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Trauma and PTSD

Trauma and PTSD Counseling | Post Traumatic Stress Disorder | Cohesive Therapy NYC

Traumatic Events

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH TRAUMA?

If you have experienced trauma in your life, you may continue to experience not only the psychological and emotional aftereffects of what occurred, you might find your physical health and interpersonal relationships being impacted as well. Although many of us are able to recover emotionally from accidents, assaults, and even abuse, some people will endure more long-term symptoms caused by trauma commonly known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It’s a common misconception that post-traumatic stress only happens with combat veterans and police officers, when in fact, more than 1 in 10 people who have survived trauma will experience post-traumatic symptoms. Much like a wound or injury that does not properly heal, these issues can create a great deal of pain and distress to those who are affected by them.

Sometimes, trauma can make us avoid certain things that remind us of what happened. For some people, their body’s stress response to possible threats or triggers make them react with an extreme state of alertness or “hypervigilance” as a way to keep these threats away.

This hypervigilance is particularly heightened when those things “trigger” or initiate a flashback, where those difficult experiences are relived. Over time, these experiences can dramatically impact your mood and feelings of well-being. Left untreated, these symptoms can affect your health, your relationships, your career, and your life.

Trauma and PTSD Cycle | How Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Affects You

Getting loved ones to understand your experience can be isolating, frustrating, and can leave you feeling ashamed or as if you are the only person who feels the way that you feel. Even the most well-meaning family member or friend can leave you feeling invalidated as they try to make you “feel better,” but instead, you end up feeling that they don’t want to listen to you or that you are burdening them with your problems.

You don’t need to have the extreme or long-term symptoms of PTSD in order to experience symptoms of trauma, as these can look very similar to depression and anxiety and can even manifest themselves through physical health issues. You may find that you are experiencing difficulty with sleeping through the night, concentrating on daily tasks, confronting certain situations, or thinking non-stop about what bothers you.

If you are experiencing any of these warning signs of PTSD after a traumatic life event, psychotherapy can help you learn the tools to lower your anxiety surrounding triggering situations.

HOW WILL THERAPY HELP ME RECOVER FROM TRAUMA?

Therapy provides a safe, supportive, and confidential space for you to work towards healing.

You will have the chance to speak freely about yourself and your experiences, share your life story, and build trust at a pace that feels comfortable for you. We will use trauma-informed care to ensure that you feel safe and to decrease the effects of potential triggers that may be related to your trauma.

In our work together, you will be able to let us know what your goals are, or we can figure them out together. Many people have general goals, while others are much more specific:

  • I want to rediscover who I am without the fear and anxiety.
  • I want to be able to be present without worrying about what may happen tomorrow.
  • I want to feel motivated again.
  • I want to understand where this came from and get over it.
  • I don’t want to depend on therapy forever and want to know how to cope on my own.
  • I want to feel worthy of _________.
  • I want to be able to be mindful and self-reflective without the negative thoughts that
    follow.
  • I just want to get some sleep…
WHAT ARE SOME TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR TRAUMA AND PTSD?

Treatment for trauma and PTSD can come in many forms, though most treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. CBT focuses on changing the thought patterns that are disturbing your life so you can work through your trauma and make a more constructive path forward.

Trauma-Focused CBT
A subset of CBT, TF-CBT is an evidence-based treatment that deals directly with the experiences of someone who has gone through trauma. It’s usually a short-term therapeutic plan that can last between 8 and 25 sessions, and while it was developed originally for adolescents, works well with adults, too. This type of therapy was first developed in the 1990s and has since grown in popularity because of its evidence-based approach.

TF-CBT can help you to identify the feelings that trauma causes you to experience and can help with depression and anxiety related to traumatic experiences. By identifying the feelings your trauma has caused, we can work together to address and improve your symptoms. Talking with a therapist can be a great first step toward healing trauma.

Somatic Psychotherapy for Trauma
Somatic Psychotherapy is a blend of talk therapy and alternative forms of physical therapy. If this approach is right for you, we would work together to revive memories, paying close attention to the physical responses in your body while talking through the trauma. This therapy can be incorporated into dance, exercise, yoga, deep breathing, etc.

