The practice of psychotherapy has increasingly recognized the influence of emotional and physical trauma on the psyche of the individual. In 1992, Dr C returned to academia to complete a doctoral degree. The focus of her studies and her dissertation was to understand and evaluate treatment options for individuals impacted by traumas. A trauma is defined as an event which suddenly disrupts one’s sense of safety, predictability and stability. Research has proven that adverse childhood experiences often lead to lifelong emotional difficulties and diminish individual performance. To do a self evaluation to determine if this service may be needed for you, click here to take this simple ten-question test. For any score over three, a consultation is recommended.
Traumatic experiences in adulthood may derail a person’s ability to manage their life and trigger mood disorders, rage or drug use. When someone has a repeated pattern of emotional intensity disproportionate to the situation, triggered by events similar to past traumas, therapy is highly recommended. When one experiences a trauma, typically, the self is overwhelmed and coping mechanisms fail. The individual moves into survival mode (fight, flight or freeze), doing whatever is needed to survive the assault on one’s sensibilities. Immediately after trauma, most individuals attempt to resume normal functioning as soon as possible. It is as if we have to prove that life can still go on and, therefore, put the traumatic event behind us as quickly as possible. In doing so, we often fail to process the emotions attached to the trauma; those emotions become suppressed and stay within the psychological structure, often contaminating our responses to day-to-day life. Trauma residue is the unprocessed, unresolved emotional remnants of a traumatic event.
The good news is that most symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder can be resolved, however, traditional therapeutic tools are seldom effective. Because traumatic material is stored in a non-linear, non-rational manner, trauma treatment must rely on procedures which allow the person to review and reprocess the experience. Dr. Coughlin uses trauma-specific techniques to uncover and resolve traumatic residue; her advanced training includes Brainspotting, hypnosis, and Traumatic Incident Reduction. She is committed to assisting her clients achieve emotional comfort and will frequently schedule extended sessions to assure that traumatic material is fully resolved prior to ending a session. If trauma work is scheduled, you will not be re-traumatized by beginning to “tell the story and be abruptly interrupted by the end of the 50 minute hour.