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Trauma and Abuse

Heal Past Wounds

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. 

Trauma and 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.  From a clinical perspective, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) differs from other types of psychological disorders because it requires a specific event that leads to the distress a person is feeling. With this disorder people may experience the event intruding into their lives, through nightmares or “flashbacks”, avoiding the things that remind them of the trauma, changes in the way they view themselves or the world, and changes in how present they are in their daily lives. It is completely normal for people to experience some of these symptoms in the wake of a traumatic event, and sometimes those symptoms go away on their own. For some, they may persist and worsen, requiring them to receive professional help. 

 

Abuse is a specific type of trauma that may require more nuanced help. Unlike the examples of a car accident or experiencing a natural disaster that can cause physical injuries, abuse is especially painful because of the psychological toll it takes on the individual. Abuse, be it physical, sexual, or emotional, is an attack on the character of the person who is being abused. The damage can cause changes the person views the world and how they manage their relationships with others outside of the abuser. 

 

There are many different approaches to treat the symptoms caused by trauma. One of the methods that has one of the most research backing it is called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR. In this type of therapy, 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.