The thought behind somatic psychotherapy in treating trauma is that the mind, body, spirit, and emotions are all related. When you experience stress from past traumas, it can affect not only your emotions, but your physical body in the form of pain or discomfort. Honing in to your mind-body connection can help you release the feelings trauma has caused and help you move forward towards healing it.

Brainspotting
Brianspotting is based on the concept that trauma is stored in the body and can have an effect on emotions, memory, and our physical health. When using brainspotting, we would work together to reprocess traumatic experiences and emotional reactions. This type of therapy is especially suited to trauma and PTSD and can be particularly effective.

Please visit our  Brainspotting  specialty page to learn more.

Let’s Get Started on Your Healing Journey
Living with the aftereffects of trauma or struggling with PTSD is difficult, but you are not alone and you don’t have to live this way forever!  If you would like to talk through these experiences with a trained professional, our therapists are here for you.

Contact us today to set up a free 20-minute phone consultation and take that first step towards change.

Have questions about rates, insurance and what to expect in therapy?

Find out more here!

Childhood Emotional Neglect

WHAT IS CHILDHOOD EMOTIONAL NEGLECT?

When your emotional needs were not met as a child, it can have serious impacts on your life as an adult. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your parents didn’t love you, and maybe you know this, but you can’t stop thinking about your childhood experiences. When you find yourself stuck in the past, it is exceedingly difficult to move forward.

Childhood emotional neglect is consistent – meaning that it occurred over a period of time and not just on occasion – and that makes its effect on a developing mind all the more significant. Maladaptive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors learned during this period of time often survive the transition into adulthood and may become disruptive to your life.

Childhood emotional neglect (CEN) comes in many forms. Your caregivers may not have spent quality time with you, resulting in a lack of understanding of emotions or social skills. Perhaps you don’t enjoy physical contact such as hugs because you rarely received physical contact growing up. CEN can also affect your perspectives on hygiene, work ethic, vulnerability, and expressing emotions, leaving you with the impression that you are somehow “different” than other people.

Another major effect of CEN can be on your romantic relationships and how you approach boundaries. If you grew up with unmet needs, you might feel compelled to do whatever it takes to have your needs met now, resulting in situations that burn you out or leave you feeling anxious or needy. On the other hand, you might be afraid to pursue love at all, always keeping others at arms’ length to avoid more heartbreak.
Addressing the emotions that were not accepted, recognized, or paid attention to as a child is an important step to releasing the pain caused by childhood emotional neglect.

HOW CAN THERAPY FOR CHILDHOOD EMOTIONAL NEGLECT HELP?

When you find a therapist to help you with your concerns about CEN, you are taking a big step. We are here to faithfully listen as you relate your goals and experiences, and are committed to helping you make the changes you seek.

Many of the effects of neglect aren’t obvious. After several sessions with us, our clients may realize that childhood emotional neglect is behind:

  • Difficulty making new friends
  • An inability to stick to plans required to meet goals
  • Trouble coping with life’s challenges
  • Feeling anxious, depressed, empty, or without purpose
  • Chronic fatigue, a feeling of being totally exhausted

When you work with our trained therapists, we will explore how to:

  • Understand and express emotions
  • Cope effectively
  • Feel relaxed in daily life and secure in life overall
  • Develop meaningful, lasting relationships with others
  • Set attainable goals and hold yourself accountable
  • Establish who you are as a person and identify viable future paths you may want to take

You deserve to live life feeling fulfilled, happy, and prepared for everything that comes your way. If
you are ready to make a change, we would love to hear you out and walk with you along your journey of
healing.

Contact us today to set up a free 20-minute phone consultation and take that first step towards change.

Have questions about rates, insurance and what to expect in therapy?

Find out more here!

Medical PTSD

WHEN TREATMENT BECOMES TRAUMA

When you experience a severe medical issue, it can leave you feeling lost, helpless, frustrated, and even traumatized. Yet despite your medical problems, you know you must still take care of your responsibilities, which may include childcare, household chores, and financial obligations, among others. When you don’t feel well, these things are no easy tasks. Whether you’ve been in an accident, gone through a difficult surgery, experienced an acute crisis like a heart attack, or currently experience a chronic illness such as IBD, for example, we know you’ve gone through a lot, and it can be a challenge to process.

