It's hard for me to concentrate on daily tasks - My life is always in a fog!
What's wrong with me, I should be over this - I feel weak!
I live in the past and can't move forward - I feel trapped!
I've lost my confidence - I don't recognize myself!
I don't trust anyone - I am scared!
Is this what trauma does?
You are not alone, you are not crazy, you are not weak, and you are not broken. You are human. You have been through something that has changed your life forever. It may seem like it now, but you will get better. You will heal. You will learn to cope with your feelings and emotions. You will learn to deal with your memories and thoughts. You will learn how to live again.
"People who go through extremely traumatizing experiences often have problems and difficulties afterward. The severity of these symptoms depends on the person, the types of trauma involved, and the emotional support they receive from others."(1)
What Are The Types Of Trauma?
Acute trauma tends to be associated with a single event that happens in one’s life. This could be the result of a car accident, being a victim of a robbery, natural disasters, or witnessing an event that threatens an individual’s physical or emotional safety. It is quite possible for a person to experience short-term post-traumatic stress disorder.
Chronic or Complex Trauma
This trauma is ongoing, occurs repetitively, and can happen at any time throughout the lifespan. Examples include but are not limited to rape, domestic violence, war, traumatic brain injury, and being abused as a child or an adult.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop after a person has been exposed to a terrifying event or has been through an ordeal in which intense physical harm occurred or was threatened. Sufferers of this PTSD have persistent and frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal. The condition was first recognized in war veterans. It had taken on different names in the past, such as 'shell shock', but it's not only diagnosed in soldiers. A wide range of traumatic experiences can be causes of PTSD.
"Trauma affects your body and your mind. Because many traumatic events involve violation of a person’s bodily integrity, they often have adverse inﬂuences on physical & mental health and attitudes toward medical care"(2)
Common Symptoms of Acute Trauma
A person who has acute trauma can have a variety of symptoms, some of which may be noticeable and others may not be as obvious. These may include but are not limited to:
- Panic attacks or extreme anxiety
- Confusion or irritation
- Dissociation or feeling disconnected
- Insomnia or odd sleep patterns
- Suspiciousness or acting in strange ways
- Poor grooming habits or a lack of self-care
- Loss of focus or production at work or school
Common Symptoms of Chronic Trauma
A person who deals with chronic trauma often engages in abnormal coping behaviors. The symptoms themselves can bring about such an overwhelming feeling that a person is compelled to act against them. These behaviors may include but are not limited to:
- Avoidant behaviors, such as social withdrawal or substance abuse
Symptoms of chronic trauma are disruptive to normal daily functioning. Along with the trauma experience itself, a person may also exhibit some of the following symptoms:
- Anger, rage, violent outbursts
- Over-reactions to normal events
- Impaired or distorted memories
- Low self-worth
- Sleep problems
- Distorted perception of one’s environment (believing one is under threat when they are safe, misreading others’ facial expressions)
- Nightmares, flashbacks
Please note: If the above symptoms, if not professionally treated, can intensify and thus perpetuate the initial trauma.
Common Symptoms of Complex Trauma
A person with complex trauma is someone who has been exposed to a series of traumatic events that took place over a long period of time, like months or years. Symptoms mentioned above with chronic trauma are often experienced. Other symptoms of complex trauma may include but are not limited to:
- Change in personal self-concept
- Suicidal thoughts
- Episodes of feeling detached from one’s body or mental processes
- Isolation, guilt, shame, or a feeling of being different from other people
- Helplessness and feeling hopeless
- Becoming preoccupied with revenge or, conversely, giving total power to the perpetrator
- Self-harm, self-mutilation
- Alcoholism, substance abuse
- Lapses in memory
- Difficulty regulating emotions
- Hyperarousal, or being “on alert”
- Struggling in interpersonal relationships
- Low self-esteem or negative self-perception
- Avoiding people, places, or scenarios that upset you
Common Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Maybe You Feel Like Your Life Is Being Overwhelmed
You are not alone. Others have had their lives turned upside down by traumatic events. They too have felt helpless, hopeless, angry, confused, afraid, sad, depressed, guilty, ashamed, worthless, etc. They have struggled to understand why they were hurt so badly and wondered if they would ever recover. They too have felt trapped inside themselves. They have thought about suicide and tried to escape from their pain. They too have felt numb and empty inside. They felt betrayed and abandoned. They too felt isolated, powerless, and misunderstood. They too have felt unloved, rejected, scared, and lost. They have felt forgotten, invisible, disconnected, alone, and unworthy. And still, they also HAVE RECOVERED from their traumatic events and so CAN YOU!
