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trauma therapy

 

Maybe you’ve been through some terrible things in your life that have been hard to escape and you are tired of the toll this takes on your health and your relationships. Maybe you aren’t even sure you’d call your experiences “traumas” but you know that you are having difficulty feeling safe in your body and in your surroundings.

 

While the things you have been through may have had a major impact on your life, they do not have to define the rest of your story. I know that living with the pain of the past can be incredibly difficult. I’m Erin, a trauma therapist in Houston, and I’m here to help. 

 

Healing is possible. There is life beyond trauma.  

Trauma and PTSD therapy can help you understand and work through your traumas so that you can move beyond the past and find more freedom and peace in the here and now.  I work with clients to create the trust and safety necessary for healing to take place.

 

If you are ready to explore how trauma therapy may help you, get in touch with me for a free consultation call and we can talk about it.

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How Does Trauma Show UP for You?

  • Are you triggered by painful memories of the past?

  • Do you have upsetting nightmares or flashbacks?

  • Do you find it difficult to fall asleep or to calm your body and mind?

  • Is it difficult to trust others or yourself?

  • Do you feel shame or blame yourself for what happened to you?

  • Have you felt so angry, scared, confused, or overwhelmed that you go numb and shut down?

  • Do you avoid things that are reminders of what you've been through?

  • Have you noticed feeling disconnected in your body? 

  • Does it feel like you are always on edge and you wish you could just relax?

  • Are you worried you'll never be able to escape your trauma and move forward?

Trauma therapy can help you step more fully into the life you desire.

Getting Started in Trauma and PTSD Treatment in Houston

I know that just the thought of starting therapy for trauma and PTSD can be really challenging. There can be many obstacles to taking that first step to reach out for help.

 

Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge that the things you’ve been through were actually traumatic. This might be because you blame yourself for what happened or maybe you don’t think your experiences were all that bad compared to what others have been through.

 

Maybe you still care for or depend on the person or people who inflicted the harm.  You might think you should be able to handle it on your own, get over it,  let it go, or let it live in the past. Maybe you have been hoping that time will heal all wounds if you wait long enough or maybe it feels like it happened so long ago that it shouldn't still be bothering you. You could also be waiting to get help to avoid seeming needy, weak, dramatic, or broken.

 

Acknowledging your trauma and seeking help is also made enormously more difficult if others dismiss the severity of what has happened to you or have tried to convince you it didn’t even happen. Perhaps the idea of facing your trauma feels impossible to handle and it’s easier to just ignore it or “not go there.”

These are all very common reasons putting the brakes on going to therapy for trauma and PTSD, and yet, you still came to this page looking for something. Perhaps despite all of the obstacles, there is still a part of you that is curious about how therapy can help and is hoping that there is a way that life could be different.

 

Maybe you've known for a while that you could use some support healing from your traumas. Maybe you are tired of trying to outrun the past. Maybe something traumatic just happened recently and it’s freaking you out. Maybe your traumas seem to pop up out of nowhere and you are sick of it. Maybe you don’t know if it’s “trauma” but you are exhausted by feeling triggered. Maybe now you are ready to get the help you need to deal with all of this.

Schedule a call now to explore if now is the right time to move beyond what’s holding you back.

Understanding Trauma

types of traumatic events

Trauma can occur with a single specific event like a car accident or a hurricane. Trauma can also happen as a result of a series of recurring events such as the regular threat of danger in a warzone or in an abusive relationship. You can also experience developmental or childhood trauma if you are repeatedly exposed to violence, neglect, or abuse when you are growing up.

 

Many different types of experiences can become traumatic such as:

  • Experiencing or witnessing serious accidents or tragic events

  • Natural disasters (including pandemics ) and their aftermath

  • Chronic marginalization, oppression, discrimination, or unequal treatment

  • Bullying, harassment, humiliation, and shaming

  • Violence and physical or sexual assaults

  • Exposure to war and/or combat

  • Chronic abuse (verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, financial) or manipulation/coercion

  • Chronic neglect or abandonment

  • Being the victim of a crime

  • Scary medical procedures

  • Loss of a loved one through death or separation

  • Disabling or serious life-threatening illness

  • Not having access to resources needed to survive and thrive

  • And many other possible experiences

The type of events that turn out to be traumatic can vary from person to person. Something traumatic to you may not be to another person. Likewise, something traumatic for someone else might not have the same impact on you. That means you get to determine if something was traumatic for you. How your trauma measures up to other people’s traumas doesn’t really matter. Even if it seems like it should be too small to matter, if it was significant to you it counts! Ultimately, trauma is anything that overwhelms your ability to cope with something that is happening or has happened to you.

what makes it traumatic?

When our bodies notice something that it deems dangerous or threatening to our safety or survival, the body responds by preparing itself to handle the situation. When this response kicks in, there are changes that happen in our brain and throughout all of our body’s systems including the nervous system. These are adaptive responses that our bodies are designed to go through to help us deal with situations that can cause harm. Sometimes, though, the circumstances of the traumatic event or what happens after the event can overwhelm the system’s ability to cope or prevent the body from completing its protective response. When this happens the body’s protective response gets stuck in the “on” mode and the effects of the trauma can live on for days, months, or even years if there is never a resolution. Trauma therapy can help to give you the support and the tools necessary to allow this protective response to get unjammed and turn off.

how THerapy for Trauma and PTSD can help

There are many ways that trauma therapy can help you, and you get to define which goals will be most meaningful for you. Some changes you might notice when you participate in trauma therapy are:

  • Improved relationships with others and with yourself

  • Less emotional and physical reactivity to past trauma triggers

  • Feeling more connected to your body and your surroundings

  • Being more present in the moment with less agitation, numbing, or distracting yourself

What changes are possible with trauma therapy?

