We have all heard stories of child abuse and adult trauma; those stories are in the media every day. What we don’t often see are stories of people who have had parents or other caregivers who were emotionally unavailable or who have verbally or emotionally abused or neglected them. These are invisible scars and are just as damaging. I’ve heard many clients say, “But I wasn’t beaten or molested. What do I have to complain about? And why do I have so much trouble trying to function in the world?” The issue is shame; those who have attachment wounds believe there is something inherently wrong with them. Therapy is about healing these wounds and knowing deep in your core that you are a worthy, deserving person.
Have you had well-meaning people tell you, “Just get over it,” “just forget about it,” or “forgive and forget”? Maybe you have had thoughts such as, “I can’t get over it,” “I can’t sleep; I have nightmares every night,” “I can’t trust anyone,” “I can’t stand crowds,” “I know I’m drinking too much since ___________ happened” or “I can’t live like this anymore.” There are many types of traumatic incidents which can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress – auto accidents, childhood abuse, chronic illness, military deployments, sexual trauma, violent crime – and you find that you can no longer cope with the intrusive thoughts and images which remain. You may have felt sad, anxious, afraid, angry, and out of control. If so, and if you are having thoughts like those mentioned above, you are having a normal reaction to an abnormal event, and this is a very treatable condition. It is not hopeless and neither are you. There IS hope!
Trauma survivors frequently turn to alcohol, drugs, food, workaholism or sex addiction to cope with and escape from the pain of the traumatic experiences, and I specialize in treating these issues as well. I was trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in 2009 and began using it with military service members and their families. In working with these clients, I witnessed rapid improvement, even in the most severe cases of complex PTSD. And my clients love the fact that I am facilitating the sessions and helping them to process their experiences, but it is their brain, strength, resilience and inherent desire to heal that work to heal them.
Many of the clients I have worked with in addiction treatment have relapsed because when they stop using/acting out in their addiction, the impact of trauma or memories of abuse resurface, and they return to familiar behavior. And when the substance abuse treatment doesn’t include trauma education and/or treatment, clients suffer.
You Can Thrive
For the past 25 years, I have been able to pursue my passion – helping trauma survivors not only survive their experiences but realize that they can move past their trauma and THRIVE!
I know that you have tried everything you could to handle this on your own. You may have spoken to family and friends. You tried to forget it and move on with your life. On the other hand, you may feel “out of it,” find it hard to concentrate, know something isn’t right, but you just can’t seem to have a healthy relationship or to stop problematic behaviors. I know it is an awesome act of courage to be able to pick up the phone and ask for help, and then walk through the door for your first session. I know this because I’ve been there.
In addition to my expertise in trauma and addictions, I also work with anxiety, depression, codependency, food issues and domestic violence survivors. I invite you to call me at 832-559-2622. I look forward to meeting you, learning about your experiences, and accompanying you on your journey to recovery.
with Houston therapist, Susan Battle.
Susan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Texas. She is an EMDR trained therapist (2009). From the University of Houston, she holds a Master of Social Work degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She has worked in behavioral health hospitals, outpatient clinics and private practice, and residential substance abuse treatment facilities (and she has extensive personal and professional knowledge of the recovery process).