Trauma, PTSD &
EMDR Therapy in
Ft Lauderdale, FL
Are You Struggling
With Trauma or PTSD?
You haven’t been yourself ever since the traumatic incident happened. It’s changed you and you’re afraid you might never feel the same as you did before. You go through the motions, feeling numb… almost as if you’re in a fog. You’re just going through the motions, trying to get through the day. Your ability to function in daily tasks has been severely impacted and it’s beyond challenging to focus on important responsibilities such as school or work.
Maybe you’re filled with anxiety, panic, and a sense of dread just waiting for the next shoe to drop. Or perhaps you’re just plain exhausted from such restless sleep due to nightmares and feel overwhelmed with the simplest tasks. Your friends and family try their best to support you, but they just don’t know what to do to help. The symptoms of trauma can seep into every aspect of your life, leaving you depressed, helpless, and sometimes even hopeless.
If you feel like the effects of a traumatic experience and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are taking over your life, rest assured, there is hope. EMDR therapy, trauma therapy, and PTSD counseling can help you reclaim your life!
What is Trauma and PTSD?
When you experience a traumatic event, your physical and emotional sense of safety is threatened. Traumatic events may include physical or sexual assault, accidents, natural disasters, or even bullying in children. Everyone responds differently to traumatic experiences. Some common natural reactions are feeling confused, numb, helpless, hopeless, or sometimes even disgust.
Trauma can leave physical and emotional scars that need to be healed. For some people, the emotional impact seems to diminish over time. For others, the psychological and emotional consequences of trauma can remain and continue to interfere with life in so many different ways.
The effects of trauma can impact your level of functioning, daily activities, work or school performance, overall health and well-being, and interpersonal relationships. When the impact of events seriously affect the areas mentioned above, then they may be diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), where the event can be re-experienced though nightmares related to the event, distressing memories of the trauma, and the sensation that the trauma is happening all over again. This can create increased anxiety, panic, and helplessness.
PTSD often begins with physical symptoms that range from headaches or migraines, dizziness, fatigue, chest pain, breathing difficulties, and digestive issues. At first, the person might not realize that their pain is related to psychological distress.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 15 to 35 percent of people who suffer from chronic pain also have PTSD. Addressing trauma can help with physical pain and some forms of chronic illnesses. Approximately one in three Americans suffer from some kind of chronic pain in their lifetime, and about one quarter of them are not able to do day to day activities because of their chronic pain.
None Should Have to Struggle
with Trauma Alone
PTSD, chronic pain, and trauma can affect children and adults. When a traumatic event occurs, that experience of a particular moment becomes "frozen in time." When you remember this event, it might evoke a strong emotional reaction and can make you feel like you’re reliving the same event (just as if were happening in this very moment). The images, sounds, smells, and feelings seem to get stuck in your brain. The memories associated with those experiences can interfere with your daily life on many levels and can even make you feel like they have changed who you are.
In children and teenagers trauma can be the cause of rebellious behaviors, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and disconnection. Dealing with a traumatic event can feel emotionally overwhelming and exhausting. It can be isolating and frightening.
Some people try to relieve those feelings by using drugs and alcohol or are “too sickened” by the experience that they can’t eat or sleep developing an eating or sleep disorder. People go through great lengths to avoid feeling anxious and depressed, which can be draining and might in turn be limiting their ability to live a healthy and productive life. Some people turn to alcohol, drugs, and food to self-medicate and get some relief from the pain.
It makes sense that you don’t want to feel that way but what’s the cost of trying to escape the symptoms? Although it might help you feel better temporarily, this can create an additional long-term problem with an extended cycle of suffering that is hard to break.
No one should have to struggle with trauma alone. Although traumatic events are sadly common, surviving and thriving is possible! If you’re reading this information, you or a loved one is probably struggling with the consequences of a recent traumatic episode or experienced trauma as a child.
What is EMDR and How Does EMDR Therapy Help People Overcome Trauma?
EMDR therapy can help in a fast and healthy way to alleviate the symptoms associated with trauma. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven to be effective for the treatment of trauma and negative core beliefs associated to traumatic experiences. EMDR has a direct effect on the way the brain processes information and helps organize the traumatic memories without going into all the details of what happened that can be so painful.
Through EMDR therapy, healing takes place when you no longer relive the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting and disturbing.
This happens because EMDR therapy combines different elements to maximize treatment effects. It involves attention to the past, present, and future. Focus is given to past disturbing memories and related events as well as to current situations. We will take a look and reframe negative beliefs that might cause distress and interfere with your interpersonal functioning; helping you develop the skills and attitudes you need for positive future actions and relationships.
We use an eight-phase treatment approach. Our work together will last for at least 6 sessions depending on the memories and symptoms that you are experiencing and seeking to alleviate.
EMDR therapy is very effective. It includes memory processing and resource building so that you have the coping strategies you need to manage overwhelming emotions and deal with feelings related to the traumatic experience in a healthy way. Because EMDR uses bilateral stimulation (stimulation of both sides of the brain), memories are re-processed and stored in the brain appropriately. This will help to alleviate your suffering and discomfort in a relatively short period of time. You will feel less anxious and able to reframe the traumatic incident, get some perspective about your life, and think about your future.
EMDR therapy also has proven to be helpful in the treatment of panic attacks, complicated grief, and disturbing memories, phobias, performance anxiety, pain disorders, stress reduction, addictions, and personality disorders. This approach is safe and effective for children and adults and enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.
Trauma Doesn’t Define Who You Are
As a licensed mental health counselor and a national certified counselor trained in PTSD and EMDR therapy, I (Carolina Gaviria, LMHC) have heard hundreds of trauma stories from clients, friends, and family members. I also have experienced difficult situations myself that help me to really understand your experience and emotional pain. Living and hearing about each of these traumatic experiences has deeply touched me and convinced me that trauma resolution is possible. The human spirit is resilient and constantly seeking to self-actualize, heal, and grow. It is my intent to facilitate that process of change and help you be free from the chains of trauma.
It is my hope that we can work together and you will not only reduce your symptoms of PTSD but find the courage and meaning that might be missing in your life. By experiencing less anxiety, depression, and addictive behavior, you will have more motivation and self-confidence to spend time with others, set goals for your life, practice self-care and engage in positive and healthy relationships.
Because trauma is correlated with shame and a sense of not belonging or being good enough, you will find through trauma resolution a new way of connecting with yourself and others, which will lead ultimately to live a more fulfilling life and have healthier and happier relationships. Imagine how good it would be to feel calm and self-confident, to be proud of yourself, and as if you are good enough. This is all possible through EMDR therapy and the changes I will help you to make. Trauma doesn’t need to define who you are.
Reclaim Your Life & Schedule Today!
If you have questions about EMDR and how it could be useful for you or a loved one, call us today for a FREE phone consult so we can answer your questions and determine if EMDR is the right therapy for you. Our trauma specialists provide trauma counseling, EMDR counseling, and PTSD counseling in both Spanish and English in effort to best meet the needs of our south Florida community.
We would be happy to answer your questions and determine if EMDR is the right therapy for you. To set up your free phone consult for trauma therapy or EMDR therapy, please click on the link below or call us directly at 954.391.5305. We look forward to talking with you!