Trauma that Debilitates Us: We are Not Stupid and We Are Not Alone

Hands stretching in the sunlight

John had a car accident. Mary’s ex-husband verbally abused her for years. Manny saw more than he wants to remember during his service in Iraq. Juan and Cynthia lost their child to suicide. Joanne got hit a lot by her last partner. Felicity and her partner lost their jobs, their house, and their savings and had to declare bankruptcy. Trauma comes in many forms and the effects often don’t just go away. For many the impact is dramatic and immediate while for others it creeps up without warning, incrementally over a long period of time until suddenly life is just plain hard.

Trauma is when we have a life experience that’s too much too fast for us to process. It can become so debilitating it interferes with our functioning. It causes us to experience depression, anxiety, hyper-vigilance, emotional breakdown, isolation and loneliness, low motivation, over-reaction or under-reaction, displays of sudden overwhelming anger and resentment, alcohol abuse and addictions. It plays havoc with our relationships. It prevents us from being happy and living the life we want to live.

It’s time to ask for help when any of these symptoms arrive in our daily life to paralyze us and keep us from enjoyment and functioning in life, home, work, or friends and family.

We may or may not immediately connect the symptoms with a particular experience of trauma. At CenterLife Counseling it is not uncommon to have those who have suffered a trauma to only discover the connection of what they are feeling and doing to their own personal trauma after talking about their experience. Every person who experiences trauma has a different experience of it, and for every one of us, that experience of trauma is deeply our own. That is why it is also common for those we see at CenterLife to want to speak only to therapists who really understand, therapists who have reflected on their own life and/or military experience and so really get me.

At CenterLife we noticed some years ago, as a community of best practice therapists, just how common trauma is for many of our clients. We knew that it takes more than just having a therapist who understands trauma; it takes specialized training and skills, and the clinic needed access to a range of options for clients who had experienced trauma. The good news is that a lot of research has gone into the treatment of trauma over several decades now, and so there is a range if effective modes of treatment available. It was with that professional awareness in mind that CenterLife deliberately set out to make sure our clients could access a variety of treatment modes. Our therapists include Somatic Experience, DBT, EMDR and Cognitive Therapy practitioners as well as various other effective approaches to treating trauma. Treating trauma is not just talking anymore; clients have options, and we do know from really good research what works and what does not work.

Some any of our clients who have experienced trauma have judged themselves harshly for not being able to just get over it. Others have been told by others (erroneously) that they should be able to get past it. Yet others feel paralyzed and do not really know why. When it comes to trauma we need to leave that kind of judgmental language alone because it is simply wrong. We need to see things as they really are: what we have experienced is real and we are not stupid or failures because we find ourselves debilitated by that experience. When we do see things as they really are we also need to know that we are not alone, that help is available. We can do something about our trauma, not just for our own sake, but also for the sake of those whom we love.

The bottom line is good news. If you have experienced trauma in your life and the symptoms are impacting your ability to be happy, to function at work, to live the life you want or to be in the relationships you enjoy, you do have options. You do not have to live with trauma and certainly not alone. High quality, effective help is available. You do have choices and hope.

Centerville, MN
7039 20th Avenue S
Centerville, MN 55038

Phone: 651.288.0332
Fax: 651.288.0493

Photo of Center Life Counseling building

White Bear Lake, MN
4444 Centerville Road, Suite 235
White Bear Lake, MN 55127

Phone: 651.289.3111
Fax: 651.289.3113

Our dedicated staff of experienced professionals is here to work with you. We want you to feel comfortable and safe when you’re visiting with us, so we would like to introduce ourselves to you. As you consider selecting someone to schedule with, we encourage you to read through several bios to find the therapist who may be the best match for you.