close up of lotus flower

What Is Trauma and How We Can Help

By Melanie Brosnan, LCPC

Overcoming Trauma.

Experiencing trauma is undoubtedly scary and life-changing. It can cause someone to have overwhelming feelings of sadness, anger, confusion, guilt, and self-blame.

The National Council for Behavioral Health reports more than two-thirds of Americans have experienced some type of trauma in their lives. Traumatic events can include:
  • Physical abuse,
  • Sexual abuse,
  • Psychological abuse,
  • Community or school violence,
  • Sudden loss of a loved one,
  • Bullying,
  • Neglect, or
  • Serious accidents.

Traumatic incidents can be experienced both directly, if the trauma is happening to a person, or indirectly, if someone is witnessing the trauma.

Responding To Trauma​

The way someone responds to trauma is unique to each person. Some people may have no disruptions to their normal functioning whereas others may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, exhibit aggressive behaviors, develop increased fear or panic, block out the trauma, or become isolative and depressed.

To overcome the debilitating effects of trauma, survivors of the traumatic experience must process the impact it has had on their life. This exercise can be painful because it usually involves revisiting the traumatic event.

Therapists who practice under a “trauma-informed lens” are trained to be thoughtful and mindful of the pain a survivor may be experiencing and work carefully to avoid retraumatizing a survivor.

“Trauma-informed lens” is a term used in the psychology field and is also called “trauma-informed care.” These terms mean the therapist is trained to recognize the presence of trauma that may be affecting a person’s life. The therapist promotes an environment of healing and provides care that is void of situations that may inadvertently exacerbate or trigger symptoms of trauma.

two women hugging

Trauma-Informed Care​

During therapy, clients will learn about normal reactions to trauma, understand the meaning of the trauma, learn how to decrease negative or irrational thought processes, gain an improved sense of self-control, and build helpful coping skills to overcome difficult emotions.

It is important to note that all trauma survivors are resilient and can develop skills to move in a positive, hopeful direction. Recognizing personal strengths is part of the process in creating individual growth, peace, and recovery.

Recognizing personal strengths is part of the process in creating individual growth, peace, and recovery.

close up of a man being hugged
At Ammirati Counseling, we offer cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and behavior therapy to assist individuals in healing from traumatic experiences. We are here to listen to your story in a non-judgmental environment, assist you in healing, and guide you towards a path of improved wellness.
Woman at lake
Ammirati Counseling is a boutique counseling group with offices in Bannockburn and Downers Grovers. Therapists also offer private therapy via remote online. They provide comprehensive care to children, teens, adults, couples, families, and the LBGT community.
Melanie Brosnan