Trauma as it applies to the mind and emotions concerns an experience that produces psychological pain or injury, usually in a way that overwhelms our ability to process it emotionally. The highly stressful event threatens our sense of security and makes us feel vulnerable to the idea it might happen again.

Trauma also is not limited only to major or catastrophic incidents. It can be caused by relentless, ongoing stress such as that created by an environment, abuse or an illness. In some cases, it can result from frequent exposure to upsetting news and imagery, which can overwhelm the nervous system. Trauma can be especially pronounced if it is experienced during childhood.

Because our response can make our built-in safety mechanisms shift into overdrive, trauma can affect us in many different ways. Symptoms of trauma can include:

  • guilt
  • shame
  • sadness
  • fear
  • confusion
  • anger
  • denial
  • addiction
  • numbness
  • hopelessness
  • painful flashbacks
  • sleep disorders

Specific trauma-related conditions might be:

  • eating disorder
  • bodily disorder
  • personality disorder
  • disassociation

The important thing to understand about trauma is that a response to it does not have to be permanent. If trauma has affected your life, there is treatment and there is hope.

Eunoia Counseling provides individual, confidential trauma-informed therapy that offers healing, growth and understanding for those who seek caring support. Together, we can guide you to a sense of peace, control and empowerment.

What Is Trauma-Informed Therapy?

Trauma-informed therapy at Eunoia Counseling is a therapeutic approach that understands how trauma can enter and impact a person’s life experience. It recognizes trauma symptoms and acknowledges how they can shape a person’s thoughts and behaviors.

By engaging treatment with this understanding from the outset, trauma-informed therapies adapt to the specific person in looking to manage and overcome the underlying triggers of trauma responses.

Trauma-informed care is a path toward understanding the struggles that a person might face because of what they have gone through at any point in their lives. At Eunoia Counseling, we approach trauma therapy by listening to you and learning how trauma has affected you specifically – how other people may or may not respond to trauma is not a factor in your healing.

Our trauma-informed care creates a safe space where you can gain greater insight into what might be directing how you think, feel and act about certain things. We understand the factors that influence stress on the mind, body and spirit. By getting to the root of trauma, we can help you gain a self-awareness that sets a foundation for increasing growth and freedom.

Therapy: What Are the Types of Trauma?

Trauma is a broad category that can impact different people in different ways: One person’s reaction to a highly stressful event will not always mirror another’s. At the same time, trauma can be generally categorized.

One-time acute trauma: Intense distress following a single incident of limited duration (e.g. a major car crash; the death of a loved one)

Chronic trauma from repeated exposure to multiple stressful events (e.g. being bullied or sexually assaulted on several occasions)

Complex trauma experienced over time and within specific relationships and contexts, often combining acute and chronic trauma, particularly during childhood (e.g. parental violence, neglect or abandonment added to having been among death and destruction during a war)

Secondary (vicarious) trauma experienced by being exposed to someone else’s trauma (e.g. a child who witnesses a parent’s spousal abuse; first responders at crime scenes)

Generational or historical trauma transferred through lineage or circumstances (e.g. being trapped in poverty because of one’s geography or familial social status)

What Do Trauma-Informed Therapies Focus On?

Most important in working with an individual looking to heal from trauma is beginning with a clean, open slate. The only important starting context is you and what may have happened to you.

As we listen to you and learn about you, our trauma-informed care will be inspired and led by the following principles:

Safety first: Establish a secure and private environment that maintains confidentiality and clear boundaries.

Trustworthiness & transparency: Build and reinforce trust between you and your therapist.

Collaboration & mutuality: Develop a meaningful partnership in goals and decision-making.

Voice & choice: Empower you to operate within set boundaries and make informed choices that are healthy for you.

Broader context: Recognize if and how aspects such as background, diversity, family history or sexual preference or gender identity may have factored into trauma.

Resilience and recovery: Focus on your innate talents and strengths and promote growing resilience as you move toward a healthy, positive future.

Therapy for Trauma: Polyvagal Theory & Bessel van der Kolk

In recent years researchers have discovered much more about how trauma changes not just our emotions but our brains and bodies as well. A leading principle in therapy for trauma is polyvagal theory, which centers on neuroscientific concepts of brain signals and activity.

Polyvagal theory puts forth that our bodies react in physiological and neurobiological ways to elevated stress, especially when it involves perceived danger or harm.

In these events, our central nervous system may react by informing us to fight, flee or freeze. Another behavioral response that can develop from trauma is the fawn response, which we might use to try to guard ourselves by pleasing people, even if it’s at our own expense.

Polyvagal theory’s goal in treating trauma is to decrease reactive responses by activating the vagal system and the vagus nerve, which runs from our brain to our stomach. By understanding the body’s stress reactions and how the vagal system influences them, trauma therapy at Eunoia Counseling can help you learn to prevent reactions that respond but do not heal.

Our trauma-informed care also is informed by post traumatic–stress expert Bessel van der Kolk. His teaching discusses how the brain works to suppress – i.e. file away and hide – a traumatic event after it occurs.

However, the body does not forget the trauma. It responds in ways such as “re-wiring” the brain’s alarm system and increasing stress hormones. This can start to make superficial information important, creating more challenges for the traumatized individual. The muscles trap and store the extra stress, and the mind cannot help the body because it has turned away.

Trauma-Informed Therapy: Individual Counseling

We provide trauma therapy for adolescents, teens, adults, seniors and LGBTQIA++ individuals alike. Your therapy with us offers potentially limitless benefits in aiming to restore your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being as you identify and achieve your goals one by one.

As you remain proactive in your trauma therapy, you can begin to feel achievements such as:

  • increasing self-esteem and -awareness
  • new insights into the past and the present
  • ways to lower stress and anxiety
  • command of unhealthy thought patterns
  • recognizing and avoiding emotional triggers
  • stronger, healthier relationships
  • a fresh perspective on life
  • improving physical health

Trauma Therapists Near Me: Contact Us Today

No one asks to be affected by trauma – it is simply something that can happen. What matters is knowing that there is a way to move forward. The “trauma therapists near me” at Eunoia Counseling support your desire to understand, to heal and especially to feel free. To learn more about our trauma-informed therapy, contact us at (630) 340-8747 or info@eunoiacounselingnaperville.com.

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