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Trauma Therapy in Chicago

When we are physically harmed, our bodies go through a process of repair and restructuring. Although our bodies are quite good at healing themselves over time, trauma can cause other types of injuries that tend to endure. Depth Counseling can help you find a trauma therapist in Chicago, IL, or Austin/Houston, TX, who will assist you in processing your distress.

What is trauma?

Trauma is psychological harm that can be caused by any number of stressors. When we are physically harmed, our bodies go through a process of repair and restructuring. Bones fuse back together, cuts coagulate and scab, and bruises swell. Although our bodies are quite good at healing themselves over time, some injuries tend to endure.

Trauma works in a very similar way. Life is filled with stressors that affect our mental state. Sometimes, the stressors may be minor (i.e., deciding what to wear to school), while others are debilitating (i.e., combat experience). The mind responds to these stressors with a mending process, and often, we are able to continue life as usual. However, some injuries cause significant damage that requires more than time to heal.

Here at Depth Counseling, our trauma counseling therapists in Chicago work with clients who have experienced intense traumatic life events. Although trauma can happen in many different ways, the trauma counseling and recovery process look very similar. A few causes of trauma we have helped people work through include:

  • Surviving an act of sexual orientation or physical violence
  • Abuse
  • Car accidents
  • Sudden loss
  • Witnessing an act of violence or abuse
  • Combat experience
  • Near-death experience

The response to trauma (or traumatic stress) can vary dramatically from person to person. As such, the symptoms of traumatic stress can sometimes be difficult to identify. Our minds try to make sense of the trauma and begin the repair process naturally, which can lead to problematic changes — much like a bone that mends without being properly set. Here are some examples of symptoms that can occur after someone experiences trauma.

  1. Avoidance of certain situations or people
  2. Flashbacks or re-experiencing of traumatic memories
  3. Distress or anxiety that remains after the traumatic event
  4. Physical or bodily symptoms (aching, nausea, etc.)
  5. Recurrent (or ruminative) thoughts about the trauma
  6. Major changes in personality or behavior
  7. Increased drug or alcohol use to cope with traumatic stress
  8. Aggression or irritability

Left untreated, the symptoms of traumatic stress can significantly reduce health and well-being (Bichescu et al., 2005; Brewin, Andrews, & Valentine, 2000), which is why early diagnosis and treatment are so important. If you have experienced a traumatic life event, do not wait. Contact Depth Counseling today, and let us help you find freedom from your trauma.

Trauma therapist in Chicago | Depth Counseling

Different types of trauma and their impacts

Experiencing trauma can result from a single, shocking event or a series of prolonged, negative traumatic experiences. There are different types of trauma, including:

  • Acute Trauma: This is caused by a single, highly stressful, or traumatic event like a car accident, natural disaster, violent assault, or witnessing a traumatic incident. Symptoms of acute trauma might include flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Chronic Trauma: This results from repeated exposure to stressful or abusive situations over time. It could be childhood abuse or neglect, domestic violence, bullying, or living in a war zone. Chronic trauma can cause low self-esteem, depression, relationship problems, and difficulty trusting others.
  • Complex Trauma: This type of trauma arises from repeated exposure to multiple traumatic events, often during childhood. Complex trauma can be particularly challenging because it can impact a person’s sense of self and safety in the world. These trauma symptoms can include complex PTSD, dissociation, emotional distress, and difficulty forming healthy attachments.
  • Development Trauma: It occurs during early childhood when a child’s basic needs for safety, love, and connection are not met. This can have a long-term impact on a person’s emotional, social, and physical development. Symptoms might include attachment issues, difficulty regulating emotions, and problems with self-esteem.

How can trauma therapy help?

Trauma therapy helps by giving you a place to freely process the hardship and stress of your life — in a safe, confidential space. Psychotherapy (also called counseling or therapy) is the most effective treatment option for working through trauma (Bisson et al., 2007; Wilson, Friedman, & Lindy, 2012).

Psychodynamic psychotherapists, such as those at Depth Counseling, are attuned to the processes and thoughts that may not be immediately apparent or unconscious (Stark, 2000). This allows clients to gain a deeper understanding of how the trauma affected them and why the traumatic stress persists. Although we cannot take away the traumatic experience, we can help clients overcome the after-effects of traumatic stress through post-traumatic stress disorder treatment.

