Trauma is a lingering emotional response to an event or series of events that can alter a person’s sense of self, safety and interpersonal relationships. It can be short-term or last much longer with an increasing negative impact on the individual.

Symptoms of trauma might include overwhelming feelings of sadness, guilt or shame. Fear, confusion and anger might be recurring as well. Trauma survivors may also often experience sleep disorders and painful flashbacks.

If you or someone you care about in Oswego (IL) struggles with symptoms of trauma, and you are looking for “trauma therapy near me,” Empowered Life Therapy offers support that helps to heal from the inside out as you grow in peace, hope and acceptance.

Oswego (IL) Trauma Therapy: The Nervous System

When you work with a trauma therapist for Oswego at Empowered Life Therapy, you can explore how healing from trauma can begin with understanding what it does to our brain and our body.

With sustained trauma symptoms, stress is creating a constant mental loop that begins in the amygdala, where our brain regulates emotional processing by sending distress signals to the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus then sends us commands through the nervous system to fight, flee or freeze in a perceived stressful situation.

These commands produce reactions such as heightened adrenaline, increased heart rate, quicker breathing and hyper-alertness. While they are designed for our protection and survival, such responses also draw energy from us.

To restore that energy, our body releases the hormone cortisol. When the stressor is gone, the cortisol level drops and the body returns to its normal state.

This built-in system means to serve us in times of real or possible danger. It becomes problematic when triggers of unresolved trauma keep pushing the button of our stress-response system, which moves it into overdrive.

For someone who has undergone trauma, these triggers can continue issuing warnings even without a true imminent threat. This increases the size of the amygdala and often predisposes it to remain in a state of fight, flee or freeze. The cortisol can continue to stockpile and produce long-term effects that influence mental and physical health.

Over time, trauma symptoms can develop into conditions such as:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • PTSD
  • ADHD
  • personality disorder
  • bodily disorder
  • eating disorder
  • disassociation
  • addiction
  • rage and aggression

Oswego (IL) Trauma Therapy: Adaptive Treatment

At Empowered Life Therapy, the most important thing for trauma therapy for individuals in or near Oswego is learning about you, your experiences and what they mean to you. As your trauma therapist gets to know you and establish trust with you, you can define what approaches can be most helpful and adaptive to your healing and growth.

The brain has amazing power to heal through neuroplasticity. That is the brain’s ability to re-form synaptic connections, particularly as they concern brain function impacted by trauma and intense chronic stress.

Although trauma can forge neural pathways that lead to distressing thought patterns, the problems between the amygdala and the hippocampus are not necessarily permanent. The brain and the body can often recover and establish new, repaired neural pathways.

One healthy, positive approach to neural repair is somatic therapy, which looks to join the mind, body and spirit through body-based pyschotherapy. It blends talk therapy with activities such as dancing, breathing and meditating to train the body to release the stress and tension it stores.

With more awareness of inner sensations, individuals from Oswego can move toward mindfulness in the moment and away from the loop of anxiety and hypervigilance that are often symptomatic of trauma.

Oswego (IL) Trauma Therapy: What Are Somatic Therapy Types?

The following are examples of psychotherapy modalities you and your trauma therapist could discuss for treatment.

Brainspotting: positioning the eyes to re-train emotional reactions

Bioenergetic analysis: bodily, analytic and relational focus on understanding mental and spiritual energy

Sensorimotor psychotherapy: using the body as a source of both information and intervention targets

Biodynamic psychotherapy: combination of allopathic (medical) and holistic therapy, including physical massage

The Hakomi Method: integration of scientific, psychological and spiritual sources to center on mindfulness, compassion, nonviolence and gentleness

Such somatic techniques and exercises during trauma therapy aim to:

draw from emotional resources in positive, constructive ways

encourage detailed descriptions and awareness of thoughts and feelings

express physical feelings through movement

provide personal tools for achieving self-calm

alternate attention between stressors and non-stressors to help release tension

and emotions

define and strengthen boundaries

develop grounding, a form of connection with the earth and Mother Nature

nurture self-worth by giving freedom and voice to your true self and inherent wisdom

Somatic therapy can be a meaningful complement to other approaches that may be well-suited for the individual, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).

Oswego (IL) Trauma Therapy: The Vagus Nerve

As part of trauma therapy for Oswego individuals, somatic therapy draws from Dr. Stephen Porges’ polyvagal theory.

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

The vagus nerve is the main neural component of the parasympathetic nervous system. It also informs the amygdala. When we feel safe, our vagus nerve comfortably connects us to the parasympathetic system, keeping us in a state of calm recovery. The vagus nerve also helps protect us with well-informed inner responses to danger.

In the case of intense trauma or chronic stress, newer pathways can make our safety-management responses overload and malfunction. Our primary pathways will begin to yield to the secondary pathways.

The goal of somatic therapy based on polyvagal theory is to decrease our frequency of triggered responses by activating the vagus nerve so it maintains a well-functioning connection with the parasympathetic nervous system.

Oswego (IL) Counselor Near Me: Contact Us Today

Empowered Life Therapy offers support for personal healing through the individually centered therapeutic process for Oswego. Together, we create a safe space in which you can explore thoughts, techniques and exercises for soothing the self, healing from trauma and tapping into your peaceful inner light.

To further discuss how we can support you as your “counselor near me” for Oswego (IL), contact us today at (630) 842-6585 or visit us at

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