What Is Trauma?
Trauma is defined by the American Psychological Association, as an emotional response to a terrible event, such as an accident, rape, or natural disaster. 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.
We each 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.
Traumatic events can have different effects on different people. Some people are able to move through trauma and process it entirely. For others, the pain is too great and a traumatic event or experience is a catalyst for negative behaviors and beliefs or other coping mechanisms, which can be self-harming such as substance abuse or misuse, social isolation, and others.
Recognizing The Negative Effects of Trauma
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
Different Kinds of Trauma
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.
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 has professionally trained therapists who can help. It’s important to recognize that trauma varies and as a result, people respond differently to various kinds of trauma.
Trauma Treatment in New York City
If you’re searching for trauma treatment in New York City for yourself or for a loved one, Kathryn Grooms & Associates Psychotherapy specializes in trauma therapy. Each of our highly trained therapists approaches trauma from a holistic perspective, which involves your body, mind, and spirit. We welcome this holistic approach into each therapy session as we work with you to move through trauma and achieve a sense of peace and wellbeing.
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 that 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.