Can you provide therapy for trauma?
Traumatic experiences can create coping responses in hurting people that may seem unusual or extreme. Traumatized people carry trauma almost as if it is frozen in time. Trauma left untreated can devastatingly impact the entire life of a person who has experienced it. It influences so much of what they do, think, feel, believe, how they react on a daily basis. It plays a part in their everyday life, coloring how they perceive the world, as well as in how they perceive danger or threat. Yet, they are often amazingly resilient, strong, creative. They've learned countless ways to just survive one day to the next. Sometimes those ways were helpful in the beginning, if only to temporarily numb the pain. Over time, some of those "helpful" ways may now be harmful. It's like frantically trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle with a few pieces that are missing. So when you come to our office, we deeply value your resilience, and the ways you have managed to survive trauma. In fact, the human being is amazingly equipped both mentally and physically in ways of "fight, flight, or freeze", to cope with and survive what is perceived as threat. These are actually ways the human being over the eons was able to ensure survival of the species, so these responses actually contain an evolutionary component. In some ways it can be hyperarousal, hypervigilance, physical readiness for defense, etc. In other ways, it can be by what we often think of as "numbing out" or "checking out", which clinically can be a form of dissociation.
Never do we blame or judge anyone for the trauma they have experienced - or in how they have tried to find a way to stay one step ahead of it. In fact, we find that traumatized individuals, including young children, very often blame themselves for trauma they experienced that was in no way their fault and they may not have been able to prevent.
We have completed a very rewarding practicum at a nationally-recognized, highly respected treatment center focusing almost exclusively on trauma, as well as provided exclusively children's & adolescent trauma therapy with their families at a children's advocacy center, completed formal training, as well as mandatory doctoral-level, trauma-specific consultation in the areas of children's and adult trauma and PTSD. We are also qualified to provide all of these proven trauma therapies remotely, including EMDR. We are accepted as a member of the International Association of Trauma Professionals, as well as of the most respected EMDR organization in the world, EMDRIA.
In addition, we are honored to have earned a formal specialization in trauma from the Arkansas State Board of Examiners in Counseling & Marriage & Family Therapy.
I'm concerned that trauma therapy will be very expensive. Is this really going to make a difference?
When we truly understand and appreciate just how catastrophic and deeply invasive the effects of trauma are, it becomes all too easy to see what the real cost is, and it is far beyond economic. Living untreated with trauma not only costs you, but it costs your loved ones, your children, your family and friends, your career, your community. It's the gift that keeps on giving....it can result in legal charges from behaviors surrounding trauma. It can destroy marriages, parenting, peace, dignity, hope. It can result in substance abuse, violent behavior, depression, suicide. It alarmingly trickles into the next generation of your family, and on and on. It is a devastatingly steep price to pay.
Living with untreated trauma costs you and everyone around you, sometimes forever. We passionately believe that whatever the cost of professionally treating trauma, it is still exponentially less than the devastating cost of living with it untreated. The question becomes...can you truly afford not to seek trauma therapy?
Is the pain of trauma forever?
It doesn't have to be! Everyday, there are wonderful stories of how people are healing, reprocessing their agonizing traumatic memories into ways they can live with and that no longer rule their lives.
Trauma and PTSD require far more than traditional talk therapy (called a "top down approach"), and ethically demand both specialized and competent training and treatment. Trauma literally changes the brain. One of the most common misconceptions about trauma is that simply talking through it can resolve it. This is not entirely accurate. Trauma is stored somatically (in the body). If you are considering trauma therapy, please ask your provider what their training and credentials are surrounding offering any level of trauma therapy. Dr. Elyssa Barbash penned an excellent article on this topic, "Working With A Real Trauma Therapist" (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/trauma-and-hope/201905/working-real-trauma-therapist).
We are trained in not one but three evidence-based trauma therapies for children and adults - EMDR, TF-CBT, and CPT. Each separate professional training required an accompanying mandatory consultation process, case presentations, etc. over a period of months each.
EMDR - This is "eye movement desensitization and reprocessing", and is considered one of the most effective trauma therapies in the world today. It can be used with traumatized children and adults. This goes beyond alot of talking, and literally shifts and reprocesses the memories in the brain. In trauma, the traumatic memories are not stored correctly. Think of it like this - when you go to a large but chaotic store, you might find the socks stored with the fresh bananas. Shoes stored on the shampoo aisle. Diapers in the garden section. That's like "your brain on trauma", so to speak. EMDR can help reprocess those memories, and it can be done fairly quickly, without having to do alot of painful talking about the original trauma, which research is showing sometimes can itself be retraumatizing. People of all ages, backgrounds, and traumatic experiences the world over are showing long-term, encouraging results with EMDR.
TF-CBT - This is "trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy", and is for traumatized children. It takes a systemic focus on not only helping the child, but the safe, supportive parent/caregiver family system as well. It can help the family help the child. In fact, we decline to do any therapy for a child where a safe, supportive parent/caregiver is not centrally involved in the therapy. We are of the firm belief that a safe, supportive parent/caregiver is one of the most pivotal resources for a child, and that when a child has been traumatized, that often that adult suffers trauma as well and needs their own help to recover themselves, but also to be able to help their child recover.
CPT - This is "cognitive processing therapy", and is for traumatized older adolescents and adults. We were trained by Dr. Kathleen Chard, one of the nation's leaders in CPT and were one of the first group of therapists in Arkansas to receive this training. CPT has been used across the nation in VA systems with very good success. Dr. Alana Siegel describes CPT and Dr. Chard's work in this excellent article, "Got PTSD? Try CPT" (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/traumatized/202003/got-ptsd-try-cpt).
What is a CFTP? What is a CATP, a CSAM?
We have earned the respected Certified Family Trauma Professional (CFTP), Certified Specialist in Anger Management (CSAM), and the Certified Child & Adolescent Trauma Professional (CATP) credentials. As a systems theory-trained therapist, we understand that trauma experienced by one person changes entire families. We are fully qualified to conduct both children's and adult's highly specialized trauma therapy, and also to uniquely work with the surrounding family around trauma, including families of traumatized children. At this writing, we are the only therapist in the state of Arkansas as a CFTP, CATP, and CSAM.
We have a saying at Sincera Wellness...."Your Life is Waiting On You." Your life....health, dignity, peace, restoration, joy, laughter, love, relationships, connection....are waiting on you. No trauma in this world is worth denying yourself this.