PTSD Counseling & Trauma Therapy in San Diego
Jan Rakoff, LCSW
Trauma can occur from a single event, such as a natural disaster or sexual assault, or from prolonged exposure to a series of traumatic events, such as parental neglect throughout your childhood. Usually however, trauma occurs as a result of physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, and/or emotion abuse, which produces distressing and uncomfortable feelings, especially when the traumatic event is “triggered” or re-lived.
Often these feelings are not just psychological in nature, as they can involve physical symptoms such as a general uneasiness around others, reoccurring nightmares, debilitating anxiety and severe distractibility. However (and contrary to popular belief), one can also experience trauma by indirectly being involved in a traumatic event (i.e. witnessing an upsetting or disturbing occurrence).
A prime example of this is the horrific events that took place on 9/11. After 9/11, many people (besides the close friends and family members of the victims) experienced symptoms of trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), for which they sought therapy. Therefore, simply watching a traumatic event, either in person or on your television, can affect you in ways that you may not be able to explain. Whereas some people experience the debilitating symptoms of trauma immediately following the traumatic incident, others will take years to develop any symptoms at all.
If you feel a lack of confidence or self-esteem, or experience more serious symptoms such as panic attacks, depression, claustrophobia, substance abuse, and difficulty maintaining close relationships with others, you will likely benefit greatly from this form of therapy. The purpose of this type of therapy is to help you come to terms with the experience(s) you directly or indirectly faced.
As you can imagine, this is an extremely difficult thing to do, since it involves thinking and speaking about an experience you would like to forget ever happened. In fact, many who seek out this type of therapy find it too overwhelming and consequently discontinue therapeutic sessions due to the painful memories therapy has evoked for them. Only you as an individual can decide whether or not this type of therapy is right for you and whether or not you are ready to begin this type of therapy. Healing trauma usually takes a long time and requires many therapy sessions in order to help you feel better about yourself and your life. However, with Grief and Trauma Therapy, you have the ability to control the pace of the therapeutic process. This helps you to feel at ease, and simultaneously increases the confidence you have in yourself and your ability to be your own self-change agent.
I will be there to provide you with ongoing support by creating a secure, trusting environment in which you feel comfortable and safe. Together, we will explore the reasons behind your traumatic symptoms and how you have previously (prior to seeking therapy) dealt with them. Accepting the fact that our past does not dictate our future is a difficult obstacle to overcome, yet this is the primary aim of Grief and Trauma Therapy. The anticipated outcome and overall goal of Grief and Trauma Therapy is to help you trust in yourself as well as others, so that you are able to live a more fulfilling, healthy, and happy life.
Copyright ©2012 Jan Rakoff. All Rights Reserved.