What to Expect from Trauma Recovery Therapy

Should you seek therapy for trauma? You’ve been through something awful. You’re in pain. Reminders of what happened seem to come out of nowhere and keep you stuck.

One minute you’re fine. Living life. The next you feel like you’re drowning in a painful memory from the past. You don’t know how to move forward; you need some help. Why is it so hard to ask for it?

At Simi Psychological Group, we understand that asking for help is often scarier than living with your pain.

Our dedicated team of therapists and psychologists in Thousand Oaks work extensively with trauma and are here to support your trauma therapy journey from that very first phone call to recovery.

Here are a few things you can expect as you consider therapy for your trauma.

The first thing to understand about trauma therapy is: It’s worth it!

Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s scary. And yes, sometimes it does feel like it gets worse before it gets better, BUT it will get better. While working through your trauma, you may experience a heightened sense of anxiety, feelings of dread, or an increase in your symptoms. There’s no sugar-coating the fact that it’s painful to face those experiences we’d rather just forget. But not addressing trauma only prolongs the pain. There is a life on the other side of this trauma and you deserve it.  You deserve to heal. You deserve to find some peace again. Therapy for trauma is hard work, but staying stuck in your pain is worse. As lonely as it feels, our trauma therapists in Thousand Oaks understand and are here to help get you to the other side.

The second thing to expect from trauma therapy is: You get to set the pace.

Your therapist will not push you beyond what you’re ready for. Our caring therapists in Thousand Oaks are trauma-informed professionals who understand what you’re going through and how best to support you. Your safety and emotional well-being are at the forefront, always.

You will be allowed to tell your story in your own time, and in a safe space where you will be supported, heard, and understood.

Initially, trauma therapy focuses on establishing rapport and building the therapeutic relationship. How can you be vulnerable if you don’t feel safe? Establishing trust in the relationship is essential for vulnerability, and sometimes that takes time. Your therapist will respect your timeline as you face your traumatic experiences.

You and your therapist will work together to put together an emotional toolbox, the ways in which you can take care of yourself if you’re feeling triggered outside of session. Often these healthy coping skills consist of mindfulness-based techniques to help you bring awareness to what your body needs at that moment, and grounding techniques to help bring down your emotional state of arousal. It’s important to have these skills in place as you move on to talking about and processing your trauma in therapy.

two women sitting in chairs facing each other

The third thing to expect from trauma recovery therapy is: You’ll get the tools you need!

At Simi Psychological Group, our therapists tailor the experience to meet your individual therapeutic needs. Through a combination of interpersonal process therapy, family systems, and cognitive-behavioral techniques, your therapist will work with you to ensure you are both on the same page throughout the process as you work towards accomplishing your treatment goals. You can find freedom from trauma symptoms.

When you have experienced something traumatic, it’s not uncommon to develop symptoms of PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. Intrusive thoughts about the experience, reliving the experience, and having flashbacks are all common after a trauma. You may become hypervigilant, have trouble sleeping, feel a sense of hopelessness, and struggle with overwhelming emotional distress that threatens to take over. You may also be working hard to suppress, ignore, and avoid anything related to the trauma, including negative thoughts and emotions.

Unfortunately, trying to avoid emotional pain only makes it worse. While the idea of opening up and talking about what’s happened may seem terrifying, and you may feel like you can’t find the words or no one else could possibly understand, our therapists at Simi Psychological Group in Thousand Oaks do understand.

They will help you find the words and process your trauma. They will help you safely navigate the emotional ups and downs of recovery. They will go through the grief process with you and remind you that you are not alone.

The final thing to expect from trauma recovery therapy is:  Healing is possible and you are not alone.

Woman wrapped in a tan blanket closing her eyes

Whether you are actively experiencing symptoms of PTSD or you have developed unhelpful or self-defeating coping skills in response to trauma, it’s often difficult to see past the pain.

You feel isolated, you feel like no one could possibly understand, you feel like it will never get better. But you’re not, they will, and you can.  Our trauma-informed therapists have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to help you move forward. Healing is possible and you are not alone.

As you move through the trauma therapy process, you will gradually become more comfortable and confident in navigating your everyday experiences.

You will begin to see a reduction in symptoms, fewer instances of being triggered, and will have healthy coping skills in place when you do encounter a triggering event. Your “good” days will start to outnumber the “bad” days until those good days become the norm. You will begin to live your life again.

While there is no magic wand that can change traumatic events of the past, those events do not have to control your future. In your final sessions, you and your therapist will work to establish goals moving forward and will do what is needed to set you up for success. You will work to create a plan for your next steps to help you navigate what may come up after you are done with therapy. This way, when triggers happen, you are prepared and ready to manage them successfully.

Our team of licensed therapists In Thousand Oaks is here to support you in your trauma therapy recovery. At the Simi Psychological Group, we treat anxiety, depression, trauma, and more! Reach out today for a free consultation at (805) 842-1994.