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  • Writer's pictureRachel at Epiphany Center

Will Trauma Therapy Traumatize Me?

Updated: Mar 27, 2022

by Rachel Tombaugh

Although an individual who has experienced trauma may desperately hope for feelings of peace and safety to be restored in their lives, the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can create substantial fear and anxiety about encountering reminders of the traumatic event(s), including (and maybe especially!) the process of talking about their experiences in therapy. This is a normal concern and hesitation to have if you have experienced a traumatic event, and this article will help to inform and reassure you about the therapeutic process for treating symptoms of PTSD.

Meeting with a skillful and compassionate therapist is a brave first step towards healing.

Meeting with a skillful and compassionate therapist is a brave first step towards healing. Your therapist will first work to build a rapport with you and to create feelings of trust, safety, and caring. Your Epiphany Center therapist will approach your experiences with dignity and respect, and will help you to feel in charge of the pace at which therapy unfolds. The initial steps of therapy for PTSD will generally focus on assessing the nature and intensity of your symptoms, ways in which your life is presently being affected, and exploring your readiness to address the traumatic experiences that have caused you to seek care. This allows. you and your therapist to create a plan or your treatment and care. If specific coping skills can be strengthened to increase your feelings of safety and confidence in your life, your therapist will support you in developing and practicing these skills.

Once you and your therapist agree that you are adequately prepared to begin processing your trauma, you and your therapist will identify and select the elements of your experience to work on first. Therapy to process trauma will largely focus on achieving symptom reduction and helping to restore feelings of hope, confidence, and safety, as well as working together to alleviate and replace the distorted thoughts and beliefs that traumatic experiences instill.

Throughout this process, it is essential that you and your therapist communicate clearly and authentically about the pace of therapy and how you are feeling about your healing process to ensure that your goals for healing are being met. Many survivors of traumatic events can struggle with practicing assertive and direct communication. The therapeutic relationship can be a great place to practice these skills and can support you in increasing your sense of confidence and self worth.

Feelings of anxiety and trepidation are normal and understandable reactions to the prospect of seeking help for survivors of trauma. Your therapist will work to allay your concerns and help you regain a sense of hopefulness and pride in the person you are and your ability to have a bright future.

©2022 Epiphany Center for OCD and PTSD LLC


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