Trauma and PTSD Therapy

Pain is no stranger to us.

Suffering is a natural part of life, yet terrible things can happen at any time, often when least expected.  And while we can process, learn, and heal from pain, certain experiences hold us back from living well.

 

Some of these wounds are recent and easy to spot.  You may lose someone close to you or survive a life-threatening event like an accident, a violent act, or a natural emergency.

 

Others are older scars that may have never healed.  You might have endured physical or emotional abuse as a child or gone through an excruciating separation that still breaks your heart into pieces.

 

Perhaps you have tried the old “give it some time” trick or resorted to substances and other numbing behaviors to cope.  But has it worked?  Or have you found yourself back in square one, stuck and unsure about what to do next?

 

You deserve a life free from the pain of trauma.

Whether you are carrying unresolved hurt from your past or experienced a recent incident that stops you from living, loving, or simply being, I am here for you.

 

My name is Ioana Avery, and I’m a Marriage and Family Therapist.  I’m dedicated to supporting teens, adults, and elders in Katy, Texas, and its neighboring areas (Houston, Sugarland, and beyond).  My main goal is to empower you so you can take over the reins of your story.

Being raised in communist and post-communist Romania gives me a unique perspective.  Poverty, violence, and conflict were the norm during my childhood, so I can personally relate to a traumatic upbringing.  Psychology allowed me to not only thrive in the face of trauma but equipped me with tools to help others do the same. 

Let’s work together to get to the bottom of what’s hurting you so you can recover and succeed. 

If you have any questions about trauma therapy or want to get started, call me at 832.669.3448 or contact me.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma happens when someone experiences something disturbing, frightening, or otherwise acutely stressful.  Common examples of traumatic experiences include:

  • Death of a loved one

  • Childhood neglect

  • Violence or assault

  • Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse

  • Transportation accident (car, train, plane, bike)

  • Bullying or public shaming

  • Harassment or discrimination

  • Divorce or breakup

  • Military combat

 

We typically react to these experiences with intense survival instincts—fight, flight, or freeze—to keep ourselves safe.  Usually, once the traumatic stressor is handled and safety returns, our mind and body settle.  However, some of us are left with emotional and psychological scars—also known as posttraumatic stress.  

Some people suffer posttraumatic stress after a single incident.  Yet, others struggle with the aftereffects of various traumatic episodes.  This is known as complex trauma. 

Complex trauma refers to a mix of intricate emotional responses to a series of recurring events (e.g., multiple deaths in the family) or extended trauma over a period of time (e.g., domestic violence or bullying).

No matter what kind of trauma you’ve sustained, there is hope.  You can start healing by working with a trauma therapist (like me!).  Together, we can help you reclaim your sense of balance, peace, and wellness.  

Do I Need Therapy for Trauma?

It’s hard to predict how you will respond to something painful, shocking, or terrifying.  We are all diverse human beings living in different environments, so our reactions to traumatic events vary greatly.

Once we go through these experiences, it’s pretty common for us to try to downplay or ignore our trauma, wishing it would disappear.  We might feel guilty or embarrassed about it, so we may push through the discomfort.

But, what if we normalized speaking about what hurts us instead of turning our back to it?

Fred Rogers of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood once said that if something is human, it is mentionable; and if it’s mentionable, it is manageable.  

Sharing your story of survival is not easy.  The memories may bring up uncomfortable emotions, confusion, and further hurt.  Yet, you don’t have to hold this pain on your own.

If you are exhibiting any of these common symptoms of posttraumatic stress, therapy can help:

Re-experiencing Symptoms

  • Suffering flashbacks or nightmares 

  • Having unpleasant memories, triggers, or reminders about trauma

Avoidance Symptoms

  • Steering clear from places, people, or items that remind you of trauma

  • Avoiding speaking or thinking about trauma

Reactivity Symptoms

  • Being constantly worried or alert

  • Getting easily frustrated or angry

  • Feeling on edge or irritable

  • Having difficulty sleeping or resting

 

Cognition and Mood Symptoms

  • Feeling guilty or ashamed about trauma 

  • Having low self-esteem or negative thoughts about yourself

  • Losing motivation for activities you used to enjoy

  • Having difficulty remembering the traumatic incident

Do I Have PTSD?

Not everyone who experiences posttraumatic stress will meet the full criteria for PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  PTSD is a clinical diagnosis with specific symptoms that are common in trauma survivors.  

Whether or not you or your loved one have PTSD, therapy can help.  And, meeting with a mental health professional can give you the answers you are looking for.

 

All you have to do is get started.

How Can Therapy for Trauma Help?

Therapy can help you get to the core of your trauma so healing can begin.  I will support you as we explore your pain and provide you with strategies to manage it.

My approach to trauma therapy combines two modalities: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART).  

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for Trauma

EMDR is an effective psychotherapy modality used to address trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other disorders.  This method engages your brain’s natural capacity to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories and reduces the effects of trauma.

During our EMDR sessions, I will ask you to focus on your trauma while doing rapid eye movements or other rhythmic actions.  This bilateral stimulation enables your brain to reactivate the memory, reprocess how it is stored, and ease the fight, flight, or freeze response linked to it.

EMDR therapy works quite fast, helping you self-regulate, relax, and find relief.  You are in the driver’s seat of the process, and I’m here to guide you through it.

Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) for Trauma

ART is another powerful form of psychotherapy used to manage trauma, PTSD, and other mental health challenges.  Similar to EMDR, you are in control of these sessions.  

Rather than reprocessing every aspect of your trauma, ART allows you to rewrite your traumatic memory.  Through eye movements or the Voluntary Memory/Image Replacement technique (VMR/VIR), you can replace the image of your trauma with a more positive one.  

As a result, you will still remember the narrative of your traumatic experience, but you will find freedom from the emotional and physical symptoms triggered by it. 

Both EMDR and ART offer quick yet lasting outcomes.

Therapy for Trauma at Blooming Relationships Counseling

At Blooming Relationships Counseling, I offer therapy for trauma and other services to teens and adults in Katy, Houston, Sugarland, and all of Texas via telehealth.

As a trauma therapist, I’m committed to helping you heal from pain, loss, and sorrow, so you can lead a joyful and healthy life.  I specialize in complex trauma, PTSD, and other challenges associated with trauma—anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, grief, and many more.

I’m certified and trained in both EMDR and ART treatment.  And I’m constantly studying and learning from my clients to provide you with resources tailored to your needs and goals.

Need Help?  Let’s Connect!

Whether you are carrying past trauma or dealing with recent episodes, I’m here to support you and remind you that you are worthy of care!

Let’s address your wounds and allow them to heal. 

Contact me or call me at 832.669.3448 to schedule a trauma therapy session today!