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Trauma Therapy

What exactly do we mean by “trauma”?  Trauma is easy to understand when we think of the obvious bad events that happen such as: major accidents with or without serious injury, natural disasters, war/combat, assault, battery, rape and sexual abuse, witnessing or being a victim of crime and etc. These experiences often lead to symptoms consistent with Acute Stress Disorder and eventually to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

But trauma also occurs in experiences that are not as obvious or occur over a long period of time such as: long lasting neglect or abuse, incest, emotional, psychological or spiritual abuse, bullying and etc. And some of these occur so slowly, over a long time or at such young ages that they merely seem like part of life. We call these Complex Trauma experiences because there is usually no single incident to point to and the symptoms are not easily associated to such an incident.

Whether it is due to an obvious event or not, trauma produces emotional and behavioral symptoms that lead to emotional, behavioral and relational disruptions that diminish one’s ability to cope and achieve personal and relationship happiness and satisfaction.

Trauma therapy is a specialty. Unfortunately, trauma is also an experience and mental health condition that nearly all therapists say that they treat or even specialize in when they actually have no specialized training and/or limited experience in treating clients to successful resolution of their trauma symptoms or complaints.

I am trained in EMDR Therapy through the EMDR Training Center LLC, an EMDRIA Approved Basic Training Provider and Consultant, and I have been practicing EMDR with clients who come to me specifically for trauma therapy. At this time, nearly a quarter of my full-time caseload is coming to me directly for trauma work. And it is common that others eventually come to see that their symptoms and conditions are best conceptualized as originating from experiences in the past that they had not previously thought of as traumatic.

Complex Trauma is something I've been helping clients heal from for years. Beyond trauma symptoms, complex trauma shapes a person's entire life, from their personality and self-image, to their relationships, functioning and overall life satisfaction. Symptoms can include tendencies to over-react, shut down or panic in the face of difficult or distressful interaction. These symptoms often lead to chronic anxiety or depression, isolation, self-harm, marital or career disruptions and limitations, adult attachment disorder and dissociative disorders, including Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder.

Recovery from Trauma is possible. To recover from trauma or abuse, you don’t have to remember it all, you don’t have to process it all, and we can structure your therapy so that you don’t re-experience it. But you CAN reduce the hold it has on your life and learn to live more effectively, breathe more fully, manage symptoms and make a better life for yourself.
If you are a victim of a single incident trauma or multiple traumas, I can help you. At the least, we can make life worth living again, improve your quality of life, and maybe we can free you of your PTSD or other diagnoses.

Call (502) 376-0129

To make an Appointment and Begin Therapy.

William A. Marrett, LPCC, LMFT

804 Stone Creek Parkway, Ste7

Louisville, KY  40223 

Symptoms of PTSD & Complex Trauma

As with any mental health condition, the symptoms of PTSD can vary wildly among those who suffer this condition. Common symptoms are grouped by intrusive symptoms, avoidance behaviors, alterations in mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity.

Intrusive Symptoms – these symptoms are associated with the traumatic event and begin after the occurrence of the traumatic events.

·   Persistent, involuntarily, and disturbing memories of the trauma

·   Intense and prolonged psychological distress to reminders that bring to mind or signify a part of the traumatic event

·   Discernible physiological reactions to reminders that symbolize or represent an aspect of the trauma

·   Distressing and repeated dreams in which the affect or subject matter is related to the event

·   Dissociative reactions (flashbacks) that lead an individual to feel or behave as though the event is reoccurring.

Avoidance Symptoms – these symptoms aim to reduce the sufferer’s anxiety by avoiding cues and memories of the distressing event and may include:

·   Efforts or total avoidance of external forces (people, places, activities, objects, situations, conversations) that may create distressing thoughts, memories, or feelings that are closely connected to the traumatic event.

·   Efforts to or avoidance of stressful memories, feelings, or thoughts associated with the event.

Negative Mood Symptoms – these symptoms begin and worsen after the traumatic event and include:

·   Being unable to recall a very significant part of the trauma

·   Continuous inability to feel positive emotions

·   Feeling disconnected and estranged from other people

·   Distorted thoughts about the causes for and consequences of the trauma that leads to a person feeling as though blame should be assigned to him or herself or to others.

·   Ongoing overstated negative beliefs or expectations about yourself, others, and the world.

·   Unending negative emotional states

·   Disinterest in activities or participation in previously enjoyed activities

Alterations in Arousal Symptoms  these symptoms tend to begin with the trauma and worsen over time and include:

·   Being hypervigilant

·   Exaggerated startle reflex

·   Challenges with concentration

·   Angry outbursts

·   Irritability

·   Sleep disturbances

·   Behaving recklessly

·   Engaging in self-destructive behaviors

Effects of PTSD

PTSD is a chronic condition that can be managed with the right treatments and support in place. However, if left untreated PTSD can lead to numerous ill effects. These effects can include:

·   Depression

·   Eating disorders

·   Chronic pain

·   Heart disease

·   Drug abuse and addiction

·   Alcoholism

·   Autoimmune diseases

·   Musculoskeletal conditions

·   Suicidal ideations and actions