People who have experienced traumatic events in their life, whether they occurred recently or long ago, may live with the impact of the trauma in their day-to-day activities, inner experience and in their relationships.
Trauma is sometimes described as acute (a recent, single instance such as a violent crime or accident), or chronic (repeated experiences over time such as childhood physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, rape domestic violence, workplace bullying, or war experiences). These events may leave people with distressing symptoms such as nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive memories, depression, fear, anxiety or feelings of numbness. Over time, the aftereffects of trauma may touch their personal or work relationships causing difficulty in trusting others and feelings of disconnection from self and/or others.
Recovering and healing from trauma often involves:
- validating your experience of trauma
- regaining control over your body, self and environment
- establishing and practicing self-care
- creating or restoring safety in your environment as well as in your relationships with others
- managing and reducing symptoms including flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive memories, hyper-arousal and numbing
In cases of interpersonal trauma, such as childhood abuse, sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, workplace bullying, or violent crime, a variety of distressing emotions may follow such as shame, anxiety, fear, feelings of not being worthy or lovable, depression, or as if you were at fault in the trauma. Feelings of abandonment or low self-worth may also surface in interpersonal relationships. This type of trauma is often related to power and a key part of healing is recovering a sense of power.
Trauma-informed therapy strives to give the client a sense of power and control over their own treatment. In trauma-informed therapy, the focus is on:
- creating a sense of safety and stability,
- processing emotions and feelings from the traumatic events
- exploring the impact of the trauma on one’s self perception
- gaining trust in interpersonal relationships
- disovering meaning of the traumatic event
Trauma can feel overwhelming, as if nothing in life will be right again. However, recovery from traumatic events is possible. If you have experienced trauma and would like support in healing, please call for an appointment.
If you or someone you know needs immediate support following an assault or rape, please contact a crisis hotline for immediate assistance.
For more information or to make an appointment, please call or email:
LifeWorks serves the north suburbs including Skokie, Evanston, Wilmette, Glenview, Northbrook, Northfield, Lincolnwood, Park Ridge and Glencoe as well as Chicago neighborhoods including Central Loop, Lakeview, Edgewater, Rogers Park, Andersonville, Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park.