Trauma Therapy

Trauma Therapy in Chicago

“Trauma is primarily physiological…it is something that happens initially to our bodies and our instincts. Only then do its effects spread to our minds, emotions and spirits.” – Dr. Peter Levine

The Effects of Trauma

After experiencing a traumatic event or you can often feel overwhelmed.  You may feel unsafe in your body. You may struggle with shame and avoid situations.  Your memories may seem unclear or missing, but remembering can feel re-traumatizing. Trauma can cause depression, anger, recurring thoughts of the event, physical reactions like headaches and chest pains, insomnia, and low-self-esteem.

Racial Trauma

Racial trauma, or race-based traumatic stress (RBTS), refers to emotional injury caused by racial bias, racism, and hate crimes. When a person experiences an emotionally painful, sudden, and uncontrollable racist encounter, they are at risk of suffering from a race-based traumatic stress injury. In the U.S., Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) are most vulnerable due to systemic racism prevalent in our society. Prolonged experiences of racism can lead to symptoms similar to PTSD. Symptoms may vary across different cultural groups. There is no way to identify racial trauma other than through a life-course approach that captures the complex nature of individual, collective, historical, and intergenerational experiences of racism experienced by communities in Western society.

Relational Trauma

Relational trauma occurs in childhood when the bonding between caretakers and child is disrupted or interrupted. This is particularly harmful, because the relationship between a child and their parent/caregiver plays a huge part in shaping who they will be as a teen and an adult. These primary relationships impact all the other relationships that come afterward. This includes relationships with others and with oneself. Relational trauma may develop when a child cannot maintain a sense of being safe and loved within their family. The child may feel emotionally abandoned or invalidated by one or more parents or caregivers.

Trauma-Informed Therapy

Trauma-informed therapy provides a safe way in which to address the past.  Therapy can restore a sense of control in your life. Trauma informed therapies can address  post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sexual abuse, sexual assault, childhood trauma, racial trauma, grief, dissociative disorders, self-injury and witnessing violence. Read more about the mind, the body, and trauma in this interview with Bonnie Badenoch.

Trauma-Focused Therapies at Lakeview

Lakeview Center therapists may be trained in Body-Mind Psychotherapy (BMP), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Somatic Experiencing (SE), all of which are integrated with psychodynamic therapy. This addresses both the symptoms and long-term effects of trauma.

Body-Mind Psychotherapy (BMP) uses the practice of embodiment and meditative awareness for healing and integration. This process guides us toward  us to the innate intelligence of the body.

EMDR targets traumatic memories that can get “stuck” and block us.  Eye movements combined with specific methods of recalling memories help to heal and resolve trauma.

Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a body-based therapy that works to restore the nervous system’s natural responses.  When these natural responses are safely engaged again, symptoms associated with PTSD usually decrease.

For more information about trauma therapies, please contact us.

To understand the deep, long-lasting effects of relational trauma, here is a video: