy Cure PTSD?
Trauma therapy cannot provide a guaranteed cure for PTSD. However, it equips individuals with coping mechanisms and strategies to manage symptoms effectively. With the right therapy and support, many people with PTSD can experience significant improvement in their quality of life.
Are There Different Types of PTSD?
Yes, there are different types of PTSD based on the nature of the traumatic experience:
Acute Stress Disorder (ASD): Similar to PTSD but occurs within the first few weeks after a trauma.
Complex PTSD: Arises from prolonged, repeated trauma, often involving interpersonal relationships.
Dissociative PTSD: Involves symptoms of dissociation, where the person feels detached from themselves or reality.
Delayed-Onset PTSD: Symptoms emerge months or years after the traumatic event.
Can PTSD Symptoms Reoccur After Successful Treatment?
Yes, PTSD symptoms can reoccur, especially during times of stress or triggering events. Therapy equips individuals with tools to manage these symptoms effectively, and returning to therapy for "maintenance sessions" can help reinforce coping skills.
Is Trauma Therapy Only for Recent Traumatic Events?
No, trauma therapy is effective for both recent and past traumatic events. It can address childhood trauma, military trauma, accidents, and any other experiences causing significant distress. Therapists are trained to help individuals process and heal from various forms of trauma, regardless of when they occur. Some have incredibly vivid memories of their trauma, while others struggle to remember. Whether it is due to the passage of time, or symptoms of PTSD, therapy cannot always invoke these memories, but trauma treatment can still help.
Is Trauma Therapy Suitable for Children and Teens?
Yes, trauma therapy is appropriate for children and teenagers. Specialized approaches like SMART (Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment) are designed to help young individuals regulate their emotions and cope with trauma-related stress.
*Note: This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional therapy or medical advice. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please seek immediate help from a mental health professional or a helpline.*