Trauma Healing

Trauma Healing

If you have wondered if trauma resolution is possible, the answer is, “yes!” The road to recovery begins with understanding the legacy of trauma and ends with restoring your capacity for joy.

Our team is trained in the use of multiple trauma treatments, Our training includes:

We use a flexible blend of these techniques to meet your unique trauma and relationship profile needs. To learn more about trauma healing, contact us.

Big T trauma results from experiencing life threatening events, or events that alter our life as we know it. The traumatic stressor is typically acute and intense and would be considered traumatic by most people. Big T traumas involve a sense of helplessness, overwhelm, or intense fear resulting in ongoing PTSD. This includes categories such as natural disasters, combat, domestic violence, or serious accidents.

Little t traumas involve events that are less intense and may not been seen as trauma by others, and often are not considered traumatic by the person experiencing it. Little t traumas are repetitive experiences that accumulate over time, cause significant distress, and leave a lasting negative impact on the way we respond to others and the world. The biggest impact may be in our beliefs about ourselves. Prolonged exposure to chronic little t trauma can have a stronger impact than a single Big T trauma.

C-PTSD is a more global pattern of trauma than Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Those dealing with C-PTSD experience classic PTSD symptoms but additionally suffer from an imbalance in multiple spheres of functioning: relational disturbance, emotional dysregulation, altered attention and consciousness, altered belief systems, and somatic disturbance. C-PTSD can have roots in childhood developmental trauma or the legacy of family of origin wounds. It can also occur as a result of our experiences in adult relationships.

C-PTSD most often results from relational trauma, also referred to as attachment trauma or betrayal trauma. C-PTSD can involve either Big T or Little t trauma that occurred within the context of a relationship and is now triggered by the interactions you have in your current relationships. Relational trauma that is very intense and occurs for long periods, or began in childhood has a bigger impact and sets the stage for life struggles with depression, anxiety, stress, relationship and marriage problems, and even medical problems.

It was once believed that our emotions were associated with specific locations in our brain, primarily the amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus. We now know that emotions, and therefore emotional pain, are also held in our bodies and connect to the emotional centers of the brain via vast, interrelated neural networks. When it comes to trauma, the body keeps score.

While more traditional therapy will be important in helping you change the unhealthy habits you may have developed in relationships because of the impact of trauma, talk therapy alone is generally unable to allow you to access trauma that is stored in your body and the more primitive areas of your nervous system. Since the body bears the burden of trauma, the body needs to be a part of trauma healing. Thus, therapies that integrate the natural healing power of your brain and body, such as EMDR, Somatic Experiencing®, Brainspotting, movement therapies, and the Safe and Sound Protocol can be powerful tools in your trauma recovery.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a method of therapy for dealing with unresolved trauma and distressing life events that often produce more rapid results than traditional talk therapy. EMDR is used to treat a variety of problems, including:

  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Fears
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Physical Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse or Neglect
  • Adult Relationship Trauma
  • Betrayal Trauma
  • Unresolved Family of Origin Issues
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Disturbing Memories
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Unresolved Grief
  • Stress Management

EMDR can be beneficial for treating trauma associated with single, overwhelming life events or the more chronic, repetitive types of trauma that occur in our relationships, such as developmental, attachment, or betrayal trauma.

Although the exact neurobiological mechanisms associated with EMDR’s success are still being researched, it appears to tap into the healing power of your own body by helping the creative (right hemisphere) and analytical (left hemisphere) sides of the brain to communicate more effectively.

It does this by using bilateral stimulation, which is a fancy name for stimulation of the alternating sides of your brain. It’s kind of like helping you to rock back and forth between the right and left hemispheres of your brain. The bilateral stimulation results in release of the negative emotions and negative core beliefs that are attached to unresolved trauma.

EMDR can also result in a strengthening of positive emotions and empowering new core beliefs about yourself, others, and your world. For information, please go to our EMDR page.

Brainspotting (BSP) is a cousin to both Somatic Experiencing and EMDR. BSP is the new kid on the block for treating various issues, including trauma and addiction. It works by accessing and activating points in the visual field where memories associated with trauma, emotional distress, and physical reactivity are stored in the brain. BSP then facilitates metabolization and release of the unprocessed trauma in the subcortical brain.

Somatic Experiencing works by bypassing the higher cognitive centers of the brain and working with sensations that are associated with the primitive part of the brain by way of the Autonomic Nervous System. It works directly with the trauma brain reactions, using body awareness and body sensations to gently and gradually release the emotion and energy from those body memories.

Unlike EMDR, which may target the worst part of the trauma first, Somatic Experiencing works from the outside edges inward to the core of the trauma. While the pace may be slower than with EMDR, the discharge and release of the traumatic activation from your nervous system can be very powerful. With this release your nervous system can return to a healthier range of resiliency and healing can take place.

Our team integrates the groundbreaking developmental model of Pia Mellody as a foundation for trauma healing. Pia is a pioneer in the recovery field and an internationally recognized expert on trauma, addiction, codependency, and relational trauma.

Trauma, especially trauma that occurred in childhood relationships, often sets the stage for attachment style and patterns in adult relationships. Post-Induction therapy focuses on identifying the five core symptoms that result from developmental and relationship trauma:

  • Problems with self-worth
  • Difficulty establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries
  • Blindspots in staying connected to yourself and aspects of your reality – thoughts, feelings, sensations, and behaviors
  • Difficulty discerning and fulfilling your needs and wants
  • Issues with moderation

PIT therapy targets reducing the unresolved shame associated with your trauma and incorporating new relational skills to heal the core symptoms and create greater balance in your life.

Deep Brain Reorienting, or DBR is a new form of trauma treatment that targets the original physiological sequence of trauma in the brainstem. This is the part of the brain involved in threat detection and response, including attachment disruption. DBR sessions focus on creating anchors in the part of the traumatic memory that happened before the shock of emotional overwhelm that continues to create problem in your current life.

Dr Caudill and team member Linda Franke are DBR trained.

Cognitive Processing Therapy, or CPT is an evidence-based treatment for trauma, with a very strong research base backing its effectiveness. CPT consists of 12 highly structured sessions, though many clients will not need that many. The treatment is done in sessions at a minimum of every week but can be done twice a week, or even in a 5-day intensive.

CPT is a “top-down” treatment. In other words, you do not have to talk about the trauma experience. Instead, the focus is on the effect the trauma has had on you. CPT is a good fit if you need respond to a structured format and clear organization for sessions.

Team member Laura Fletcher is CPT trained.

Please contact us if you would like to learn more about how trauma affects you or how therapy can help. Also check out our blog on the What is the Difference Between Big T and Little t Trauma.

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