In addition to navigating your medical needs, you may have been faced with negotiating your employment with a manager who may or may not understand your situation. When your body can no longer function the way it used to, you may not be able to take care of yourself the way you were used to and you may require the aid of a caregiver such as a family member, friend, or nursing aide. On top of it all, you might be wondering how you’re going to pay for it all and worrying about what your future now looks like.

All of this and more can be devastating to your self-esteem and totally disrupt your sense of normalcy and belonging. Even more short-term or acute medical issues can leave a lasting impact as you come face to face with mortality and the fragility of control in your life.

When your family or friends haven’t been through something similar, they often don’t understand. This can sometimes lead to unmet needs, feelings of utter loneliness, and a fear of the unknown.

Stress related to medical issues can also cause and increase emotional, physical, and spiritual pain. After all you’ve been through, you deserve to live a life filled with as little pain as possible.

If you find yourself grieving for your health and the life you once had, or need help mentally processing a medical issue, we can help. When you find a therapist uniquely skilled in treating medical PTSD, you are one step closer to accepting a new normal.

Together, we will:

  • Discuss strategies for improving your self-esteem over the long-term
  • Develop coping skills that work for you in your unique situation
  • Review how your trauma and fear are connected and how you can reframe thoughts and
    feelings so that you can live comfortably in the now
  • Go over healthy ways to express your emotions

Sometimes medical PTSD can also be experienced by observers. Perhaps you are a nurse or doctor who is frequently exposed to ailing patients, or maybe you witnessed someone get hurt in a car accident. Your feelings are real, and you don’t have to keep them to yourself.

Whatever your situation with medical PTSD is, we are ready to listen and help.

Contact us today to set up a free 20-minute phone consultation and take that first step towards change.

Have questions about rates, insurance and what to expect in therapy?

Find out more here!

Grief and Loss

Most people experience loss in some form during their lives due to death, a breakup, or some other circumstance. Some may experience feelings of deep sadness or anger while others may feel nothing at all. Everyone responds to grief differently. Talking to a therapist trained in grief counseling can help you process your loss faster and more effectively.

If you’re experiencing the loss of someone you love, you might be caught between conflicting thoughts. Perhaps you feel guilty about something that may have occurred or even find yourself feeling responsible for the loss of your loved one. To provide relief, you might share your feelings openly with someone who cares about you.

On the other hand, it is totally normal to have the “opposite” reaction, one in which you absolve yourself or others of wrongdoing (“nothing more could have been done”) and enjoy spending time alone with your feelings by engaging in solo activities like painting, exercise, or writing. You may even want to talk openly with someone but feel that you would be burdening others who may also be grieving.

There is no one right way to grieve, and we aren’t here to tell you how to do it.

You may be familiar with the five stages of grief, each of which typically presents itself at some point during a loss, though not necessarily in order:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

These stages are important in helping you to accept the loss, work through your emotions, adjust to life without the individual, and move on without shame. However, it is not at all uncommon to get stuck on one or more of these stages or to move back and forth between them.

Your grief can get in the way of your relationships, employment, physical and mental health, and feelings of purpose and belonging in the world. Grief can take months to process or it can take years. In some cases, people may experience what’s called “complicated grief” and will not fully bounce back on their own within a reasonable time frame.

Serious symptoms of grief may include:

  • Profound sadness or pain
  • Feelings of emptiness or worthlessness
  • A preoccupation with being reunited with an individual
  • Difficulty remembering the person lost
  • Avoiding things that remind you of the person lost
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • A lack of interest in goals and hobbies

When you find a therapist to help you process a heartbreaking loss, it’s important that you will be listened to and treated with warmth and respect. At Cohesive Therapy NYC, we want nothing but the best for you. It’s never easy to go through the pain of a loss, but you aren’t alone.

Contact us today to set up a free 20-minute phone consultation and take that first step towards change.

Have questions about rates, insurance and what to expect in therapy?

Find out more here!