You don’t have to have PTSD to be “struggling with experiencing something traumatic”.
“But-I don’t have PTSD”:
I want to make a clear distinction here; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a cluster of diagnosable symptoms. Trauma on the other hand, is anything that happened to us that was too much for us to handle. Trauma can also be not receiving what we needed (food, shelter, emotional security, etc.) Again, PTSD is a cluster of symptoms that can be a result of experiencing a traumatic event. No one has to tell you that something was “traumatic” in order for it to be traumatic. Just because you do not meet the full criteria to be diagnosed with PTSD, does not mean that your trauma is any less impactful.
Adverse Childhood Experiences:
Do you have trouble remembering all or part(s) of your childhood? Do you normalize how you grew up?
The human brain is incredibly successful at separating ourselves from our pain. These gaps of memory served to protect you when things were “too much” for you to handle.
Sometimes we are unable to see that something that happened to us was traumatic. There are three types of Adverse-Childhood-Experiences (ACE’s): abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. This can look like: physical or sexual abuse, parents with a substance abuse dependency, or having a sibling with health issues. ACE’s can also be exposure to mental illness.
You may not have had it “the worst”; but those earlier wounds still have a way of impacting us into adulthood. Working with a trauma-informed therapist may help you identify parts of your history that indeed were traumatic.
Patterns in relationships with others:
Do you feel like you “attract” toxic people or relationships in your life? Do you have habits which keep you from getting close to others? Do you struggle with setting or maintaining boundaries?
Often times, these are learned habits. As a coping mechanism, we may have learned to distance ourselves from others. It's important to learn what triggers us and why. Trauma-informed therapy can help you identify your patterns of behavior that are keeping you stuck in the cycle of trauma.
Feeling “stuck” in the progress of your current treatment:
If you have been working with a therapist, and feel like your progress is stuck, this may be an indication that you need to explore what has happened in your life. Working with a trauma informed therapist can help you find the strength within yourself to heal from those traumatic experiences. Therapies including EMDR can provide a safe space to process those experiences that keep us feeling 'stuck.'
Click here for more information about EMDR therapy.
Annabella Lipson, Mental Health Counselor
Annabella incorporates a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), EMDR Therapy and Mindfulness practices with her clients.
She enjoys working with teens & adults who are dealing with stress, anxiety, college transitions, and other behavioral challenges.
She is currently available to take new clients!