Counseling Can Help Develop Healthy Coping Techniques
When dealing with traumatic events counseling can help develop coping skills, learn new ways of thinking, and gain insight into how these events affect your life today. It can be helpful to talk about past experiences with a professional counselor. A therapist can provide support, guidance, and encouragement as you work through difficult issues.
We know that you want your life back and to feel whole again. To no longer live in the past, you must first begin to heal emotionally. Your traumatic event has held you, hostage, for quite some time now. The good news is that it is possible to overcome the effects of the trauma and you can free yourself from the chains of fear and anxiety that hold you captive. With proper treatment, healing can take place; you can start living your life again.
Our New Heights Counselors Are Here For You
Our professional trauma-informed therapists understand that you need to find a safe space where you can express yourself without judgment. Therefore, we offer customized treatment designed specifically to address your trauma and help you move forward in your recovery process. Our experienced therapists will guide you through this challenging period of your life and help you discover the tools necessary to cope with your trauma and achieve a healthy, fulfilling future.
Trauma Counseling With New Heights Can Help
It may be difficult to believe at first, but you can definitely feel better. When you enter our Fort Walton Beach counseling office, you'll find yourself surrounded by caring professionals who want to help you get well. Our team understands that when feelings overwhelm you, you need to talk to someone who knows what you're going through. Counseling can and does help. if you're ready to take back what your trauma has stolen from you, call us today at (850) 7575-1552.
Our Approach to Counseling at New Heights Counseling
At New Heights Counseling, we are a private practice, and we know that trauma therapy can help people just like you to live happier, healthier, and more productive lives. Our counselors offer individualized trauma treatment plans designed to meet each client’s unique needs.
Your first meeting will be when we assess your situation and determine which type of therapy will best suit you. We'll also review your initial response to your trauma and how it has impacted your life. If you are currently using any medications, please include this in the intake session. If you have a history of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, etc, please share that as well. You should plan to attend every session. This way, you can make sure you're getting the most out of the therapy. Throughout your recovery, we will work on the following topics:
- Understanding the impact of your trauma
- Learning effective coping strategies
- Reducing stress levels
- Building self-esteem
- Overcoming depression
- Reclaiming control over your emotions
- Regaining trust in
We offer a variety of counseling methods for working towards your trauma recovery. These include Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) focuses on mindfulness training and is useful for those who struggle with intrusive thoughts or flashbacks. Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is an evidence-based approach that uses short, focused sessions to teach clients skills they can use to solve their problems. It's particularly helpful for those who tend to ruminate about their traumatic experiences. And then there is Trauma Informed Therapy which focuses on helping clients develop new ways of thinking about their trauma so they can begin to heal. Watch the video below to learn more about Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)
Why Choose Counseling With New Heights?
Our goal is to help you achieve optimal wellness by providing the highest quality care and treatment. We are committed to helping our patients develop a healthy lifestyle that will enable them to live their lives free from pain and suffering. We understand that recovery is not easy, but we can make it easier with the right tools.
We know it can sometimes be hard to get help when you need it most. So we offer a variety of ways to contact us for counseling services. We provide in-person visits at our Fort Walton beach office and online counseling for people living throughout the state of Florida.
Therapy sessions require a solid therapeutic relationship between therapist and client. It’s not just about talking, it’s about listening and understanding. Your counselor will listen to you and encourage you to explore things openly. Hope is something we can build together as we work towards a better quality of life for you.
What's Stopping You From Starting Trauma Counseling?
I'm afraid I'll always be in therapy because my trauma is so deep.
This is understandable. As you work with your trauma-informed therapist, you will develop the coping skills necessary to regain your life. Working together both of you will witness progress in your healing. And although we can't tell you specifically how long it will take, we do know that recovery from trauma is possible for you.
I'm not comfortable opening up to a stranger.
From your first visit to New Heights Counseling, your trauma therapist will work at the pace that feels right for you. We believe that every person has different needs and wants. Our therapists have experience working with all kinds of trauma issues. They will respect your boundaries and privacy while also being able to connect with you in a way that helps you feel safe.
I don't want to be diagnosed with a mental health diagnosis.
The main misunderstanding about being diagnosed with a mental health diagnosis is that they will always be diagnosed. In reality, only a small portion of people with mental illnesses will experience symptoms throughout their lives. Furthermore, research shows that between 70 percent and 90 percent of people who seek help for mental health problems get better. If this is a concern you have, please share it with your therapist. Together, you can come up with solutions that best fit your situation.
I'm afraid of being judged.
Therapists undergo specialized education to create a safe therapeutic setting. Besides being taught how best to nurture warmth, unconditional positive regard, and a nonjudgemental atmosphere, current therapists must also study multiculturalism, which increases their understanding of the variety of cultural norms in our society.
