Counseling For Trauma, PTSD, And Abuse

Overcome Your Past, Be Happy


 

Coronavirus Notice: Prajna Healing Arts is open for counseling and taking new clients as normal. Sessions are available over video chat or phone. Outdoor sessions are also available in a welcoming and relaxing open area that is comfortable for social distancing. Call Carol at (720) 244-2299 for a free evaluation.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma means “wound” in Greek. Trauma is an emotional response to an intense event, like a physical attack, a rape, or an accident. Short-term responses to trauma can be shock or denial. Long-term effects can be emotional instability, flashbacks, relationship issues, and physical symptoms like headaches and nausea. These long-term effects have the name, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.)

The intensity of the event and the duration of the exposure both impact the intensity of the PTSD symptoms. Repeated abuse deepens emotional response.

Individual responses to traumatic events vary. Some individuals are deeply impacted for life and others are more resilient. While the research is unclear about how to attribute these differences, character flaws are not one of the possibilities. An extraordinary, traumatic event reprogrammed our emotional reactions, but it need not define us. With help, we can heal and move on.

PTSD In Women

Dangerous or scary events cause feelings of fear, anxiety, and emotional upset. These feelings decline after a few weeks for many people. Some people relive the traumatic event for months or years. An item or place might trigger them to re-experience the event and intense feelings. This is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.) Women are twice as likely to develop PTSD in their lifetimes. About half of women who are raped develop PTSD.

What Is Trauma Therapy?

Trauma therapy helps individuals heal from past emotional wounds. The past can’t be changed, but our emotional reactions to past traumatic events can be changed – for the better. Trauma therapy can defang the triggers of PTSD episodes and unwind the unhelpful behaviors associated with them.

For many of us, deep childhood trauma shaped our personalities, drawing us to safety and away from things perceived as painful. To a degree, these behaviors are adaptive, a protection mechanism.  Unfortunately, these automatic trauma responses are blunt instruments that are better suited to protecting us from the next tiger than the more refined responses required to function well in modern society. 

Trauma therapy gives us a clear awareness of these behavioral responses and the tools to change the maladaptive ones. With a little guidance and effort, we can transform ourselves and be happy.

Carol O'Dowd
Carol O’Dowd, MPA, MDIV, MI, RP

Fees and Insurance

Fees: My individual counseling fees are $100 per hour. Sliding scale is available.

Insurance: I am an out-of-network provider. 

Trauma Treatments

Each of us experiences trauma differently, so trauma treatment must be tailored to you and your situation. I am trained in a variety of Eastern and Western techniques to guide you on the path to freedom from the anxiety, stress, and depression that often result from untreated trauma and PTSD. Stop being a victim, learn to be compassionate to yourself and others, and enjoy life again.

Some of the techniques I use to treat the various aspects of trauma and PTSD include:

 

  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) – MBCT is designed to help people who suffer repeated bouts of depression and chronic unhappiness. It combines the ideas of cognitive therapy with meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness.
  • Japanese Psychology: 
    • Morita Therapy – Morita Therapy is an ecological, purpose-centered, response-oriented therapy. Feelings are natural responses to our life circumstances and we need not try to “fix” or “change” them. Arugamama (acceptance of reality as it is) involves accepting our feelings and thoughts without trying to change them or “work through” them.
    • Naikan Therapy – Naikan is a Japanese word which means “inside looking” or “introspection”. A more poetic translation is “seeing oneself with the mind’s eye”. It is a structured method of self-reflection that helps us to understand ourselves, our relationships and the fundamental nature of human existence.
  • Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP) – AEP is used to help clients process many difficulties that limit the individual’s potential for true happiness. Often these difficulties take the form of family-of-origin issues, romantic relationship difficulties, work problems, low self-esteem, and depression/anxiety.
  • Coaching – Psychological coaching focuses on the positive aspects of the human condition, much like positive counseling; it does not focus on the negative, irrational, and pathological aspects of life. Coaching is specific and goal-oriented.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Unlike traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, which probes childhood wounds to get at the root causes of conflict, CBT focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behavior.