Childhood Trauma Counseling
Dallas Therapy Collective
Do you feel haunted by childhood trauma in your past?
You can’t trust anybody and ultimately you feel alone. You’ve thought about speaking up – sharing your story – but you’re afraid of what they might think. Will they believe me? Will they think it’s my fault? You assure yourself you’re just being dramatic…over and over again…and time ticks by, leaving you alone with your thoughts. Nobody understands.
Life just sucks when the people who were supposed to care for you, protect you, and look after you do a less than stellar job. Perhaps they were even the ones who hurt you. Either way, you were left vulnerable with nowhere to turn for so long that it feels difficult to turn to someone now. After all, who can I trust?
All you were left to conclude back then – and even now – is What’s wrong with me? Maybe I deserved it? Maybe I’m just a bad person. Kids have to make sense of their worlds somehow. And when bad things happen to them, they don’t have the mental capacity to think: Hey, that’s not right – what is wrong with you? Instead, they conclude that they are the problem and the seeds of shame set in. It must be me. I’m just a bad person.
Does this sound familiar? Are you considering seeing a trauma psychologist?
YOU CAN TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE, YOU AREN’T CRAZY
Did you know that feeling like you are going crazy is a common reaction to traumatic stress? The trauma can be so difficult to comprehend, that telling ourselves we must be crazy is one way of coping with the gravity of it. If I’m crazy, maybe the thing that happened wasn’t so bad – it’s just me. But what if you’re not crazy?
Perhaps you’ve been in survival mode for so long that it now feels “normal” to you. Maybe you’re so used to being on edge or waiting for the other shoe to drop that your body has grown accustomed to constant stress. This stress can do some funky things to our bodies. Some of us react with GI issues and stomach pains or nausea. Some will hold tension in their shoulders, neck, and back. Many people suffer from insomnia, headaches, and nightmares. One way or another, it’s normal for our body’s to react to the traumatic stress that we’ve suffered. These signs are our body’s way of getting our attention. Is your body screaming out to you to pay attention to it?
What might it be like to listen to your body as it cries out for help? There is nothing shameful in our bodies responding in the way they respond to traumatic stress. When we stop and tend to our physical pain, we are giving ourselves the chance to validate and heal our emotional pain as well. There is hope to heal your pain.
What might it be like to not feel at the mercy and whims of outside circumstances? To be planted with your feet firmly on the ground rather than being carried away unwillingly? Can you imagine taking back some control…maybe even for the very first time? Dare to imagine the possibility of identifying your own desires, needs, and emotions and then to asserting them to others without shirking away in fear and helplessness. Dare to imagine that you can have meaningful relationships and pursue your goals. There is hope for you to adjust the trajectory of your life from feeling lonely and helpless to empowered and confident. Therapy for childhood trauma is effective in helping you to create safety within your life, heal from the pain that you carry, and connect in more meaningful ways to yourself and to others.
Thinking of seeing a trauma psychologist and wondering…
What’s the point of childhood trauma therapy – I can’t change the past.
It is true that you can’t change the past. What you can change is how the past impacts who you are and the choices you make as you move forward with your life. As you heal from your painful past, you can untangle from negative patterns and beliefs that resulted from your trauma. Therapy can help you to enhance the adult perspective you now have and to improve your coping skills. This empowers you with options that you didn’t and couldn’t have had when the trauma was occurring. Therapy enables you to make new meaning in the narrative of your past as you move forward with healing and connection.
If I start talking/thinking/crying about this, it’ll never end.
It’s scary to believe there’s a lot boiling up inside of you and if you let yourself feel it, you may not be able to stop it. It’s a common fear that is voiced in therapy. The truth is that our bodies cannot express that intensity of emotion for very long. It will dissipate. Your counselor can help you learn to express your emotions and connect with your feelings while also helping you develop coping skills to manage your feelings and your body’s emotional pain signals. You will learn grounding techniques to calm yourself down when you feel escalated and you’ll learn the early signs that your body gives you that you are having an intense feeling so you can better manage your feelings. These skills are accessible to you. You can be in the driver’s seat of managing your emotions rather than being at their mercy.
I’m probably making this up. It wasn’t that bad – others had it worse.
One of the most common things therapists hear from trauma survivors is, “It could have been worse.” And it’s true – there’s always a more heartbreaking story. However, what is also true is that trauma is trauma – no matter whether it was childhood sexual abuse, childhood physical abuse, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, emotional or physical neglect, or any other way in which your needs were not met or your boundaries were violated, your pain is real and your emotions are valid. Survivors of various types of trauma often share similar experiences of shame, loneliness, and fear. Regardless of the types of trauma your survived, you have the opportunity to untangle from the negative impacts of your trauma and to reclaim your life – or perhaps claim it for the very first time.
You can heal from your childhood wounds
and reclaim your life
At Dallas Therapy Collective, we treat traumatic stress with a holistic perspective. Your therapist will conduct a thorough assessment of your background, symptoms, and how your trauma is impacting you now. They will collaborate with you to formulate a customized treatment plan to meet your needs and to address the ways in which trauma impacts your emotions, your mind, and your body.