Lorraine Kerr-Atkinson M.S. NCC, LPC

9090 S. Ridgeline Blvd, Suite 220 Littleton, CO 80129

Serving Highlands Ranch

720-437-0776

Trauma Therapy


group-therapy

Are you jumpy and always alert for potential danger?

Do you find yourself thinking about something bad that happened to you even when you try as hard as you can to stop your thoughts? Maybe a sound, image, or smell suddenly transports you back to a traumatic event, and you feel like you are reliving the trauma again. Perhaps you find yourself avoiding places, relationships, or memories in an effort to put the past behind you. Do you long to be able to find joy in the present and move forward with your life again?

Maybe you feel hopeless, guilty, or emotionally numb. It may be hard to connect with others and maintain healthy relationships. Since the trauma, you may find yourself having angry outbursts or engaging in unhealthy behaviors that are not like you.

Perhaps you do not even think you experienced any trauma, and yet you find yourself avoiding talking or even thinking about a particularly negative incident. You may even find yourself shunning places, people, or pastimes that trigger unpleasant memories of your trauma. Perhaps the nighttime has become a kind of hell for you as you struggle with reoccurring nightmares or simply try unsuccessfully to fall asleep.

IF TRAUMA HAS TAKEN YOU OFF COURSE, THERE IS A WAY TO START HEALING!

Did you know most that people think trauma is something that happens to other people? People often underestimate trauma they have experienced. Here are common stories: “I keep having flashbacks and nightmares since I had my car accident, but I did not think that the accident was a big deal.” “I was raped and never dealt with it, but that was a long time ago.” “I saw my friend get seriously injured, but I was not in war.” “I had a difficult labor and almost lost my baby, but I don’t understand why I am afraid to go to the doctor.”

There are many reasons for discounting a traumatic event but one of the biggest reasons is a lack of knowledge about what makes an incident traumatic. You may not understand what makes an event traumatic and you are not alone. If you were physically threatened or harmed, you have experienced trauma. Even if you were not threatened but you have watched someone else be hurt, you have experienced trauma. Some people develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after a trauma. PTSD can give you symptoms as were described earlier—symptoms of always being on guard, negative emotions, increased emotional reactivity, avoidance behavior, and intrusive memories.

You may blame yourself for your PTSD, but having PTSD symptoms does not mean that you are weak, damaged, or bad. It is important to understand that PTSD symptoms happen because the brain and body were unable to process the trauma at the time it occurred; you did nothing wrong! However, although your brain was unable to process the trauma at the time it occurred, you don’t have to continue to struggle with PTSD.

Regain Your Ability to Participate Fully and Joyfully in Your Life! Step Into Your Life With Joy and Wholehearted Participation!

At Mountain Light Psychotherapy, LLC, we offer Eye Movement Desensitization Movement Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment for PTSD. EMDR is an evidenced based therapy, which means that it has been scientifically studied; there are approximately 20 controlled studies so far that demonstrate the effectiveness of EMDR for PTSD.

You may be wondering what EMDR is and how it works. EMDR uses a model based on information processing to explain trauma and healing. Francis Shapiro, founder of EMDR, theorized that the body has a healthy way to process the information it receives. When something traumatic happens, that information may unable to be fully processed and becomes stored and isolated. Other events that are similar to the original trauma (sights, sounds, smells, and other triggers) will become linked to the original trauma creating a “web” of negative and traumatic associations.

Some researchers, including Shapiro, believe that EMDR promotes healing by taking the isolated traumatic memory and linking it with the whole brain and the more adaptive parts of the brain. At Mountain Light Psychotherapy, LLC, we use EMDR to help clients process and heal their PTSD. For those clients that have some trauma responses but not PTSD, we may use EMDR for trauma triggers, if appropriate, in addition to a wide variety of therapeutic tools.

At this point, you may believe that trauma therapy can help you begin to heal, but there are questions and concerns that you may still have.

“I don’t know if I can afford to pay for trauma therapy.”

The real question is, how much money do you now waste on junk food, alcohol, prescription medications, and other distractions that you use to manage your trauma?

What relationships have you lost or are missing out on?

When is the last time you had a good night’s sleep?

What experiences are you missing out on because you might get triggered?

Are you setting yourself up for the expense of heart disease and other illnesses causes by the chronic stress and hypervigilance?

Whether it is from a financial, an emotional, or a relationship point of view, trauma and PTSD add up to a lot of expense. Isn’t it time to free yourself from the price of trauma and indulge in the pleasures that life can give you when you are wholeheartedly present and participating?

“I experienced abuse or domestic violence as a child.”

An essential part of working through trauma is feeling safe. At Mountain Light Psychotherapy, LLC, we strive to create a safe place and a deeply compassionate therapeutic alliance. Many people who have lived through difficult childhoods struggle with attachment as well as trauma. At Mountain Light Psychotherapy, LLC, the therapeutic alliance becomes an important tool in working through attachment trauma.

“I have some of the symptoms described above but not all.”

Even if you do not meet the criteria from PTSD, you can still be struggling with trauma. At Mountain Light Psychotherapy, LLC, we use a variety of tools and skills to help you learn to develop resiliency. You are an unique individual with distinctive experiences. We honor your individuality by adapting therapy to meet your needs.

“I am too embarrassed or ashamed to share my trauma story.”

Shame can be debilitating and plays a pivotal role in trauma. You may have been told to feel ashamed for someone else’s bad behavior, or you may have developed shame when you were powerless to help someone or change a traumatic situation. At Mountain Light Psychotherapy, we recognize the devastating effect of shame, and work with you to name, experience, and move through shame. Author and Researcher, Brene Brown, has studied shame extensively and notes the healing qualities of naming and speaking your shame instead of keeping it a secret.

“I don’t want to talk again and again about my trauma.”

At Mountain Light Psychotherapy, LLC, a thorough history is an important part of therapeutic process. However, once work begins on the trauma, clients are surprised to find that during the actual process of EMDR, they do not need to do a lot of talking or repeating of extensive details. Interestingly, however, most clients find that after the processing is complete, they can talk about their trauma without all of the pain that was once present.

With Guidance, You Can Find Relief and Move Forward With More Confidence into Your Life!

At Mountain Light Psychotherapy, LLC, we also focus on the whole person and that includes building resilience. Resilience is the ability handle stress in an adaptive fashion. We believe that providing a safe place to express yourself is the first part of developing resiliency, and we strive to create a warm and compassionate environment.

Mountain Light Psychotherapy, LLC, strives to help you access and experience your positive emotions and physical sensations as well as using and celebrating your strengths. Increasing your resilience may also include adding new adaptive skills to use in response to stress and negative triggers. At Mountain Light Psychotherapy, we believe that resilience is an essential part of healing. It is not enough to just face the dark, you need to bring in the light.

If you are ready to let go of your pain… If you are ready to step back into your life… If you want to increase your ability to handle stress…then please call me at 720-437-0776 for a free phone 20 minute phone consultation. I look forward to participating in your journey towards greater emotional health and happiness.