Updated: Apr 29
Hello fellow veterans. So, as you may know many Veterans experience episodes of PTSD from their past traumatic experiences. Each of these traumas are unique and individualized based on your individual experiences and how you treat them. But what is the perfect way the treat these traumas. That is a very good question! There is no specific treatment that works for everyone. However, there are many different treatments available to help each Veteran in their own way and individualized needs. Here is one technique that is available, so please read on the see if this will work for you.
Is trauma weighing you down in life? Have painful past experiences made it hard to trust others? Do you think you might have experienced trauma in your life but are not sure your experience counts?
Do You Ever Feel Defined by Your Past?
If you’re dealing with trauma, you may suffer from PTSD symptoms like flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, and feelings of hypervigilance. Whenever something reminds you of your traumatic experience, you may feel like you’re reliving it all over again, like the past will repeat itself endlessly. Maybe you ask yourself: Is my life ever going to change? Will things ever be different? What is wrong with me?
Trauma Takes Away Your Sense of Power!
Trauma isn’t always obvious or easy to recognize. There may be experiences in your past—such as betrayal, rejection, or emotional abuse—that were traumatic without you even realizing it. Over time, these events may have caused you to develop negative beliefs about yourself. Perhaps you feel like you’re not good enough or that you’re unworthy of love. You may suffer from feelings of helplessness and a lack of power as if you’re unsafe in your own body.
Trauma takes away your sense of power, but counseling is a chance to get it back. It is in your nature as a human to seek safety and stability in your life. Here at True Peace Therapy, our goal is to help you resolve the pain of the past and turn towards living with meaning and purpose in the present. No matter what you have been through, healing and positive change are possible.
Many People Do Not Think Traumatic Experiences “Count” As Trauma!
Virtually everyone has suffered from trauma at some point in their life. Most traumatic experiences fall into two categories: Big T-trauma and little t-trauma. Big T-trauma includes events where a person’s life or bodily integrity is threatened. Examples include child abuse and neglect, rape, domestic violence, sexual abuse, war, combat-related trauma, serious car accidents, and natural disasters.
Little-t traumas, referred to as “subtle trauma,” are generally painful experiences that often cause trauma responses that people may not initially think of as traumatic. These include emotional abuse and neglect, financial insecurity, toxic workplaces, chronic illness, infidelity, divorce, or repeated rejection. Simply being around verbally or emotionally abusive people can be traumatizing. Unfortunately, many people don’t think such experiences “count” as traumatic, as they usually happen over long periods and are more subtle in how they affect the mind and body.
Many Trauma Survivors Lack the Support They Need!
People who suffer from trauma do not get the help they need. They may feel too ashamed of what happened to talk about it with anyone. They may tell themselves that although their experience was terrible, others “have it worse.” Moreover, many people who have experienced trauma frequently scan their environment for potential threats. These defensive self-protection strategies often have a negative effect on their quality of life and relationships with others.
Without proper support, trauma survivors often self-medicate or turn to unhealthy habits to cope with their pain. They may isolate themselves, avoiding social activities and any situation that reminds them of the past. Although these behaviors may bring temporary relief, they don’t address trauma at the root. Therapy is a chance to get to the core of your trauma so that you don’t have to rely on unhealthy survival strategies to get by.
Therapy Can Give You Back the Power That Trauma Took Away!
Dealing with trauma is not just hard—it’s lonely. You may feel like no one understands what you’ve been through or believes your story. If this is the case, we encourage you to take heart. True Peace Therapy provides a warm, nonjudgmental environment to share your struggles and find validation and acceptance. You don’t have to hold anything back, but you don’t have to open up immediately. This is your therapy. The healing process happens on your timeline and at your comfort level.
Trauma and PTSD treatment is an opportunity to restore your sense of safety, improve your self-compassion, and tap into new sources of inner strength. Instead of avoiding your thoughts and feelings, you will learn to pay attention to them and notice how they affect your actions on an unconscious level. Trauma teaches you to run from your emotions—therapy is a chance to sit with them and learn to manage them more effectively with powerful emotional regulation techniques that you can utilize long after therapy. This can help you overcome automatic stress reactions and give you back your sense of power and autonomy.
