Treating Trauma in Philadelphia
Experiencing something shocking, scary, or dangerous can be traumatizing. You might have experienced something threatening to your life or witnessed something threatening to someone else – whether physical, sexual, emotional, or a one-time event like a natural disaster, terrorism, or a car accident. You might have experienced complex trauma – the experience of having traumas occur over and over again throughout your life.
Everyone copes with trauma differently, which is why we tailor our treatment to support you. Some people use therapy as a safe space to discuss the trauma they experienced. Other people develop a more complex reaction, called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD requires the support of the therapist to manage and overcome the highly distressing symptoms associated with it.
Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Memories of the event (during the day or in nightmares)
- Avoiding people, places, and activities that remind you of what happened.
- Changes in behavior – taking more risks, having trouble focusing, etc.
- Difficult feelings like shame, guilt, sadness, bad feelings about other people, hopeless, numbness, or an overall sense of negativity.
- Feeling easily startled, agitated, or having trouble sleeping.
- Loss of interest in enjoyable activities.
If you relate to the list, please reach out for help. Therapists are trained in techniques that can help you live a life free of your trauma. You will need to meet with a mental health professional in order to receive the more accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Our Trauma Therapists
During therapy, we will first develop a strong and safe relationship with you. You need to know you are valued and respected and that you are in a space where it is safe to begin working through your traumatic event.
We often start by getting to know you, your strengths, your interests, your social and family life. We will also begin to look at the types of symptoms you are experiencing and help you to soothe the especially uncomfortable feelings. As you begin to feel more in control of how your mind and body feels, we will start the process the traumatic event to the extent it seems necessary to improve your well being.
What we know about trauma is that it literally changes pathways in the brain. We will help you to reorganize these pathways so that they no longer get to call the shots in your life.
Elizabeth has spent much of her career treating trauma and PTSD. She supports clients experiencing both complex and one-time traumas. Trauma, unlike many other types of mental health issues, actually changes the way in which your brain works. If you are experiencing PTSD you will struggle to live in the here and now. Elizabeth will support you in “rewiring” by helping you change the way in which you think and the way in which you are holding trauma in your body. She has been trained in Trauma Focused CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Trauma, and Grief and Trauma Intervention, as well as mindfulness approaches. Elizabeth has worked with populations experiencing traumatic experiences in Baltimore City, Philadelphia, PA, Salvador, Brazil, and New Orleans, LA.
Lauren is Certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Because she believes that all of her patients deserve a tailored approach, she does not use the manual. She will support you in the way that works best for you, using TF-CBT techniques and perhaps many other techniques to help you improve your mental and physical well being. She will follow the pace that feels safe and right for you. She Lauren will encourage you to use grounding and mindfulness techniques, especially mindful breathing, to help keep you in the here and now, supporting you in overcoming flashbacks, nightmares, and the physical sensations that might feel “stuck” in the past event.
Carly incorporates her deep understanding and knowledge of mental health, yoga, and reiki to support clients experiencing the impact of trauma. Research shows that our bodies hold onto our trauma in many ways. We all hold emotions within our bodies. For someone experiencing trauma, the hold becomes very strong. The use of mind body methods can help you to release the physical impact of your emotions. Carly will help you to become familiar with and “befriend” the sensations in your body, helping you to heal from and release the trauma.
Virginia is warm and compassionate and will follow your lead in approaching your traumatic experience. Virginia will help you to change your thought patterns while also teaching you ways in which to ground your “physical self” in the here and now.