"We can never undo what happened, but we can create new emotional scenarios - intense and real enough - to defuse and counter some of the old ones”
- Bessel van der Kolk
Trauma and stress-related disorder therapists often hear clients exclaim “…nothing horrible ever happened to me!” It is important to consider that difficult and stressful experiences in the lifespan can overload the nervous system, thus creating unanticipated problems. Situations that have overwhelmed a person can also manifest as trauma. In fact, at least 70% of adults nationally have been impacted by a traumatic event. Traumatic or challenging life experiences can be recent or from decades ago, and may have evolved from a single negative experience, or multiple events. Trauma and stress-related exposure may include experiences such as:
Encountering traumatic or difficult life experiences is part of the human experience… endlessly struggling with the residual symptoms does not have to be.
People seek out therapy in order to effectively deal with a host of mental health concerns. Many people also turn to therapy as a way to protect and preserve their mental health, and to help them cultivate, maintain, and preserve a healthy and balanced life.
You may be dealing with:
How has your life changed since March 2020?
Statistical analysis shows prolonged pandemic-related stress is negatively impacting both physical and mental health in America. A majority of the adults recently surveyed reported unwanted changes in sleep, stress, and weight, and close to 50% reported increased substance use and purposefully delaying routine medical care. Studies such as this American Psychological Association publication indicate that we are all under chronic, long-standing stress and in need of help now.
Golden State Therapy recognizes that there is hope despite these statistics. The COVID-19 pandemic and the societal, divisive, and cultural pressures over the past 2 years, have actually reduced the stigma of asking for mental health support. The conversations about our collective shared traumas are now part of an open dialogue across America. Employers, schools, communities, health care providers, politicians and others are engaged in a new, non-stigmatizing dialogue, recognizing that small positive changes in an individual’s mental health improves outcomes not only for the individual, but the family, a community, and society as a whole.