I’m Dr. Rebecca Crecraft, a trauma therapist, who works with survivors of all kinds of trauma. In my work I often see clients who are struggling in their relationships, are having difficulty concentrating, have lost that zest for life that they once had, are having panic attacks, and who feel numb and unsafe in the world. These are all normal reactions to trauma, so if you are experiencing these symptoms, there is hope!
What Is Trauma Therapy?
Trauma therapy works to rewire faulty thinking that has come about after the traumatic event. The brain wants to protect itself, and in doing so, it changes its wiring to have certain traumatic responses. Through trauma therapy, these traumatic responses can be unlearned, and you can again become desensitized to the triggers that have developed and interfered with your happiness. As a trauma therapist, I help teach clients tools to cope with the unwanted thoughts and feelings that have arisen from the event and get them feeling whole again.
Here are the top 5 ways trauma therapy can help you today:
1. Better relationships
Relationships are one of the most important parts of being human. When relationships are strained or end prematurely, it can be one of the most painful things we experience. Trauma therapy helps you re-establish a sense of trust within those relationships where people are deserving of your trust. You will learn to set better boundaries, be vulnerable, and be safe, which creates more relationship satisfaction for both you and your partner.
2. The longer you wait the more problems arise
Have you heard the expression, don’t sweep your problems under the rug? That is exactly what we are talking about here. The longer a person avoids dealing with the root issue/trauma, the more problems tend to surface. It could mean problems at work/school, problems in friendships or romantic relationships, sexual problems, or an overwhelming sense of dread, but you simply put, cannot afford to put this off!
3. Stop panic attacks
Anyone who has experienced a panic attack knows how truly debilitating this can be! Shortness of breath, pounding heart, racing thoughts. It is no laughing matter. After the attack subsides, there is a lingering fear about when the next attack will take place and an avoidance of people and places that are likely to bring on the panic. Trauma therapy helps you start using better tools to relax, and learn new ways of thinking that break the link between triggering situations and panic to get you back to doing the things you want to do. Imagine what your life could be like if you didn’t have to worry about what was going to trigger you next!
4. Finding happiness
Whether you experience a numbness, sadness, or full-on depression, most people who have experienced trauma just want their life back. They just want to be happy again. Trauma treatment allows you to process the trauma in the way your brain wasn’t able to do right after the event. It will help you to identify negative thinking patterns that are no longer serving you and help you focus on getting the life that you chose, instead of the one that you happened to fall into.
What would your life be like if you didn’t live in a constant state of fear? What if you could walk alone at night and not be afraid, or not worry about attending that next social event? Most survivors feel unsafe and lack the confidence that they once had. Through safety planning, identifying and changing automatic negative thoughts (ANTs), and processing your traumatic event, you too can get this back. You too can feel whole again!
As a trauma therapist, I tailor treatment plans to meet the needs of my clients. There are many different types of trauma such as sexual assault, childhood abuse/neglect, car accidents, divorce, and natural disasters to name a few. It is important that treatment address the individual issues of the client, so I work with clients to create a plan that meets those needs.
I do this by using an array of different evidence-based treatment approaches like trauma focused-cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), interpersonal therapy (IP), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), psychodynamic therapy, and prolonged exposure therapy (PE). If you or a loved one have experienced a past or present trauma, give me a call because life is too short to continue feeling like this!