Trauma Therapy

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Trauma

What Is Trauma?

Anything that causes broad emotional or mental anguish or trauma can be treated with trauma-informed therapy.

The American Psychological Association defines trauma as an emotional response to a terrible event, such as an accident, abuse, rape, or natural disaster. But trauma is also describe any kind of event, past or present, which has left emotional or mental scars that affect how we live our lives in the present. The illness or death of a loved one, neglect, a robbery or home invasion, a physical attack, an unwelcome confrontation, or the witnessing of a traumatic event itself can be traumatic.

At Kathryn Grooms & Associates Psychotherapy in New York City, we work with people that have experienced trauma with these life events and others including abuse, violence, death of a loved one, illness, crime, rejection, and more. Which is why we expand the definition of trauma to including any experience of feeling unsafe, including feeling physically unsafe, emotionally unsafe, or mentally and psychologically unsafe.

Trauma can certainly be related to something that occurred recently or it can refer to any lingering trauma from experiences rooted in your history, which has never been fully processed.

Oppression and the effects of systemic racism, misogyny, discrimination, and sexism cause trauma. In fact, for BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) and LGBTQ+ populations in particular, we know that oppression can be traumatic. And, compounding that trauma, we know that it can also be generational. We work with people from all backgrounds to identify what trauma has looked like systemically for them and for generations before them. Being stuck in trauma can take away choices and prevent you from moving forward and achieving whatever vision of success and happiness you desire. However, when we bring the historical work and present work together, we can more fully process the trauma and then identify what we would like the future to look like.

We have a natural system for adapting to circumstances or events and a natural way of processing things that are physically or emotionally challenging. Trauma occurs when that natural system gets interrupted. In our bodies, trauma is stored as a sensory experience. Therefore, when a similar sensory experience occurs, it can trigger the initial trauma and produce feelings and thoughts such as I’m not safe, I’m in danger.

We are EMDR pracitioners.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders.

EMDR therapy, rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue, allows the brain to resume its natural healing process.

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a form of psychotherapy which can be very effective in healing symptoms of emotional distress from trauma caused by disturbing life experiences.

For more information, visit emdria.org

In Trauma Therapy, it is important to take an initial inventory. In your first meeting with a therapist at Kathryn Grooms & Associates Psychotherapy, we do a bit of history-taking. We sit with you and listen and learn about your history and your family system. What was it like with your parents or caregivers? Did you have siblings? How was your relationship with them back then and what is your relationship with them now? Were there any big or hurtful or particularly memorable or painful experiences?

Looking through this trauma lens allows your therapist to better understand what it was like for you growing up. In the process, we look for overlaps and connections. We focus on the present and look to address how the past is intruding upon that.

Traumatic experiences can cause long-lasting psychological injury and pain. You may be experiencing this right now. Trauma can distort the way we see and move through our lives. And, it can foster detrimental, skewed beliefs about ourselves or the world. Unaddressed trauma causes us to feel and behave in ways that can be destructive.

Traumatic events can have a profound effect on the body and the mind. Left unresolved or unprocessed, trauma can manifest in many ways. It can remain hidden for a long time and then resurface at various times in your life through various triggers or events. And, unresolved trauma can have a negative effect on relationships, work, social situations, friendships, and day to day living.

Kathryn Grooms & Associates Psychotherapy in New York City specializes in helping people process and resolve the negative effects of trauma.

Negative effects of trauma include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Extreme sadness
  • Emotional detachment
  • Shame
  • Fear
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Sleep problems
  • Panic or anxiety attacks
  • Substance abuse or misuse or other self-harming behaviors
  • Flashbacks
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Phobias

There are single incident traumas such as car accidents or illnesses and then there are more complex, long-standing traumas such as abusive relationships, emotionally unavailable parents or caregivers, a prolonged illness, etc. Whether single incident or more complex, a standing hallmark of trauma is that we often don’t have a choice (or it simply feels as though we don’t have a choice), when it happens.

It’s important to recognize that trauma varies and as a result, people respond differently to various kinds of trauma. Many people are able to navigate trauma with a sense of resilience. However, people with a history of trauma, or for whom trauma has hit particularly hard, may have difficulty processing the emotional and/or physical responses to trauma and may therefore start to feel unsafe. When this level of trauma occurs, it can be beneficial to work with a professional therapist.

When you’re seeking treatment in New York City for trauma, Kathryn Grooms & Associates Psychotherapy are professionally trained therapists who can help.

Working together with you, we will identify and resolve issues with trauma using a variety of proven therapeutic techniques. More than just coming to a greater understanding of trauma, our goal is to help you feel your way through the trauma and heal all the wounds which didn’t have the opportunity to be healed. Together, we’ll work with you to develop new insight and new associations with the events that led to your trauma. And every therapy session is held in a compassionate and safe space so you can break free from unhealthy behaviors and negative self-beliefs, move toward healing; and, begin to rewrite your story.

COVID-19 UPDATE

During this unprecedented time, you may be experiencing increasing feelings of uncertainty, loss, anxiety, fear, grief or rage. We are all experiencing a different reality and it can and will affect everyone very differently.

Whether you’re performing an essential job that requires long hours and potential risk to your health, or you’re navigating school re-opening, returning to work or continuing to work from home and practicing social distancing, please know that you are not alone.

We are pleased to offer the same level of compassionate care through the convenience and confidentiality of TeleTherapy services, accessible on your computer, tablet, or phone. We are welcoming fully vaccinated clients to return to the office for in-person sessions on a case by case basis.

Please stay safe and know that we are with you.

Have Questions?

Payment can be cash, check or credit card. (Please note: there is a surcharge of $2.50 per invoice.) Payment is expected at the time of each session. We are an out-of-network provider with all insurance companies. On a monthly basis we will be happy to provide receipts and/or completed insurance forms for you to submit for out of network reimbursement.
We request that you provide no less than 3 days (72 hours) notification to cancel appointments. We will make every effort to reschedule cancelled sessions within the same week, at no additional fee. If you cancel within the 72 hour period, and we are not able to reschedule within that time frame, you will be responsible for paying the full amount of our session. Note: this cannot be submitted to insurance for reimbursement.
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