Emotional connection is crucial to healing. In fact, trauma experts overwhelmingly agree that the best predictor of the impact of any trauma is not the severity of the event, but whether we can seek and take comfort from others.”

― Sue Johnson, Hold Me Tight

Have you experienced a traumatic event in your life that continues to impact your daily life? Do you struggle with nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks, depression, anxiety, negative self-esteem, addictions or other self-defeating behaviors? Do you find yourself surrounded by triggers that make it difficult to function normally or stay sober?

One way people can get “stuck” in life and in relationships is through unresolved trauma.  Whether this trauma is the result of a single, terrifying event such as an accident; finding out your loved one is cheating or lying to you; or chronic such as growing up in an unsafe environment, help is possible. Daily “triggers” result in destressing physiological symptoms such as panic attacks, flash backs, hypervigilance, anxiety, difficulty focusing or sleeping, and feeling overwhelmed, On the opposite end of the spectrum, symptoms such as depression, and dissociative symptoms may occur. For example, one might feel numb and disconnected from self or reality. It’s possible to experience some or all of these symptoms. Please know that this is a normal response for the situation. Your mind and body are trying to help you cope and heal. The good news is, you can heal. Our team utilizes several modalities including grounding, mindfulness, CBT and EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) in order to reduce the symptoms and get back to a new or even better way of living. 

There are two basic types of trauma, “Big T” and “little t” trauma. “Big T” trauma is what most people associate with trauma,  a single-incident traumatic event that felt like, or was, a genuine threat to life. When common events from daily life trigger trauma, our body responds as if the threat is still present. This produces a physiological response, typically in the form of fight, flight, or freeze, to manage the threat. When this occurs, our body moves into a hypervigilant, reactionary state, and our logical brain goes offline. Our logical brain and our body can become disconnected, and we go on auto-piolot, to self protect. Frequent symptoms that accompany these states are hyperarousal (fight or flight),  hypoarousal (freeze),  or dissociation. We may also reach for substances, or engage in behaviors to distract or distance ourselves from the distressing event. 

In addition to disconnecting from the self, trauma can cause disconnection from others. The neuroscience supporting the basic human need for secure attachments has been well established. Therefore, when our attachments to others are threatened through abandonment, loss, or betrayal, the pain, fear, and anxiety can be excruciating. Early childhood emotional wounding through abuse, neglect, bullying or external events may result in a damaged sense of self, safety, or control  frequently referred to as “little t” traumas. These children grow up into adults who struggle with their sense of self-worth, safety, or ability to trust others. Sometimes the disconnection occurs at such a young age that they don’t remember ever feeling safely or securely connected to others. In this situation, some people may find it easier  to turn to behaviors or substances to meet these unfulfilled attachment longings, laying fertile ground for the development of addiction.  

At Untethered Therapy, we get to the core of the trauma utilizing several different treatment modalities to manage trauma symptoms as well ad target the physiological and psychological responses and interpretations that keep us stuck. Our trauma specialists utilize EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), a highly effective and efficient, evidence-based therapy that stimulates the brain’s natural ability to move towards health. EMDR is one of the most powerful modalities to treat everything from severe childhood trauma, combat trauma, addictions, and self-defeating beliefs/patterns. EMDR expedites healing, getting you “unstuck” from past behaviors and experiences and setting yourself free to become your best self!