5 Myths About Trauma
Myth #1: Trauma Is A Mental Health Disorder
Traumatic experiences may cause physical or emotional harm. But they are not necessarily signs of a mental illness. Many people who have experienced traumatic events go on to lead happy and productive lives. The key is to learn how to cope with these events.
Myth #2: People Who Have Experienced Trauma Are Unstable
People who have been traumatized often struggle with anxiety and depression. However, many people who have experienced trauma recover well. Trauma doesn't make someone unstable; rather, it makes them vulnerable.
Myth #3: Trauma Causes Long-Term Psychological Problems
Trauma does not cause psychological problems. Rather, psychological problems cause trauma. For example, if you're experiencing severe stress due to financial difficulties, you might become depressed. If you're struggling with an addiction, you might use drugs to self-medicate. These behaviors aren't caused by trauma but by the underlying problem.
Myth #4: Trauma Makes You More Vulnerable To Future Harm
Research suggests that exposure to trauma actually protects against future harm. When people are exposed to traumatic events, they tend to form stronger bonds with others and build more effective coping strategies. This means that when faced with another stressful event, they'll be better equipped to handle it.
Myth #5: Trauma Can Be Cured
There's no evidence that trauma can ever be cured. It's important to remember that even though we've learned new ways to cope with trauma, we still carry our memories of the event.
Are You Ready To Start Your Counseling?
The staff and counselors at New Heights Counseling, located in Fort Walton Beach, FL., are ready to assist you with your trauma. Our intake team is available by phone (850)757-1552, Monday-Friday 8 AM to 4 PM, or by email at info@Florida-counseling.com to answer any questions you have regarding our services. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified trauma-informed therapists today! Their clinical counseling skills will guide you through the process of coping with your trauma.
Appointment Schedule (Last appointment - 4 PM)
Monday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Evenings/Weekends by Appointment
Frequently Asked Questions About Trauma
What is trauma?
Trauma is defined as "an experience that causes significant distress." Trauma occurs when something bad happens to us. Examples include accidents, natural disasters, abuse, violence, war, rape, sexual assault, bullying, and other types of interpersonal violence.
How do I know if I'm dealing with trauma?
If you feel like you're having trouble coping with life because of a past traumatic event, you could be dealing with trauma. Do you find yourself focussing on negative thoughts about yourself or your situation? Ask yourself, do you avoid certain situations? Do you feel numb or detached from others? Do you think about the event over and over again? If so, you may be dealing with trauma.
Can I get help for my trauma?
Yes! There are many different kinds of counseling and therapy options available. Trauma counseling is a process that helps you to work through your feelings, thoughts, memories, and behaviors related to the trauma. It can help you learn how to cope with stress and anxiety.
Do I need to talk about my trauma?
No! Talking about your trauma isn't always necessary. However, if you want to talk about your trauma, there are several good reasons why this would be helpful. First, talking about your trauma can help you understand what happened. Second, talking about your trauma may help you identify triggers that remind you of the event. Third, talking about your trauma might help you develop healthier coping skills. Finally, talking about your trauma with someone who cares about you can give you support during difficult times.
Begin Trauma Counseling in Fort Walton Beach Florida
We're here to support you. We offer in-person sessions at our office located in Fort Walton Beach, FL., and through online therapy. We want to make starting therapy as easy as possible. To start your journey with therapy for trauma, follow these steps:
- Reach out to New Heights Counseling. Call (850) 757-1552 or email us at: info@Florida-counseling.com
- Meet with one of our trauma therapists
- Begin your healing journey and take back your life!
Not ready for therapy yet? Read these blogs for advice on coping with trauma.
Our counselors often write blogs related to trauma because we specialize in trauma counseling. Here are just a few posts you might find useful!
- Emotional Numbness, Help is Available! by Colleen Wenner, Founder & Director of New Heights Counseling.
- 12 Tips for coping with the effects of trauma by Colleen Wenner, Founder & Director of New Heights Counseling.
- What Is EMDR Therapy? by Hillary Marshall, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern
Other Mental Health Counseling Services at New Heights
Trauma counseling isn’t the only service we provide in our Fort Walton Beach, FL practice. We know that life is complicated and we understand you may be dealing with multiple issues at once. Our therapists at New Heights provide counseling for a wide range of mental health concerns. We can do so from our offices in Fort Walton Beach or online from any location in Florida. Some of our specialties include depression counseling, anxiety counseling, addiction counseling, EMDR counseling, PTSD therapy, adolescent counseling, couples counseling, family counseling, military counseling, individual counseling, group counseling, and more! We're here to help.