Are You Still Struggling to Feel Better After a Trauma Event?
Have you already seen medical professionals or therapists to help recover from an accident, injury, medical procedure, assault or childhood abuse, and you still don’t feel significantly better? Does it seem as though you are:
- Anxious after recurring trauma nightmares?
- Suffering from PTSD due to military actions or war?
- Terrified that you will have yet another accident?
- Overwhelmed with anxiety and don’t understand why?
- Tired of swinging between angry outbursts and going numb?
- Depressed because you feel like damaged goods after a trauma?
- Exhausted from dealing with digestive problems, migraines, and chronic pain which medicines don’t seem to help?
Using a short-term natural therapy approach, you will be supported in understanding and trusting that your body knows exactly how to recover from a serious threat. By attending to body sensations as well as thoughts and feelings, trauma symptoms can significantly ease or go away.
As a result, you can:
- Go into strange environments feeling more relaxed: you won’t worry about looking foolish by over reacting to a sound or someone’s comment
- Know you can return to a more normal work or school life and even have energy to take on new projects
- Have fewer angry outbursts, which scare family members away
- Stop reliving the memory of the trauma over and over
- Feel confident that you know if it’s ok for someone to touch you
You are not the only one
How you are feeling is a very common way people respond to the stress of trauma. Just because you are still dealing with the trauma’s impact does not mean anything is wrong with you. With the support of a therapist, your body knows exactly how to unlock the effects of the trauma. New choices regarding how to think, act, and feel open up to you.
You learn to trust your ability to know if you are in real, and not imagined, dangerous situations and take appropriate steps to keep yourself safe. It becomes safer to take risks.
You no longer avoid going near the place where the trauma occurred or talking to people connected to the event. Your world looks friendlier.
You stop blaming yourself for not handling the trauma differently when you understand how your nervous system responded in ways that were beyond your control. Thriving and not just surviving becomes a goal.
You no longer resist physical contact and savor giving and receiving nourishing touch. Intimacy returns.
I have already seen other medical professionals and therapists. Will this approach help me?
Many of my clients have felt the same way as you do and here is what they found as we worked through this together. They came to understand that the way they acted at the time of the trauma was largely unconscious. This work helped them to learn to observe their bodies in ways that helped them to come out of the paralyzing effects of the trauma.
Working with me, clients were amazed to discover just how smart their bodies really were in keeping them alive at the time of the trauma and then being able to return them to health. The panic attacks eased off; sleep and concentration got better; and the frequency of the pain subsided.
Other professionals, whom they have seen, may not have had the same in-depth training about how trauma affects the body, and therefore, won’t have the skill to work with it the way I do.
What if I am worried about the memories overwhelming me? When I worked with trauma issues before, I felt worse, not better.
It’s common for people to feel nervous about doing something that could take them back to feeling out of control. What clients have found is that this way of working lets them set the pace.
Under my guidance, when clients actually confront the worse parts of the traumatic event, they are so well prepared that they are not frightened or overwhelmed by the memory. In fact, they come out of it feeling more capable to handle other current challenges.
Do you have to touch me? Paying attention to the body seems to be an important part of what you do. I’m concerned that if you touch me I’ll get really scared.
Trauma can certainly leave many people feeling just the way you do. When people we love hurt us, we can get confused about good and bad touch. I use touch only if and when you are ready.
It’s not essential that we use touch, either. You are in control about when to touch, where to touch and for how long. You can say “no” anytime and you can always change your mind. The touch is never sexual in nature.
I have a busy life and I don’t want to spend more years in therapy.
How quickly therapy helps you to resolve the trauma symptoms varies with the nature of the threat. If you are dealing with the aftermath a a single event, then the symptoms may subside significantly in a matter of weeks or months. If, however, the symptoms were created from multiple threats, which may have begun in childhood, then the treatment can take longer. In either case, by paying attention to the body you can resolve the symptoms more quickly than by doing just traditional talk therapy.
What have others experienced?
I was honored, recently, to work with a woman who had been severely abused for many years as a child. She described herself as being dead inside with very little sense of physical sensations in her body. Fearing physical contact, she withdrew at the slightest physical contact because she could not trust herself to know if someone meant her harm. She felt very anxious and kept apart from others. Because of this, it was really hard for people to get to know her.
I saw her at the request of her psychotherapist, whom she had been seeing for five years for just talk therapy. Significant changes appeared after working with me for several years. For the first time that she could remember, she felt sensations that arose from physical contact and emotions, and she felt empowered enough to make requests about how and when she wanted to be touched.
She felt more alive in her body and was able to take better care of herself when she became ill. At the end of our time she delighted in receiving massage. Finally, she began to relax enough to risk being more like her natural self.
Why Maggie Kerrigan, MA LPC?
I bring a total of over 15 years experience to this kind of work. This has included over 10 years of experience with clients with serious dissociative disorders as a result of prolonged childhood traumas.
Drawing upon my training as a licensed massage therapist and as a licensed professional counselor, I am skilled in working in ways that help the client integrate and reverse the psychological, emotional and physical effects of trauma.
For the past four years, in addition to maintaining a private practice, I have worked in the public health sector as an emergency mental health clinician for those in crisis, shock and pain. As a life long learner, I am committed to ongoing professional development. This has included five years postgraduate specialized training in treating trauma.
But what if I’m not sure about what to do next?
Check out this web site. If you like what you find here and want to keep abreast of the latest in perspectives on trauma treatment subscribe to my FREE newsletter. You know that the traumatic event not only changed your thoughts and emotions but also how you feel in your body. The newsletter articles will address in an easy-to-understand and concise way how threatening events affect your biology and what you can do to reverse their effects.
If you think you need additional support, I suggest that we meet for a free 30-minute consultation. This way you can get a sense of whether I am a good fit for you, to hear how I work and for me to get a feel for whether I am the right therapist for you. Nearly all of my clients have felt very, very comfortable with our work and have made great progress. You should know, however, that I will continually check in with you to ensure you are comfortable and satisfied with our progress, and, if at any time you’re not, I will be happy to refer you to another well-qualified trauma specialist.
If you are suffering from PTSD following military activity, I volunteer my services through Give an Hour.
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