You Deserve Empathy, To Feel Safe, And To Be Heard
Trauma is a universal experience. Simply put, it is a part of the human condition. The word trauma is often used to describe an experience, situation, or series of events that are emotionally painful, and distressing, and that overwhelm an individual’s ability to effectively cope. Following a traumatic event, individuals often feel powerless and report they no longer feel safe in the world. Our therapists here at Anchor Psychotherapy, Inc. understand these feelings and are here to offer you a safe space to process and come to terms with your past trauma.
Trauma: An Isolated Event or Chronic Situation
Trauma can be an isolated situational event, such as a car accident or assault, or it can be chronic such as childhood abuse or neglect, intimate partner violence, exposure to chronic discrimination, urban conditions, or war. Additionally complex is the fact that, so often, the ones we love are also connected with our pain.
Regardless of its form, trauma can negatively impact virtually every aspect of a person’s life. It can be pervasive, leaving you feeling disconnected and dysregulated. The impact of trauma can result in high levels of depression and anxiety, irritability, feelings of anger, shame, guilt, and loss.
The Impact of Trauma on Relationships
Relationally, trauma can make it difficult to form a secure attachment with others, causing you to struggle to maintain close relationships. Although the aftermath of trauma can feel overwhelming, we are hardwired with the capacity to heal when we have the right support. Effective trauma therapy requires we identify the impact of an event, develop a narrative of that event, and reintegrate the brain and the body as one—so that we can feel whole again. Additionally, trauma therapy helps to increase our resilience so that when future events occur, we are in the best position to navigate the storm.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Trauma?
Trauma describes an experience, situation, or even a series of events that have a negative impact on your life. Often trauma is the result of being overwhelmed by an experience (e.g.., abuse) or being deprived of experiences necessary for one to thrive (e.g., neglect). Trauma can be physical or psychological–and often falls under both. The result of trauma can manifest in different ways.
You may experience:
- Flashbacks or intrusive memories of the event
- Nightmares or difficulty sleeping
- Feeling disconnected from your body or numbing yourself to avoid feeling pain
- Feeling on edge, irritable, or having outbursts of anger
- Avoidance of people, places, or things that remind you of the event
- Difficulty concentrating or feeling like your mind is going blank
- Feeling hopeless, helpless, or like your life is out of control
- Physical symptoms like headaches, body pain, or stomach problems
It’s important to note that everyone experiences trauma differently. As trauma therapists, it is our job to work with our clients to identify the individual ways in which trauma is impacting their lives.
What are Dissociative Disorders?
Dissociative Disorders are, in many respects, an adaptive response to maladaptive circumstances (e.g., abuse), and can manifest in different ways. Although the experience of dissociation occurs on a spectrum. Depersonalization and derealization are two of the more commonly known forms of dissociation.
Examining Depersonalization vs. Derealization
Depersonalization involves how a person relates to themselves, while derealization involves how a person relates to the world around them. More specifically, depersonalization is the experience of feeling outside yourself, while derealization is defined by the feeling of disconnection from the world around you. Regardless, they are in many respects, two sides of the same coin. Most importantly, the experience of dissociation is a common response to trauma and can be very distressing. It can cause us to feel dysregulated and ungrounded, and it makes it incredibly difficult to feel present in our own lives.
Dissociation as a Coping Mechanism
While the experience of dissociation begins as an adaptive form of survival in the moment of a traumatic event, over time this strategy for coping becomes ineffective and no longer serves us in the way it did when it was reinforced at the time of the initial trauma. It inhibits authentic connection and can have devastating consequences over time.
Our Trauma Therapists in Pasadena, CA are Here to Help
Trauma can impact anyone at any time. And, the effects can be far-reaching and long-lasting. We have worked with many clients who have experienced trauma and have developed Dissociative Disorders to cope. With our team’s help, we supported them to collect the fragments of themselves the trauma had scattered. With time and small steps in the right direction, they were able to mend these pieces back together and feel fully embodied in themselves again.
Our Approach to Therapy for Trauma and Dissociative Disorders in Pasadena, CA
At Anchor Psychotherapy, Inc. in Pasadena, CA, our therapists recognize that feeling fragmented as a result of trauma leaves us feeling like a hostage to our experiences. While splitting off and abandoning the fragmented parts of the self that hold our trauma may be an ingenious and adaptive survival strategy at the moment, it comes at a very hefty price. Fragmenting the trauma allows the remainder of our self to move forward with our lives and function in the world. However, we cannot indefinitely suppress the part of the self-holding past trauma.
Resolving Past Trauma
Unresolved trauma leaves us vulnerable to the uninvited activation of trauma-related feelings, body memories, and reactivity that we often poorly understood at the moment. True trauma work involves going back, reclaiming those abandoned parts, and reintegrating them with the person we are today. It can be a painful process but is one that taps into our innate capacity to heal from the unimaginable. For the brave at heart, that choose to return to the trauma of their past and embrace the abandoned parts of themselves—they have the opportunity to feel whole and fully embodied.
EMDR as a Treatment Modality
One model all our trauma therapists utilize is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). With nearly three decades of research to support the model, EMDR is the gold standard for trauma treatment today.
Begin Therapy for Trauma and Dissociative Disorders in Pasadena, CA
Maybe you are struggling with trauma from a past experience and cannot move forward with your life. Anchor Psychotherapy, Inc. is here to help set you on the path to healing. We will work with you to overcome your past in order to be fully present in your future. Arming you with the coping skills you need to thrive. Follow the steps below to get connected with a trauma therapist in Pasadena, CA.
- Get to know more about our therapist here.
- Fill out our easy and convenient online contact form.
- Begin your journey towards healing from trauma today.
Other Mental Health Services Offered at Anchor Psychotherapy, Inc.
In addition to Trauma Therapy, we offer a range of mental health services. We do this so we are able to support you at any stage of your mental health journey. We offer child and family services, binge eating and bariatric therapy, LGBTQ+ services, and group therapy. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.