What is trauma?
It is a very common misconception that trauma is simply an event. Clinically speaking, trauma is the sustained response to a distressing or disturbing event, circumstance, or ongoing environment. Such events and environments overwhelm us and extend beyond our abilities to cope (it is sometimes referred to simply as “too much too fast”). When this happens, our brains and bodies are rewired in an attempt to protect us, leaving us suspended in stress and fear even when the event is over or the situation is solved. We understand the connection between your trauma and your emotional and behavioral responses. Some people have major trauma such as the loss of a loved one or past abuse. Others have multiple instances of minor trauma that compound through the years. We are not here to measure, compare or judge your trauma experience. We are dedicated to your healing.
What is trauma-informed care?
Trauma-informed or trauma-focused care often integrates multiple types of therapy under the same umbrella of understanding: the goal is to unlock the frozen bodily responses to help you move forward into a healthier way of being. At Lakewood Family Therapy, we have therapists who specialize in working with trauma using the following therapeutic modalities:
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – EMDR helps individuals to heal from the symptoms and emotional disturbances due to trauma. Part of the treatment involves eye movement (or other bilateral stimulation). Theorists believe bilateral stimulation works in a similar fashion as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. EMDR allows the client to process internal associations as they work through disturbed thoughts or feelings in a way similar to how the brain is organizing information when we dream.
- Internal Family Systems (IFS) – IFS focuses on an individual’s parts of the self and endeavors to create internal harmony between these parts. IFS theory holds that when trauma occurs, an internal “protective part” forms as part of an individual’s identity. This type of therapy works to release the memories and roles that these parts are holding onto and thereby reduces the discomfort associated with traumatic memories.
- Lifespan Integration (LI) – Lifespan Integration integrates neural structures and firing patterns throughout the body and mind across an individual’s lifespan. Lifespan Integration protocols include visual and sensory timeline repetition to clear trauma and build self-structure.
- Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) – ART is a therapeutic process derived from EMDR and also involves rapid eye movement and the processing of traumatic events. This type of therapy rapidly moves clients past where they may be stuck by using eye movements to alter the way traumatic memories are stored in the brain.
- Expressive Arts Therapy – Expressive arts therapy uses an individual’s natural desire to create as a therapeutic tool to initiate change. This type of therapy draws on many types of art, such as music, poetry, visual art, theater, or dance and allows individuals to create growth and promote healing.
Our experienced, caring professionals can help you process your trauma, nurture resilience, and foster personal growth. Trauma is not hopeless. You can heal, and we can help.