The re-experiencing of traumatic event such as accidents, attacks, or even abuse at the hands of others can persist for years if left unaddressed. In addition, past sexual, verbal, emotional, or physical abuse may continue to affect you and your relationships.
Therapy for Trauma and Victims of Abuse
The experience of trauma is more common than most individuals would assume. Part of the difficulty in coping with trauma-related disorders is the silence and stigma associated with having experienced a trauma. From sexual assault and military combat injuries, to car accidents and experiencing natural disasters, there are a variety of ways trauma can be experienced.
Understanding Trauma and Abuse: A Comprehensive Insight
Trauma is not just a fleeting moment; it's an experience that can linger, deeply rooted in one's psyche, often manifesting in various forms long after the triggering event has concluded. Unfortunately, in many societies, trauma is enshrouded in silence and stigmatization, which compounds the emotional pain, making recovery even more challenging.
Trauma in Numbers: An Eye-Opening Glimpse
According to the data provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):
A large proportion of individuals who endure a traumatic event will not suffer from PTSD.
An estimated 6% of the U.S. population, translating to 6 in every 100 people, are likely to experience PTSD at some point in their lifetime. A notable number of individuals with PTSD will recuperate after receiving treatment and will no longer meet the diagnostic threshold for PTSD. Therefore, this percentage includes individuals who have had PTSD at any moment in their lives, even if they have subsequently recovered from the symptoms.
In any given year, about 5% of adults in the U.S., or 5 in every 100, are diagnosed with PTSD. In 2020, the condition affected approximately 13 million Americans.
The likelihood of developing PTSD is higher among women compared to men. Specifically, around 8% of women or 8 in every 100, and 4% of men or 4 in every 100, will face PTSD at some stage in their lives. This disparity is partially due to the varied types of traumatic events that women are more prone to encounter, such as sexual assault, as opposed to men.
What are the Symptoms of Trauma?
The symptoms of trauma can vary widely from person to person and may range from mild to severe. Here are the key points regarding the symptoms of trauma.
Severity and Variability:
The symptoms of trauma can range from mild to severe, and how a traumatic event affects a person can be influenced by many factors including their personal characteristics and the presence of other mental health conditions.
Response to Stressful Events:
Trauma is essentially a response to intensely stressful events or situations. The effects of trauma can be long-lasting, though recovery and healing are possible.
Individuals may experience distressing symptoms following a traumatic event. It's common for people to engage in unhealthy coping strategies such as substance use to avoid these symptoms. However, avoidance is only a short-term solution and can lead to an intensification of feelings and thoughts over the long run.
Long-term symptoms of trauma may include continuous feelings of agitation or distress, dissociation from the event, and intense memories of the event. In some cases, delayed signs of trauma may manifest as sleep disorders, fear of re-experiencing the traumatic event, depression, and avoidance of emotional activities.
Emotional and Physical Reactions:
Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event such as an accident, rape, or natural disaster. Initially, shock and denial are typical reactions. Over the longer term, individuals may experience unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships, and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea.
Journey to Healing: Rediscovering Wholeness
Recovering from trauma isn't merely about forgetting or moving past the painful memories. It's a holistic process of understanding, reprocessing, and rebuilding oneself.
Although we cannot undo the past, we can heal.
About 8 of every 10 women and 4 of every 10 men experience at least one trauma in their lives.
How to Heal from Trauma
There are many different approaches to treat the symptoms caused by trauma. One of the trauma therapy methods that has the most research backing is called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR. In this type of trauma counseling, clients revisit and reprocess traumatic memories while engaging in another task to control for how distressing the process can be. Other techniques may include CBT exposure therapy, narrative therapy, breathwork, and other explorations which may provide a passage to healing by allowing clients to safely revisit earlier events and reprocess them in healthier ways.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR):
Developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s, EMDR is a unique, evidence-based psychotherapy method designed specifically to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. The process involves eight distinct phases where the therapist helps the client process traumatic memories by using bilateral stimulation, most commonly in the form of guided eye movements. By revisiting the trauma in a safe, controlled setting, the client can desensitize their reactions to it and reprocess the event in a more constructive light. Over time, EMDR has shown to be effective in reducing or even eliminating the intense emotional responses and intrusive thoughts often linked with traumatic experiences.
