Do you feel stuck in the past or held back by something stressful you went through?
Have you found yourself avoiding things that remind you of something you wish you could forget?
Did you go through something that left you feeling angry at other human beings or the world as a whole?
Have you heard of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and wondered if that’s what’s going on with you?
Traumatic experiences can leave you feeling stuck. Maybe you held it together for awhile after the stressful event happened, or perhaps you fell apart in the beginning but thought you’ve worked through. But somehow, here you still are. Intrusive thoughts, avoiding things that remind you of the trauma, maybe even nightmares. It’s hard to trust people around you and you keep wondering why you can’t just “let it go.”
We get it. When you’ve been through something traumatic, it’s overwhelming. Whether you were in a life threatening car wreck, military combat, witnessed a loved one be assaulted or killed, raped as a college student, abused by your spouse or devastated by a house fire-trauma hurts.
The good news is that counseling works. Our trauma therapists have helped others who felt devastated by stressful situations in their past learn to cope with and face the pain, get unstuck and move forward.
Living with PTSD can feel like going through life in a fog. Effective trauma counseling with an experienced clinical psychologist can help you see clearly and feel like yourself again!
Not everyone who goes through something traumatic develops Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In fact, many people show some of these symptoms right after a stressful event but gradually return to normal within a few months or weeks. On the other hand, when PTSD does develop it requires specialized treatment. If you are experiencing some of the symptoms listed below, you may have developed PTSD. Specific Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Recurrent and intrusive thoughts or memories of the event.
Nightmares or bad dreams related to the trauma you experienced
Feeling like the really stressful situation is happening all over again (flashbacks)
Feeling really triggered or anxious when you are reminded of the traumatic situation. This may even include physical reactions like quick breathing or sweating.
Avoiding upsetting memories, thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event
Avoiding things, places and people that remind of you of the stressful situation such as “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted,” or “The world is completely dangerous.”
Negative thoughts about yourself, others or the world around you
Difficulty remembering some parts of the traumatic situation
Symptoms of depression such as frequently feeling bad (fear, anger, guilt or shame), trouble feeling happy, feeling disconnected from others or not feeling interested in things you used to enjoy.
Our clinical psychologists can help you break free from traumatic memories, anxiety & other PTSD symptoms that may be holding you back!
Counseling can help you move forward and heal from traumatic experiences
Our trauma therapists, Dr. Biondoletti and Dr. Arroya, are both psychologists who received specialized training in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at the VA. They are excellent at what they do and are trained and experienced using two of the most effective types of PTSD treatment available: Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy.
Prolonged Exposure is a very well researched counseling technique used by the Veteran’s Administration to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. When you participate in Prolonged Exposure (PE), a psychologist works with you to gradually help you face trauma related memories, feelings and situations. You and your therapist work together to retrain your brain to accurately assess trauma. This therapy can feel intense because you are participating in imaginal exposure (describing your traumatic experience) and in vivo exposure (completing homework assignments where you confront situations you’ve avoided). However, it is extremely effective for helping people find healing from PTSD symptoms. Furthermore, our psychologists are very familiar with guiding people through this process and will provide you support and encouragement every step of the way.
Cognitive Processing Therapy
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy specifically developed to help people find relief from PTSD symptoms. This means that it focuses on helping you change your thoughts and feelings related to a traumatic experience you’ve been through. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) helps you identify how your traumatic experience impacted your thoughts and beliefs about yourself, others and the world as a whole. Your CPT therapist will help you look at patterns of thinking that are keeping you stuck. Our psychologists will also help you address issues you may be having since the trauma related to trust, safety, power/control, esteem and intimacy. CPT is an evidence based counseling technique for PTSD. It is a powerful therapy that can help you find healing much quicker than many other traditional approaches to trauma treatment.
We know starting trauma treatment is scary.
You aren’t sure what to expect from trauma counseling. Maybe you question whether or not you even really needto speak to a psychologist. Perhaps you’ve been avoiding thoughts about your past for so long that you’re not even sure if you can talk about it.
We understand that it’s often difficult to come in for trauma counseling. Our trauma therapists are doctorate level psychologists with the experience and training needed to help you find healing. Here are some of the common concerns we hear when people are considering starting PTSD treatment:
I haven’t served in the military, so I can’t have PTSD.
One common misconception is that only military veterans who have seen active combat can develop PTSD. This myth started, because so much of the amazing research we have today was done by the Veteran’s Administration. However, we now know that many, many people develop PTSD from traumas completely unrelated to military service. The good news is that the trauma therapies that work for the military also work for civilians with PTSD.
Our clinical psychologists have experience working with military veterans with PTSD through the VA hospital. However, anyone can get PTSD and our psychologists frequently work with civilians who have been through a traumatic experience as well!
What I went through wasn’t “bad enough” to be called trauma.
The DSM V (the gold standard psychologists use to diagnose mental health conditions) defines trauma as something you experienced, witnessed, learned about or were otherwise exposed to that involved actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violence. People are often surprised to learn that you can have a diagnosis of PTSD even if your trauma wasn’t directed toward you. For example, a child who witnesses their father beating their mother can develop PTSD. It’s also not uncommon for a young woman who was sexually assaulted to discount her traumatic experience by saying it wasn’t “rape,” but the truth is that sexual assault of any kind can be very traumatic.
I don’t have all the symptoms of PTSD…I just want to talk through something bad.
If you don’t qualify for a PTSD diagnosis, our psychologists may not use a full trauma counseling protocol like Cognitive Processing Therapy or Prolonged Exposure. However, trauma counseling can still be very helpful. Sometimes you just need another person to hear your pain and help you process a really stressful situation. Our psychologist’s knowledge of trauma and PTSD can help you process and cope with all of the conflicting feelings you may be experiencing.
I’m afraid I’ll feel worse if I talk about what happened
The truth is that you may feel worse temporarily if you’ve been avoiding talking about what happened and then you begin to face it in counseling. However, your trauma therapist will be right there to support you. As a mental health professional with specialized training related to trauma and PTSD, our psychologists can help judge when you are ready for the next step in your PTSD treatment. Through counseling, you’ll learn relaxation and breathing skills to help you cope with feeling overwhelmed by your traumatic memories or trauma triggers.
Will counseling really help?
While everyone responds differently to therapy, the truth is that the treatments our trauma therapists offer are very, very effective. Not only are we providing two of the best PTSD treatments that exist, but our therapists are doctorate level pscyhologists with extensive training and experience treating PTSD. The chances are very high that you will begin feeling a lot better after only a handful of weeks or couple of months of trauma counseling.
Effective Trauma Treatment & Counseling in Tampa, FL
You don’t have to live with the nightmares, constant trauma triggers/reminder, negative self talk, anxiety and fear. If you want to get back to living life to the fullest and live in the Tampa Bay area, we can help. Contact Wellness Psychological Servicestoday to get connected with one of our skilled psychologists and start PTSD treatment today.
You don't have to live with flashbacks, anxiety, nightmares, negative self talk and other PTSD symptoms. Let our psychologists offer you a helping hand. Contact Wellness Psychological Services to begin trauma therapy today!