Tailoring Your Treatment Plan!
Getting to the root of unresolved trauma involves understanding how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors connect to experiences in the past. Sometimes, however, processing past trauma can feel overwhelming. That’s why we focus on developing a toolbox of skills for regulating painful emotions when they arise. These skills may include meditation, deep breathing, and muscle relaxation exercises. You can draw from your self-regulation toolbox to stay grounded and calm when your traumatic stress response is activated.
Our practice aims to help you overcome negative self-beliefs and love yourself again. Trauma can convince you that you’re broken, unworthy, or not good enough. We want to help you reverse these negative messages and replace them with healthier beliefs. This will help you improve your confidence and trust your intuition.
We believe you can remove the past from the driver’s seat of your life. Our role is simply to help you tap into that power, opening up new avenues for growth in your life. To heal from the past while living intentionally in the present is a balance possible with the proper support.
You May Have Some Questions About Trauma Therapy…
Is trauma treatment going to re-traumatize me?
We will only ever do what you feel comfortable with. Your therapist serves as a compassionate guide on your healing journey. There is never any pressure to open up about your experiences immediately—the healing process happens in your timing. If you feel overwhelmed, we can slow down and practice calming strategies to help you return to a feeling of safety and get centered again. The last ten minutes of every session focus on grounding and de-stressing.
Will anyone else find out about my trauma?
All of our sessions are 100 percent confidential. What you share in therapy stays in therapy. Unless you give us a signed release of information, your trauma counselor cannot discuss what you talk about with anyone else.
What if I’m not sure that I experienced trauma?
It’s normal to wonder if your trauma really “counts.” But if your experience is affecting your life and causing you distress, wouldn’t it be worthwhile to find relief? After all, trauma isn’t about what happened to you or how an experience affectedyou. When your brain and body feel too overwhelmed to process an event, the memory of it can still affect you long after it’s over.
The Past Does Not Have To Hold You Back In Life!
If you’re tired of living in the shadow of the past, we would be honored to help you embrace a future with more personal freedom and empowerment. You can request a counseling session or a free 15-minute consultation through the online scheduler.
Signs and Symptoms of Traumatic Stress
You may startle easily and feel you always have to keep your guard up to protect yourself.
Do you withdraw from others and self-isolate to attempt to feel safe?
Feeling angry, cynical, irritable, judgmental of others, and experiencing mood swings.
Unwelcome, disturbing thoughts and images that may be connected to the traumatic event.
Anxiety and Fear
Your threat response may be in overdrive due to traumatic stress leading to increased anxiety symptoms.
Flashbacks, nightmares, and vivid memories can occur.
Shame and Guilt
Painful past experiences can cause a person to feel guilt and shame even though the trauma is not their fault.
Trauma can cause feelings of emotional and physical disconnect.
Cognitive Processing Therapy
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) can reduce the distress associated with painful, traumatic experiences by helping you to identify and change distressing thoughts and beliefs you experience around the trauma. The primary focus areas are safety, trust, power, control, esteem, and intimacy. CPT educates about trauma symptoms to inform and empower clients throughout treatment.
Mind-Body Self-Regulation Toolbox
Learn effective tools to step out of hypervigilance and self-protection mode and into a feeling of safety and stability with simple exercises that quickly relax the muscles of your body and can be utilized anytime and anywhere. Mastering self-regulation will empower you to interrupt your threat response on your own, significantly reduce feelings of distress, and begin to feel safe in your own body.
Your Personal Mission Roadmap
You can heal from the past and, at the same time, gently move towards more profound meaning and purpose in your life. How do you want your future to look? What is truly important to you in life? As you travel through the stuck points and recover from trauma, you get to decide what you want to become, what you want to do, and what you want to have as you move forward with a renewed sense of hope and freedom.
True Peace Therapy (2023). Trauma Therapy. Retrieved from https://www.truepeacetherapy.com/trauma-treatment?gclid=CjwKCAiA2rOeBhAsEiwA2Pl7Q2kAYj5girvEuhe3gq0hbnHjm-TgBWdVBZmnmivGum4J-R9KTP_ZfhoCFC4QAvD_BwE
Image provided by Adobe Stock (April 2023).