How to Know if You Need Trauma Counseling

Posted by admin on March 30, 2017

When you hear that someone is seeking help to deal with trauma they have experienced in their life, it may seem very logical.  Perhaps they have experienced the death of a close friend or loved one.  Perhaps they have experienced a physical assault.  Perhaps they have experienced a significant change to life circumstances.  We can logically justify why someone might need “trauma counseling” if something they have experienced seems particularly “large.”  But, there are many reasons why someone might need to seek professional counseling after trauma.  And, when it comes to deciding if you need trauma counseling for yourself, it can be much harder to determine. First, it is important to understand what psychological trauma is.  The American Psychological Association describes trauma as, “Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives. Psychologists can help these individuals find constructive ways of managing their emotions.”

Individuals that experience trauma may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.  When suffering from PTSD, someone might experience heightened anxiety, reliving of traumatic events via memories/flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, difficulty with day-to-day life including work and relationships, avoiding situations that remind you of the traumatic event, persistent fear, irritability, and more.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or have experienced a traumatic event at some point in your life, you would likely benefit from professional counseling.  The spectrum of “trauma” is large and many that experience trauma may not be classified as suffering from PTSD but still may need trauma counseling, as PsychCentral notes, “The estimated lifetime prevalence of PTSD among adult Americans is 7.8 percent, with women (10.4 percent) twice as likely as men (5 percent) to have PTSD at some point in their lives. This represents a small proportion of those who have experienced a traumatic event at some point in their lives, for 60.7 percent of men and 51.2 percent of women reported at least one traumatic event.”

If you are one of the 50-60% of Americans that have experienced trauma, you may be experiencing a number of symptoms that are impacting your daily life.  If you feel that those symptoms are hindering your ability to enjoy life or consuming your thoughts, it is important to seek professional therapy or counseling.  You are not alone in your trauma, you are not alone in your fears, you are not alone in your frustration and you can receive the counseling and tools you need to better manage the symptoms you experience after trauma.  Your PTSD is not hopeless and the event of trauma does not have to dictate your life’s path.  An experienced counselor, such as Diebold Behavioral Counseling, can help you work through how trauma changed your thoughts and feelings and help equip you with the skills you need to change how you think about your trauma moving forward.

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