Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma
NOUN \ˈTRAU̇-MƏ, ˈTRȮ-\
: a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time
medical : a serious injury to a person’s body
– Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Do childhood memories still effect your adult life?
Are you plagued with nightmares, flashbacks or panic attacks? Did you survive or witness abuse in your childhood, possibly from someone you trusted or someone who was supposed to take care of you? Do you still have difficult memories and feelings around the divorce of your parents? Do you continue to have childhood feelings of abandonment? Did you survive a major natural disaster? Did you lose someone close to you? Were you affected by the addiction of others? Did you grow up in foster care or have multiple caregivers without any real place to call “home”? Does the trauma of early relationships effect your ability to find happiness in your adult relationships and present day life?
Traumatic events of childhood can have long-term impacts on your life, continuing well into adulthood. Trauma experienced in childhood, particularly early childhood, can actually re-structure your brain. This re-structuring can cause a constant state of numbness, hyper vigilance, fear, guilt, anxiety or may other symptoms that interfere with everyday life.
You CAN find relief
When working with clients who are adult survivors of childhood trauma, I recognize the benefits of the therapeutic relationship and its ability to help support my clients build their own sense of self. Additionally, I help my clients:
- learn to trust themselves
- process feelings that they may not have had an opportunity to acknowledge or feel
- practice self-compassion
- learn ways to self-soothe
“One of the first things you need to ask is, how did you survive this? This is amazing that you’re still here. It’s amazing that you still have the guts to go on with your life. What is allowing you to function? What are you good at? What gives you comfort?”
– Bessel van der Kolk
But, it happened so long ago it shouldn’t STILL be this big of an issue.
You do not have control over how your brain and body reacts to or deals with trauma. This is not your fault and if the trauma is impacting your life today then you deserve to give yourself the time, attention and compassion to heal.
I have never told anyone before, what if I am too scared to DO counseling correctly?
There is no correct way to do counseling. As a therapist it is my job to help guide you through your own path. It is not my job to make you reveal or face things you are not ready to. On the contrary, my job is to give you a safe, supportive and non-judgmental place to work on your own goals at your own pace.
What makes you the best choice for me?
This is a great question and it is a choice that is entirely yours. If you feel that we are not a good fit then I would be happy to help you find someone who is. However, here are a few things that may set me apart from other therapists:
- Past trauma is a main focus in my practice
- Having experience working with survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence, I am a competent therapist in the area of past trauma.
- Clients have stated that I am understanding, patient and compassionate
- I provide a safe and accepting environment
I am competent in non-verbal experiential therapies including art, mindfulness and sand tray. This is helpful for those who have a difficult time verbally articulating their experiences and feelings.