Trauma-focused therapy can be complicated, and sometimes, people begin to feel worse at the beginning of treatment. Much like engaging in physical therapy for a back injury, this is an important part of the healing process. Once the trauma can be processed and properly understood, trauma survivors are able to regain a sense of normalcy and wellness (Bradley et al., 2005).

How can Depth Counseling help?

Depth Counseling has a team of providers who specialize in helping trauma survivors overcome their struggles through a therapeutic approach. If you’re searching for therapists who specialize in trauma, we’re your solution. We provide individual and couples counseling services for adults and families here in Chicago, Illinois, and the surrounding area. Our trauma treatment sessions are entirely confidential and held in the comfort of our offices on the North Side and the Loop. Once you connect with us, we can schedule your first appointment with one of our providers based on fit and availability. We deeply value the therapeutic relationship, and we strive to demonstrate that value to each of our clients.

As you work through your trauma with one of our therapists, you will notice:

  • Decreased responses to traumatic triggers
  • Greater understanding of self and others
  • Feelings of compassion and forgiveness
  • Insight regarding potentially harmful life patterns
  • A greater understanding of your unique personality
  • Greater capacity for emotional regulation and communication
  • Improvements in social relationships and coping skills

Each of our therapists is dedicated to providing a safe space where you can explore your psychological world. We are passionate about serving our community through thorough treatment and diagnosis, empathic understanding, and client-centered care. If you have difficulties with anger, anxiety, depression, or past trauma, Depth Counseling can help. Do not just wait for things to get better—contact us today.

References

Bichescu, D., Schauer, M., Saleptsi, E., Neculau, A., Elbert, T., & Neuner, F. (2005). Long-term consequences of traumatic experiences: an assessment of former political detainees in Romania. Clinical practice and epidemiology in mental health1(1), 17.

Bisson, J. I., Ehlers, A., Matthews, R., Pilling, S., Richards, D., & Turner, S. (2007). Psychological treatments for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder: Systematic review and meta-analysis. The British journal of psychiatry190(2), 97-104.

Bradley, R., Greene, J., Russ, E., Dutra, L., & Westen, D. (2005). A multidimensional meta-analysis of psychotherapy for PTSD. American journal of Psychiatry162(2), 214-227.

Brewin, C. R., Andrews, B., & Valentine, J. D. (2000). Meta-analysis of risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder in trauma-exposed adults. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology68(5), 748.

Stark, M. (2000). Modes of therapeutic action. Rowman & Littlefield.

Shedler, J. (2010). The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. American psychologist65(2), 98.

Wilson, J. P., Friedman, M. J., & Lindy, J. D. (2012). Treating psychological trauma and PTSD. Guilford Press.

Interested in Depth Counseling?

We would love to hear from you. Click here if you would like to learn more about our services or schedule to begin your first therapy session! Our team of compassionate providers is dedicated to providing you with the utmost quality of care for your mental health needs.

Some of our areas of specialty include:

Our Chicago offices are located in Ravenswood (2650 & 2656 West Montrose Avenue, 60618), and the Loop (122 South Michigan Avenue, 60603) in Chicago, Illinois. We serve adults and families from all over the Chicago area and beyond, including Evanston, Cicero, Hammond, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, and Arlington Heights. If you have questions or concerns, or if you would like help finding our offices, please let us know!

In Texas, our offices are based in Austin and Houston, and our clinicians offer therapy exclusively via telehealth.

About Us

Click here to learn more about our fantastic team of mental health clinicians. Our providers offer specialty services in both individual and couples counseling. In addition to psychotherapy, we also offer the chance to engage in Psychoanalysis—a specific long-term and intensive treatment model. Our practice draws heavily from Psychodynamic theory, which has been shown to be incredibly effective through multiple research efforts (see Shedler, 2010).

It’s not just in the name—Depth Counseling is about moving beyond basic counseling techniques to understand deeper parts of your psyche. Get more out of your treatment, and experience the healing power of Depth Counseling.

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To learn more about depression, anxiety, and other topics, please visit our blog; it is designed to increase public awareness and offer insight for those who may be seeking mental health services: