The Importance of Counseling for First Responders
As we navigate through these challenging times in our world, it becomes increasingly vital to shine a light on the mental health...
You haven’t been yourself ever since the traumatic incident happened. It’s changed you. It feels hopeless when you think of going back to who you were before the trauma. Tasks that were once simple are now difficult and sometimes near impossible. Showing up fully to work, school, and even relationships are challenging, because your mind is far from present.
Maybe you’re filled with anxiety, panic, and fear. No matter what you do, you constantly feel unsettled like you're going to lose control. You never know what will trigger your past trauma. You're confused, overwhelmed, and exhausted from the roller coaster ride of emotions, restless sleep, and normal day-to-day tasks that keep piling up.
Maybe you're a First Responder (Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), firefighter, paramedic, law enforcement officer, and armed forces) or veteran and you feel like you can't talk to anyone, because they just won't get it, but the more you keep it inside, the worse it gets...
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!
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. Many people tend to question if their experience is considered “traumatic”. However, trauma is any experience in your life where you feel it impacts your current functioning and how you view yourself and the world. Everyone responds differently to traumatic experiences. Some common natural reactions are feeling confused, numb, helpless, hopeless, or sometimes even guilt and shame.
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.
PTSD, chronic pain, and trauma can affect children and adults. When a traumatic event occurs, our brain goes into fight or flight mode and oftentimes gets stuck there. 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 it were happening in this very moment). The images, sounds, smells, and feelings seem to get stuck in your brain. This happens because your brain is reacting as if you’re still in danger. This can be exhausting for a person when you feel you have to constantly be on high alert throughout the day. You are physically present, yet feel so mentally disconnected from your surroundings.
In children and teens 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.
Unresolved trauma can cause multiple subsequent problems such as unhealthy behaviors, eating disorders, and sleep disorders. Most often these overwhelming emotions can be difficult to manage and some people turn to risky behaviors or food to self-medicate and get some relief from the pain.
It makes sense that you don’t want to feel that way and are eager to find any kind of relief. Unfortunately, these methods of self-medicating only provide a temporary relief from the pain and can exacerbate continued suffering.
When you go through something traumatic, you often feel alone and disconnected from those around you. Despite what you may be currently feeling or experiencing, healing from trauma is possible. Whether you or a loved one are experiencing the consequences of a traumatic experience, you are not alone.
EMDR therapy is an accelerated therapeutic approach to help 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 with traumatic experiences.
Unresolved trauma can be stored and “stuck” in our nervous system, which means the past experiences have not been processed correctly or fully. Since they are not processed correctly, our trauma and/or PTSD symptoms can easily be triggered. EMDR has a direct effect on the way the brain processes information and helps reorganize the traumatic memories without going into all the details of what happened that can be so painful.
Following EMDR therapy, the images, sounds, and feelings associated with the memory are no longer re-lived when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting and disturbing. This is where the true healing can begin and you can finally take control back into your hands.
A unique element to EMDR therapy is that our approach involves intervening at the past, present, and future. Interventions take place through exploring past disturbing memories, present triggers and issues, and future ways of managing emotions and triggers. 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.
Before beginning trauma reprocessing, an intake and assessment phase will be completed. This phase is to ensure you are provided with the coping skills you need to manage the emotions related to past trauma and to map out your plan for EMDR therapy. Since each person is different and has different experiences, it is extremely important to use that we provide you with the best individualized care.
Altogether, EMDR therapy is very effective. 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 less triggered by day-to-day experiences.
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, unhealthy behaviors, 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 were caused by disturbing life experiences.
Since EMDR therapy intervenes with the negative beliefs and thought patterns associated with past trauma, EMDR can also be helpful in managing anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and low self-esteem.
Together, we can explore what irrational and negative thought patterns and beliefs are influencing these problems for you. Whether it’s “I’m not good enough”, “I can’t manage my emotions”, or any other unhelpful thought pattern, we can begin to process these beliefs in order to adapt healthier and more helpful ones.
Through this, we can begin to identify ways you can manage present and future triggers with these new, adaptive ways of thinking.
Our expert trauma therapists and psychologists are extremely passionate about providing a safe and comfortable environment for each of our clients to begin healing from past traumas.
Although a difficult process, the journey of healing we have witnessed has proven the resilience and courage that each individual embodies. Clients leave our office feeling “lighter”, less anxious, and less controlled by the past. They begin to take control of their present and future by becoming free from the chains of trauma.
In our work together, our hope is that, along with reducing your symptoms of PTSD, you begin feeling more present and confident in your daily life including work, relationships, and various aspects of your life.
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 you to live a more fulfilling life and have healthier and happier relationships.
Imagine how great it would be to feel calm and confident throughout your day, to be able to recognize and highlight your accomplishments, and develop healthy and genuine connections with others.
This is all possible through EMDR therapy and the changes we will help you to make. Trauma doesn’t need to define who you are. You can take your control back.
If you have questions about trauma therapy, PTSD treatment, or EMDR therapy and how it could be useful for you or a loved one, call us today for a complimentary phone consultation 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 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, call us at 954.391.5305. We look forward to talking with you!
We offer face-to-face sessions as well as online therapy via phone or video sessions on a secure, HIPAA compliant platform. Our team of expert counselors in Fort Lauderdale and Coral Springs are here to help!
Regardless of what brings you to trauma counseling, EMDR therapy, and PTSD treatment, you deserve a space to feel heard and understood while finding the solutions you need for lasting changes.
In our Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, and Plantation, FL offices we provide a wide variety of services to help you manage life's ups and downs. If you're struggling to handle it on your own, then get in touch with us and let us support you, your relationship, and your family.
Our team of expert counselors and psychologists at Bayview Therapy specialize in different areas. We offer a wide range of counseling and psychological services to support our Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Plantation, Southwest Ranches, Davie, Weston, Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, and Parkland communities.
We provide therapy and psychological evaluations for children, teens, adults, couples, and families dealing with a wide variety of life's challenges across the lifespan. Some of our specialties include depression counseling; trauma therapy and EMDR therapy; teen counseling; child and family counseling; couples counseling or marriage therapy; psychiatric medication management; and more.
We also provide online counseling options for those who reside in the state of Florida using our secure HIPAA compliant telehealth platform.