Types of Counseling: Trauma Counseling

Types of counseling: trauma counseling

Orlando Counselor providing Trauma Therapy

You’ve been to therapist after therapist and no one seems to be able to help you. You’re still flooded with racing thoughts and emotions. You’ve talked about the difficult things that happened in your life and you’ve shared your deep secrets. Yet, you still aren’t feeling better.

As an anxiety and trauma therapist providing counseling in Orlando, many of my clients have seen multiple therapists before coming to me, where they talk about their problems and possible solutions, yet they haven’t found any deep resolution to their inner turmoil. Talking about problems is different than processing unresolved wounds from the past. As a matter of fact, talking about extremely disturbing events from the past, without processing the difficult aspects of the events, can be re-traumatizing.

Additionally, for clients that struggle with severe anxiety, simply learning that their anxiety is an overreaction to a trigger does little to resolve their anxiety. Bringing light to the fact that their anxiety is an overreaction, without any deep resolution, intensifies the anxiety because clients can leave feeling broken or damaged.

Having been trained in the following trauma-based approaches: Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP), and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT-Tapping), and Psychodrama, and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT-Couples), I have identified several key elements that are essential when it comes to providing trauma therapy.

Thorough History

I spend several sessions getting to know your history, assessing what it was like in your childhood, and exploring your primary relationships. Understanding these early years can help me understand your vulnerabilities or your strengths when processing trauma. Once a thorough history is established, we will move into a phase oriented treatment to assure that processing trauma is safe for you.

Phase Oriented

Trauma therapy is phase oriented: Resourcing, Processing, and then Integration. In other words, we don’t jump head first into the deep end, so to speak.

In the Resourcing phase, I teach my clients how to reduce their anxiety or other trauma symptoms through mindfulness, grounding techniques, visualizations, evaluating their self-care plan, or other resources specific to my client’s needs. During this time, I make sure the clients can feel safe. I want them to feel safe within the self and safe within the therapeutic relationship.

Once the client has the skills needed to manage difficult emotions inside the session and out in the world, and when we both agree the time is right, we begin processing disturbing memories, events, emotions, and/or body sensations. In other words, we will dig deep to process the root causes that created the symptoms that led you to seek therapy.

Integration will naturally happen throughout both the Resourcing phase and the Processing phase, however, we will spend time exploring how resolution of the traumatic past impacts the your future. It is common, after processing, to see a brighter future, with more options, and less limitations.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the moment by moment awareness of what is happening within you in the present moment. Using mindfulness allows you to “see” what is happening at any given moment in your body, thoughts, and emotions and not get swept away. Thoughts, emotions, and body sensations (heart rate, breathing, tension, and “butterfly” feeling in the pit of the stomach) are all interconnected and influencing each other at any given moment. Mindfulness gives you tools to tame the automatic reaction that happens and gives you the opportunity to choose a different response.

Before we process trauma, we will develop some skills around mindfulness.

Dual Awareness

Dual awareness builds on mindfulness. Once you have some perspective and space from the automatic reactions that have previously taken you over, we are likely ready for trauma processing. Trauma is processed through dual awareness, meaning you have the ability to recall difficult events from the past and process the aspect of those events, while being grounded in the present moment.

Aspects of Trauma (Processing)

The aspects are the specific way the trauma is stored in your thoughts, emotions, memories, images, body sensations, and your five senses. Using dual awareness and moving slow, we will access how each element of your experience has been impacted. In trauma processing, going slow is going further. This is where trauma processing vastly differs from traditional talk therapy. We won’t rush through the narrative, we will process aspects mindfully with dual awareness.

When clients seek me out for trauma therapy, I ask them if they’ve been in therapy before. I will often hear, “Yes, I’ve already talked about this in therapy. I don’t know why this still bothers me.” I put these folks at ease by letting them know talking about trauma and processing trauma are two very different approaches in therapy.

If you have been on the merry-go-round of therapists, and your symptoms are not resolving, it is possible that you have unresolved wounds from the past that are continuing to impact you today and you need more than traditional talk therapy. I encourage you to seek the help of trained trauma therapist to support you during this difficult time.

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More on Types of Counseling

Types of Counseling: What is EMDR?

Types of Counseling: Mind, Body, and Emotion

Types of Counseling: A Bottom Up Approach

Types of Counseling: What The Brain Says About Therapy

Types of Counseling: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy


Lauran is an anxiety and trauma therapist providing counseling in Orlando, FL. She also specializes in helping people heal old broken relationship patterns that keep them from finding, creating, and keeping healthy relationships with partners, friends, and family. Lauran uses a down to earth approach infused with cutting-edge therapies that go beyond traditional talking to help clients feel calm in their body and mind and find peace within themselves.