Trauma & PTSD

The experiences of trauma can continue to echo far past the event.

After experiencing an emotional event, individuals often undergo a complex range of reactions that can significantly alter their mental state. Individuals might find themselves on a rollercoaster of unpredictable emotions, fluctuating between intense sadness, anger, fear, and moments of numbness or detachment.  In some cases, individuals may feel as if they are reliving the traumatic event, either in their sleep as nightmares or while they are awake as flashbacks, which are particularly associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

An increased state of alertness or hypervigilance is another common reaction. Individuals may find themselves constantly on guard, easily startled, and experiencing a general sense of anxiety, especially in situations reminiscent of the traumatic event. This heightened state of alertness can lead to panic reactions, which are intense and sudden feelings of fear accompanied by physical reactions such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, and trembling. These reactions can occur in response to specific triggers or even spontaneously and can significantly impair daily functioning. To cope with these overwhelming emotions and memories, some individuals withdraw from social interactions and isolate themselves, either as a defense mechanism to avoid triggers or due to feeling that others may not understand their experience.

Sudden mood swings, intense feelings of sadness, anger, or fear, and moments of numbness or detachment.

Trauma can manifest emotionally as well as physically. Headaches, fatigue, stomach aches, and other physical ailments are common.

Being hypervigilant keeps the brain in a state of increased alertness, making it hard to relax and/or sleep.

Panic reactions result in intense, often sudden feelings of fear and physical reactions such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, and trembling.

Narrowing activities and social interactions to avoid situations perceived as risky, limiting the person's quality of life.

Take back control of your mental state & find peace of mind. Start walking the path of full recovery.

Break the chains of trauma & reclaim your life

At the DBT Center we have multiple evidence based options for treating trauma including Prolonged Exposure therapy (PE), DBT-PE, cognitive processing and Accelerated  Resolution Therapy (ART).  Your therapist will assist you in determining what option is best for you. 

Whatever approach you decide on with your therapist,  you and your therapist will work together on determining a pace for your sessions and assuring you have the skills you need to cope with the emotions that thinking about the trauma might bring up. Your therapist will focus on helping you resolve the trauma so that you can think about the event without having a strong reaction. The emotional event that you experienced will no longer control your daily life.

In addition, our DBT-PTSD group will help you learn skills to effectively manage PTSD and traumatic invalidation. It will include psychoeducation on PTSD, trauma, dissociation, and trauma-related emotions. You will learn skills to help engage in the present moment (mindfulness), survive difficult situations without making things worse (distress tolerance), and manage and understand emotions more effectively (emotion regulation). Additionally, you will learn anti-dissociation skills, tools for managing intrusions, and ways to be more compassionate and supportive of yourself. This group is a 24-week commitment and meets virtually on Fridays 11-12:30 pm CT.