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Trauma Therapist in Denver, CO, For Life's Unexpected Events

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." -Helen Keller-

If you’ve faced an event that was traumatic to you or re-experienced a past trauma, it can lead to more than emotional and mental symptoms like depression anxiety, fear, and rage, but it can even cause physical problems. It’s why working with a trauma therapist in the Denver, Colorado, area to overcome your traumatic experience is important. You’ll gain the coping skills you need and become equipped with tools that help you enjoy lasting, positive change in your life.

What Is Trauma and Do You Need a Therapist to Overcome It?

Trauma is a response to an intensely stressful event or situation. A person may have experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event that involved actual or threatened death, serious injury, or a threat to the physical or emotional integrity of them or others.

A person's response following an event that is psychologically overwhelming can often result in shock and denial. During extreme stress, the body and mind become overwhelmed, triggering the "fight-or-flight" reaction in the brain, as this is the brain's natural way of protecting us from a threat.

Some traumas can sneak up on us overtime, and can be harder to recognize, such as living through the pandemic, big life transitions, emotional abuse, medical illness, or bullying.

Not everyone who has experienced a traumatic event will have long lasting effects or need a trauma therapist. It's normal to have stress reactions to these types of events, and most people recover naturally over time.

Most people who go through a traumatic event will not develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some will develop subthreshold symptoms of PTSD, but do not meet the full diagnostic criteria for PTSD. For others, though, trauma can go unhealed without professional intervention from a trauma therapist. 

Common Symptoms After a Trauma

Trauma can impact people in different ways and how long it lasts depends on the type it is and the person experiencing it. However, some common symptoms of trauma that therapists often see include:

  • Avoiding things that remind you of the trauma, including people, places, or objects
  • Experienced intrusive thoughts, including flashbacks or nightmares
  • Hypervigilance, or being very aware of danger
  • Being easily startled or "jumpy"
  • Being activated by triggers that remind you of the trauma
  • Sleep problems, such as insomnia
  • Changes in how you see yourself, such as believing that you're unworthy, not good at coping, or feeling excess guilt or shame
  • A small "window of tolerance," meaning that you find yourself being more emotionally reactive, irritable, or shut down

While many people heal naturally after a trauma with the benefit of time and support from loved ones, others need the extra support an expertly trained trauma therapist in the Denver area can provide.

Types of Trauma Therapy

Some of these therapies are used for trauma and some are used for PTSD. It is the job of a trauma therapist with experience in PTSD to work with you to determine the most helpful approach. Some different ways to treat trauma include with:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

A type of CBT called "Prolonged Exposure," or "PE," can be helpful when treating trauma. With your trauma therapist, you'll learn skills of relaxation and coping, and then gradually use exposure techniques to face the source of fear, until you are not afraid of it anymore.

Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

EMDR involves using rhythmic left-right (bilateral) stimulation to help process and release emotions, beliefs, and body sensations, that been blocked by trauma.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

This form of therapy involves challenging and modifying the unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that have developed as a result of the trauma.

Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS)

This form of therapy involves working with a trauma therapist to recognize how different parts of our "self systems" have developed as a response to trauma. These parts include the wounded (exiled) parts and the protector parts that have developed to keep us safe. The goal is to recognize and appreciate the role these parts play in our self systems, and to nourish our true selves.

Get Help From a Trauma Therapist in Denver

Healing from trauma is possible. If you or someone you know is experiencing the trauma symptoms listed above, contact me, Dr. Pamela Brody, for a consultation. As an experienced trauma therapist serving clients across the Denver, CO, area, I can work with you or your loved one toward helping to reduce or even eliminate symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, stress, and anger, and improve your overall well-being.