CBT Exposure Therapy:
A subtype of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure Therapy focuses on helping individuals confront and reduce the fear and avoidance associated with traumatic memories. Over a series of sessions, therapists assist clients in safely and gradually facing these memories or triggers. By consistently confronting the trauma in a supportive environment, the intense emotional charge often lessens, leading to decreased symptoms of anxiety and PTSD. It's based on the principle that avoidance of trauma reinforces the fear, whereas exposure challenges and often diminishes it.
Originating from the works of Michael White and David Epston in the 1980s, Narrative Therapy is an approach that sees people as separate from their problems. This therapy helps individuals to externalize their issues, allowing them to view these challenges from a different perspective. By re-authoring their life stories, clients can focus on their inherent strengths, values, and skills. The approach encourages the creation of a new, empowering narrative that emphasizes resilience, growth, and a future not dominated by past traumas.
This ancient practice focuses on using controlled breathing techniques to improve mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Different from regular breathing, breathwork is an active meditation that encourages the release of emotional tension and promotes relaxation. The rhythmic patterns in breathwork can help in processing emotions, alleviating stress symptoms, and achieving a state of balance and grounding. It's especially valuable for trauma survivors, as it can aid in reconnecting with their body in a positive way.
Somatic therapy combines talk therapy with what are known as somatic (body-centered) techniques. It's grounded in the understanding that trauma, particularly severe or repetitive events, can manifest in physical symptoms. By focusing on the perceived sensations in the body, clients can release pent-up trauma. Techniques might include dance, exercise, deep breathing, and other physical activities. The goal is to help trauma survivors re-establish a connection with their body, recognize its signals, and process stored emotions.
Derived from ancient Buddhist practices, mindfulness involves staying present and fully engaging with the here and now. Mindfulness-based therapies, like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), teach individuals to observe their thoughts and feelings without judgment. For trauma survivors, this can be particularly valuable as it provides tools to detach from distressing memories, ground themselves in the present, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. It fosters a sense of calm, acceptance, and resilience amidst life's challenges.
Embrace the Next Chapter of Your Life
The path to recovery is layered, often demanding courage, persistence, and support. Our dedicated team of trauma therapists are poised to stand by you, offering expert guidance, empathy, and the most effective therapeutic strategies.
Your Healing Begins Today: Contact us at 305-605-LOVE or book your session online to initiate your healing journey. Let's work together to transform pain into power.
What is different about Love Discovery Institute?Unlike most clinics and therapists that focus on symptom relief, our therapists deliver specialized treatments which aim to ameliorate our concerns at the heart of the problem. Through this process, we gain insight, identify patterns, and improve our understanding of our psychological defenses which may affect our life and our relationships. This also promotes long-term change and keeps us from the cyclical problems that can otherwise consume our world. Through the process of our highly-focused therapies, our therapists will generally help individuals explore their past, show them how it lives in the present, and outline a plan to move forward in healthier, more authentic, and more loving ways.
What type of therapies do you offer?Whether you are seeking individual or couples therapy, we believe that at our core, we are relational beings. We experience life around others and integrate healing and connection through this very lens. Although we offer a wide spectrum of modalities including humanistic, integrative, psychodynamic, analytic, existential, narrative, and various cognitive behavioral therapies, we've adopted these orientations around the relational space. In addition, within these frameworks, we incorporate a number of tools or interventions that help support healing, promote growth, and redefine our narratives. Finding a therapist does not have be hard. Our we proudly offer our services throughout Miami-Dade including Miami, Coral Gables, Brickell, Doral, Pinecrest, and Miami Beach. We also offer Telehealth mental health services throughout Florida.