Ways therapy can help

  • Giving you a judgement-free space where you have the option to tell your story and explore the impact your trauma has had on your life. 

  • Empowering you to tap into your existing strengths and resources and use them to support healing and growth.

  • Developing gentle (re)connection to your body through mindful awareness, breathing, and/ or movement

trauma-therapy-houston Erin is seated in a white chair and wearing a blue shirt with a notebook in her lap and is looking to camera with a small smile

I’m Erin, a trauma and PTSD therapist in Houston

how I approach trauma therapy

 Something about I know how hard it can be to ....that's why therapeutic relationship is so important, building trust and safety, taking the time to get to know your story and get a good picture of all the factors that are contributing to keeping your trauma alive in the present.

Maybe something about anti-opression?

 I'm an experienced trauma therapist with training in many trauma-focused therapy approaches. We will work together to find the right combination of approaches suited to meet your needs and goals.

types of trauma therapies we might use

Through using trauma-specific therapies, you can begin to move beyond feeling tethered by painful experiences from your past. You can begin to feel more safety and ease in your body, mind, emotions, relationships, and your world. 

  • EMDR-Processing of stuck memories and strengthening of internal resources through use of eye movements or other left-right (bilateral) stimulation (like tapping or sound)

  • CPT-Exploring how your traumas ifluenced your beliefs about yourself, others, and the world and giving you tools to challenge the beliefs that seem to keep you stuck

  • Body-oriented strategies (yoga, breathing, somatic focus)

  • Self-compassion and self-soothing-learning to treat yourself with kindness, knowing that you are not alone in your struggle, and building skills to help you feel more supported, stable, and balanced

  • Mindfulness-practicing how to notice your experience with curiosity and without becoming overwhelmed by it, judging it, or trying to force it to change.

  • Parts work- becoming familiar with all of the parts of you that developed to protect you and keep you safe. By working with these parts rather than against them you can find more balance and internal harmony

  • How do I get started? What will I need before our first session?
    If you are ready to get started, you can contact me and we can discuss how we will work together towards your therapeutic goals. Prior to our first therapy session together, I will send you intake paperwork to complete through a secure online client portal. We will review your intake documents in our first session. This gives us both a chance to bring awareness to the experiences that got you to where you are today and informs us on how to chart our course of therapy going forward.
  • What can I expect in a therapy session?
    Therapy sessions will last 50 minutes. There may be some circumstances in which a longer session would be of benefit and we would discuss that together. Each session will be unique, but all will be in support of your overall goals. The early sessions will be spent learning more about you and your experiences and we will both work together to lay the foundation for our work together. From there, our sessions will focus on helping you cultivate the necessary skills and insights that you will need to reach your goals. Throughout this process you can expect to have the space and the compassion that will support your efforts as you work towards the adjustments you are seeking in your life.
  • What are the fees for service? Do you accept insurance?
    A 15 minute phone consulation to discuss getting started is free. Our 50 minute individual therapy sessions are $150 for clients paying out of pocket. I am currently accepting some insurances through a third party billing system called Headway. The insurances that I can accept through Headway include Aetna, Oscar Health, Oxford, and United Healthcare. For all other insurance providers I am considered an out-of-network provider. At your request, I will provide you with documentation (aka a superbill) you can use to try to claim out-of-network benefits from these insurance providers. Please contact your insurance provider for details on your coverage and benefits and how you would complete their claim process.
  • Will there be homework?
    That is up to you! I will say that if your therapy only exists within the confines of your therapy sessions, it is not likely to have as great an impact on your real day-to-day life. Practicing and implementing skills and adjustments in your real world will support your creation of the life you want for yourself. We will collaborate to design strategies so that you can explore what works for you.
  • Are my sessions confidential?
    Yes. Steps are taken to keep your protected health information as confidential and private as I reasonably can. There are some specific situations where there are limitations to the confidentiality of your protected health information. You can learn more about confidentiality and its exceptions in my Notice of Privacy Practices .
  • Where will the therapy sessions take place?
    I am offering therapy online (or teletherapy). I use Simple Practice which is a secure, HIPAA compliant video conferencing platform. You will receive a link ahead of your session time that directs you to our virtual therapy "room." This reduces some hassles like driving and parking and allows for some more flexibility in scheduling appointment times. All you'll need is a quality internet connection and a private, quiet space somewhere in Texas and you'll be ready to start your session.
  • I'm not sure if I'm ready for therapy right now. How can I tell if now is the right time?
    If you are still not sure, get in touch with me and we can talk about it together. I offer free consulation calls up to 15 minutes for new and prospective clients.
  • I don't see my question answered here. How can I get more information?
    I'd be happy to clarify any additional questons you have! Please reach out with your question(s) using the fillable contact form.
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