Trauma Informed Therapy

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)

Trauma Informed Therapy

Life can be challenging, everyday stress such as job difficulties, relationship issues, past trauma and crisis can overwhelm you. Trauma Informed Therapy, can help you address areas negatively impacting your ability to live a fulfilling life.  

The underlying question is not “What’s wrong with you?” but “What happened to you?” What are often called symptoms are actually adaptations to traumatic events. Healing can and does happen!

What is trauma?

“Trauma is an event, series of events, or set of circumstances experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.” (SAMHSA)

Signs and symptoms of trauma

  • Anxiety and fear. Anxiety a natural response to a dangerous situation. Your view of the world is negative and sense of safety changed. Anxiety may come from out of the blue and people can experience panic attacks, obsessive and compulsive behaviors,
  • Re-experiencing of the trauma. You may have unwanted thoughts of the trauma and find yourself unable to get rid of them. Some people have flashbacks, or very vivid images, which can feel as if the trauma is occurring again. Nightmares are common.
  • Increased vigilance. This includes feeling “on guard,” jumpy, jittery, shaky, nervous, on edge, being easily startled, and having trouble concentrating or sleeping. Continuous vigilance can lead to impatience and irritability. This reaction is due to the freeze, fight or flight response in your body, to  protect ourselves against danger.  
  • Physical symptoms: Your body is on constant alert, ready to respond to any attack. 
  • Avoidance. You avoid situations that directly remind you of the situation. You try to push away painful thoughts and feelings. This can lead to feelings of numbness or emptiness, where you find it difficult to feel any emotions, which lead to emotional numbing
  • Many people who have experienced a traumatic event feel angry. Often angry with those closest to you. 
  • Feelings of guilt and shame. Many people blame themselves for things they did or didn’t do.  You feel somewhat more in control, by taking responsibility for what happened, but is often, inaccurate and leads to depression.
  • Grief and depression are also common reactions to trauma. This can include feeling down, sad, or hopeless. You may cry more often. You feel sad and grieve for what you lost because of the traumatic experience.
  • Self-image and views of the world become more negative. Many people see themselves in a negative light after the trauma (“I am a bad person and I deserved this”). You see others more negatively, and feel that you cannot trust anyone. Relationships with others can become tense, and intimacy becomes more difficult as your trust decreases.
  • Sexual relationships may also suffer after a traumatic experience. Many people find it difficult to feel intimate or to have sexual relationships again.
  • Many people increase their use of alcohol or other substances after a trauma. They do this in an attempt to “self-medicate” or to block out painful memories, thoughts, or feelings related to the trauma.

Trauma Informed Therapy Can Help

Many things we label as bad about self may be the very things that helped you to survive. In a trauma-informed approach, we recognize “symptoms” and “problem behaviors” as adaptations to trauma and build upon your strengths. 

Brain based therapy informs us we need to use the whole brain on how to think differently, how to work with our body and how to work with our autonomic nervous system. Trauma Informed Therapy can help you build upon your brains healing potential, Terri Clinton Dichiser incorporates bottom up approaches of EMDR, somatic experiencing, mindfulness, polyvagal theory, EFIT and top down approaches such as cognitive behavioral to bring hope and healing.

  • EMDR - Terri Clinton Dichiser is trained in EMDR therapy. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used. Internal associations arise and the clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings. The meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level. For instance, a rape victim shifts from feeling horror and self-disgust to holding the belief that, “I survived it and I am strong.” 
  • EFIT for individuals - Explore the dominant emotions and patterns in you life to uncover underlying needs and suppressed feelings. Individuals are guided through the process of recognizing and validating thoughts and desires to promote healing.
  • Somatic Experiencing - To address the physiology of stress and trauma. Using SIBAM Sensation, Imagery, Behavior, Affect and Meaning to move  past unresolved trauma.
  • Cognitive Behavioral - Feeling distressed often distorts one’s perception of reality. CBT aims to identify harmful thoughts, assess whether they are an accurate depiction of reality. Challenge irrational beliefs and behaviors.

Take Charge, Inc. is located in Overland Park, KS. Click Here to send us an email or call with your questions and our staff will give you all the information you need about trauma informed therapy and our services.