Do you take insurance?Yes. We are in-network with the following insurance providers: • United (Oscar, Optum) • Aetna (Oxford) If you have coverage with other insurance providers, you may still have significant coverage. If you carry a PPO insurance plan, you may qualify for up to 75% of your sessions to be reimbursed by your insurance company. If your therapist does not take coverage, it may be because they may focus specialized treatments. Insurance provides quality access to medication management or generalized treatments, but once a certain level of care is desired, insurance companies may not cover it. To help explain this, you may find that your nearby service-center can manage your car's oil change, but if you have an electrical problem, you'll need to take your vehicle to specialist or the vehicle's dealership. Similarly, you may go to the local salon chain, but you may not go there if you are attending a wedding. Depending on the situation, therapy may require a more experienced level of care. Saving a marriage or dealing with an infidelity requires an extremely delicate touch. It is critical that matters like these are best addressed with the help of an expert. Other reasons why some may choose to self-pay or use their out-of-network policy: • Insurance companies often want the clinical notes about your sessions. We strongly believe that thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and your personal disclosures should be kept solely between you and your therapist. If you don't want third-parties knowing business, you may want to self-pay or opt to use your out-of network coverage. • Insurance companies attempt to pay as little as possible for your care. Every session is essentially an expense against their revenue generated by your premium. Unfortunately, this forces providers to take on a broad variety of cases and discourages therapists from specialize in any one area. In order to make ends meet, therapist also have to take on extremely high caseloads which affects their ability to effectively treat, conceptualize cases, continue their education, or even manage their own self-care. This ultimately can have a huge impact on your care. • Insurance companies direct the terms of your care. They are notorious for shortening or limiting treatment. They may force a therapeutic alteration which can force you to switch therapist even after you've developed a strong therapeutic relationship with them. When you need them most, you may find that after a certain number of sessions, your insurance company may decide what is best for you. • Some treatments are limited or are simply not covered by insurance policies. For example, sex therapy is generally not covered. Although sex is deeply intertwined into our emotional and psychological functioning, insurance companies may only cover the medical aspect.
How can therapy help?Therapy is for everyone! Having a neutral, but supportive figure in your life helps you identify your blindsides and attain more love and equanimity. An experienced therapist can help you process your emotions, review your past, outline your future, and develop strong and effective skills to address any challenges you may face. Just like a coach helps an athlete optimize their game, a therapist can help you optimize your life. • Improve relationships and interpersonal communication. • Learn about your family dynamics and see how they affect your current relationships. • Identify unhealthy patterns and behaviors in your life. • Learn new tools to solve everyday or longstanding problems. • Process and heal from difficult emotions and/or events. • Grow into a more grounded and authentic being. • Raise your emotional IQ and improve your influence and connection. • Learn how to manage life transitions. • Find more purpose and love in your life.
How long does therapy take?Therapy is a process and can vary in time and scope. Like beginning a new workout or dietary regimen, results are highly unlikely after a couple of sessions. It will take time to see results. Your openness, level of commitment, and work in-between your sessions will help you accelerate your progress. If this is your first time, give yourself at least 3 months of weekly sessions to get your feet wet. Some individuals find relief, support, or stabilize a critical event that may have occurred within their relationship. Therapeutically, this only scratches the surface but allows for a strong foundation to begin to take place. Therapies lasting over 3 months really begin to go more in-depth. By this time, the therapeutic relationship fosters trust and the necessary content for individuals to step into a new realm. If you've been doing your work, you'll be building on concepts and putting things into place. Depending on your particular situation, changes may vary. Some situations such as infidelities, those on the brink of a separation, or those who have experienced a traumatic events tend to need at least this much time to begin seeing change. Many individuals enter and remain in therapy for many months or even years. They keep their therapist in their pocket and continue to embrace personal healing or growth. Individuals extending therapy for longer periods fine-tune their life experience and can become masters of their world. Mileage does vary, but significant changes should be expected.
Are my sessions confidential?Your sessions are completely confidential and are maintained between you and your therapist. We know how sensitive our thoughts and behaviors can be and believe that all conversations and feelings are welcomed. Although there are some limits to confidentiality, such as potential harm to self or others, abuse of children or vulnerable populations, we encourage everyone to talk about what is going on in their life. Don't worry, we've heard it all.
How do I get started?You can simply click on the appointments tab to see the price and availability of each provider. Select a slot and we'll email you our intake forms which can all be filled online. This process generally only take 5-10 minutes to complete. This will also give you access to our online portal where you can access your records and billing documents. All of your information are kept on a HIPPA-secured platform which uses multi-layered encryption designed to keep your information safe. Alternatively, you may also call us at 305-605-LOVE and speak to someone in the office. We can help make recommendations or help you come to an informed decision.