- Are you feeling overwhelmed?
- Have you been experiencing extreme worry, sadness, depression or anxiety?
- Does it seem like you are having trouble in your relationships with family, friends, or co-workers?
- Have you experienced trauma or abuse in your past which is affecting you in your present life?
You are looking at this website because either you or someone you know is having difficulty coping with everyday life. You are not alone! Many people who have lived with trauma and or abuse in their childhood often experience symptoms later on in life. These symptoms are sometimes not recognized as related to the trauma. You are not crazy! This is an emotional and biological response to a condition that has been dormant for many years. It may manifest itself in the following ways: dreams, nightmares, flashbacks, daydreams, excessive worry and feelings of panic, a heightened sense of awareness with the environment, inability to sleep, fear of falling asleep, hearing voices, depression, anxiety, time lapses, "losing time", feeling threatened, intrusive memories, numbness, avoidance, loss of interest in activities, isolating, or extreme agitation or irritability.
Research shows that Counseling can provide relief! Just sharing your story with someone who understands the effects of trauma and helps YOU understand can provide an immediate sense of regaining control over your life
Feelings of helplessness, betrayal, and victimization can be a result of traumatic reminders called triggers in the environment. For example, a trigger from the past could be a smell, a sound, tactile stimulation, a vision, or a taste that elicits a response from the adrenal glands to secret hormones that signal the body to respond to danger. This is labeled the "flight-fight-freeze" response. Triggers of the abuse or trauma can include: anniversary dates, people, places, things, and emotional situations.
Example: Mary's grandfather smoked cherry cigars. He began sexually molesting her at the age of 6. It continued through most of her childhood and early adolescence. As an adult, every time Mary smelled cherry cigars she would become nauseous, dizzy, anxious and would have to leave the area. She never related this response to her earlier abuse. In therapy, her therapist was able to help her understand the body's response to triggers in the environment and teach her ways to diffuse the high level of emotional discomfort she felt whenever she smelled cherry cigars.
Working through the concerns that bring you to therapy can be difficult, but rewarding. If it wasn't a problem, causing problems in your life, you wouldn't be seeking help. The struggle you are experiencing is natures' way of healing. The mind-body-spirit wants to be Whole. It wants to shed itself of old wounds. It is as if it is saying: "Wake up! I have held this pain for you all this time. Now it is time for you to take over and become who you were meant to be."
The therapeutic relationship offers that help. With nurturance and guidance, the therapist serves as witness and offers guidance through some of life's most difficult challenges.
The Story of the Butterfly's Struggle offers an analogy of this process:
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole at the end.
Eventually, the butterfly stopped making progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. The man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, but it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If nature allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. And we could never fly.
Take the first step toward healing! The desire of Wholistic Counseling Services is to join our clients on their journey toward healing and health of MIND, BODY, and SPIRIT, bringing them out of the darkness of confusion and into the Light of Clarity.