It's scary to put your
trust in a complete stranger,
but trying to repair things
on your own hasn't worked.
and heal old wounds that have
interfered with true intimacy?
Will Marriage Counseling Make
Your Marriage Worse?
Marriage Counseling | Couples | Individuals | Philadelphia
A relationship counselor can work with you in a collaborative process where patterns in relationships are allowed to unfold for study and growth in a safe and respectful environment.
Working with a good psychotherapist develops your capacity for emotional clarity, improves your ability to engage in healthy reciprocal relationships, and sets the table for authentic communication and intimate connection.
- Written by David
There is real biological evidence of trauma in the brain, where chemicals are adaptively released (ephinidrine). In posttraumatic stress disorder, these chemicals are believed to be coded in the memory of the trauma. Sometimes as the trauma is revisited, you can suddenly be right back in the middle of some terrifying experience, and the world right in front of you fades away as you slip back into replaying old and often repressed moments of terror.
If something traumatic has happened to you, it can become a persistently distracting emotional experience. Perhaps in an attempt to master your experience, you may find yourself reliving your trauma in your relationships?
Being traumatized is like having the wind knocked out of you over and over again. Imagine the experience of that moment of impact, and then magnify it. The traumatized person inherently goes through the experience of regression, as the mind and body struggles to absorb and function in spite of the violation. Often the traumatized person will remain silent for many reasons, including shame and fear. The task of the therapist is to help the traumatized individual to reintegrate the experience through language, so that it can be properly processed.
In the face of trauma the meanings you attribute to life can be stripped away. One who has been traumatized often loses the ability to find symbolic meaning in life. It's as though it is safer to find no meaning than to actually face the overwhelming feelings of terror associated with trauma.
From a mystical perspective, the traumatized individual may be more glued to the "real" than most of us. The implication is that mystics experience what is, letting go of any possible subjective meanings that we as humans place on the events in our lives. The traumatized individual often experiences a similar undifferentiated state of mind. The difference between one who has been traumatized and a mystic is that the mystic gets to this place of being through intentional consciousness, and the trauma victim gets there through regression in service of protecting the self from remembering.
he goal in working with the traumatized is in part teaching the skill of controlled dissociation. The capacity to move in and out of dissociative states can be learned and utilized as a form of adaptation to the traumatic response.
Some of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are:
- Poor historical and short-term memory
- Loss of sense of trust
- Fear of intimacy
- Low self-esteem
- Panic attacks
- Dissociation (mental disconnection)
- Avoidance of all reminders of trauma
- Emotional numbing: A sense of detachment from relationships and the outer world
It is difficult to trust, and it often takes a giant leap of faith to start your healing process.
Unfortunately, many whom experience the above symptoms have trouble reaching out because their trust has been violated. The feeling of hopelessness can be so pervasive that reaching out for help feels like too much. It is important to know that many who have suffered from trauma have found treatment and healing. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder symptoms can lie dormant sometimes for many years after the initial experience of trauma. Women are more likely than men to develop PTSD, and some believe that this is due to their neuro-hormonal system. Psychotherapy and medication are often successful in the treatment of this disorder, and it is crucial to start treatment early before symptoms create further problems.
Call me now to get started on your path to healing. Time spent avoiding your pain is time wasted and lost.
- Written by David Steinberg, PhD, LCSW
Divorce Comes with a Great Deal of Loss.
With divorce comes a lot of loss. For many, their best friends have been their partners. The loss of a partner often comes with loneliness and the potential for isolation and depression. This is a crucial period of time to reach out to friends and family to make new connections and create a supportive community. Research has clearly proven that people with friends and a social network live longer. The stress of losing a mate and dealing with all of the changes that come with divorce can weaken your immune system, and make you prone to more serious illness as your body’s defenses are compromised. For most, there is also the loss of financial security, as you move from a two income household to only one salary. Suddenly some of your usual pleasures are no longer affordable as you must cut your spending deeply to make ends meet. You are also losing your identity as a coupled person, and if you have children, taking on the label of single parent. Becoming a single parent typically means the loss of a sexual relationship as well. All of these changes alone can be difficult to navigate, but combined they can create enormous amounts of anxiety and pain. The challenge is to allow yourself to go through the pain of your losses, while at the same time not allowing your losses to consume you to the point of inertia or worse.
Divorce Recovery is About Adapting to Change
You have entered a new demographic and are taking on a new identity. Morphing from married with children to being single is a shock. Perhaps you haven’t been on the dating scene in 10 or 15 years. For some this change can be daunting as you re-enter the life of being single and again back on the market. The dating scene has significantly changed over the past ten years, with thousands of potential mates suddenly available to connect with through various dating websites. Again, how you adjust to this change in identity will make all the difference as to how you come out on the other side.
Identifying Your Stress Symptoms is Key to Divorce Recovery
- Social Isolation
- Self-Medication (Increased usage of alcohol, drugs, or food to self-soothe)
- Overwhelming Fatigue
- Jaw tension
- Panic Attacks
- Emotional Swings
Emotional Responses to Divorce and Separation
- Feeling like you just cannot deal anymore
- Obsessive worry about everything
- Obsessive and negative thoughts
- Negative views of self and the world
- Night terrors
- Feeling helpless and hopeless
- Feeling Worthless
- Inability to make even basic decisions
- Feeling confused Blaming yourself and others
- Rageful Reactions to even small things
You are now in the Drivers Seat! What Direction do you Want to go in? Take Charge!
Some life situations are best not faced alone and without help. Working with a professional with your best interests in mind is a way to get the support you need to get through a difficult period. You may think you cannot afford psychotherapy at this time, but you must think about investing in yourself, in your future now. In addition to healing the fresh wounds of a divorce, set yourself up to be in a healthy and satisfying relationship in the future. We often get lost in a relationship, and lose sight of the parts of us that make us feel happy and fulfilled. Allow this time to be a time of new discovery, where you can unfold into the person you want to be now.
Therapy for Divorce Recovery Makes Sense
If any of the symptoms above apply to you, think seriously of giving me a call and beginning the process of healing and growth that will take you into the next stage of your life. Let me help you in any way I can so you can reconnect with yourself and what you need to heal.
Call me now or fill in my Request a Consultation form and let's get started!
David Steinberg, PhD