Trauma

 

The Aspen Haus team understands that trauma impacts the emotional, cognitive, physical and relational areas of life. We believe that in order to effectively and compassionately address trauma, the counseling process needs to be informed by a thorough understanding of trauma’s impact on clients’ entire experience. Thus, the Aspen Haus approach is focused on addressing client needs through a trauma-informed lens. Our team is dedicated to utilizing the highest standards of trauma care that is informed by clinical research and the highest standards of care. This includes counseling approaches that are informed by clinical trauma research that addresses the multi-dimensional facets of trauma mind, body, emotional, and relational symptoms.

Clients can expect to experience a trauma-informed team that seeks to aid in trauma recovery compassionately, kindly, and effectively. We utilize a three-stage model originally developed by Dr. Pierre Janet who proposed a phased or stage model of trauma recovery in the late 1800’s that was further developed as a trauma recovery model by Judith Herman in 1992 in her seminal book Trauma and Recovery. Regardless of the developmental stage clients’ trauma occurred, we believe that recovery and restoration is possible. With the diversity of our team and training, we are hopeful we can help clients in trauma recovery.

We specialize in treating trauma issues such as:

  • Past sexual abuse

  • Past childhood abuse

  • Sexual assault

  • Crime events

  • Vehicular Crashes

  • First responder experiences

 

The Three Stages of Trauma Recovery

Stage 1: Safety and Stabilization

The goal of this stages is to pursue and maintain a sense of safety and stability. Several objectives for this stage include:

  • Developing a personalized treatment plan with your therapist

  • Increasing a sense of personal stability, safety, and security

  • Gaining an understanding of one’s emotions and how to process and express them in a healthy way

  • Determining healthy and unhealthy coping and self-care behaviors, patterns, and tendencies

  • Establishing an effective psychological, physiological, emotional, and relational self-care routine

  • Understanding one’s own trauma triggers and reactions and increasing ways to cope and manage these reactions

Stage 2: Remembrance and Mourning

When clients have developed a stable and safe foundation that increases their knowledge of their mind, body, and emotional reactions to trauma and ways to increase self-care and coping, then the client can move to stage two. Stage two of the trauma recovery process is always informed and guided by the foundational aspects of the work clients have accomplished in stage one. The stage model of trauma recovery is not linear. Meaning, clients may ebb and flow out of each stage but always begin with stage one before moving to stage two and returning to stage one when needed as safety and stabilization is always primary and foundational for healing.

Stage two of trauma recovery works to address the painful trauma memories and experiences. Our team does not believe that faster is better and disagrees with the rushed approach to “telling your story”. We believe in the caring approach of exploring stage two with compassion and creating a pace that enables the client to move forward. The objectives for this stage include:

  • Safely working with a therapist to explore traumatic memories, utilizing all the skills and knowledge of the work done in stage one

  • Reprocessing through trauma pain points in order to allow the brain to relegate trauma to the past instead of living with the present disturbance

  • Allowing yourself to grieve and mourn what the losses that occur as a result of trauma

  • Determining the impact trauma experiences have had on present life experiences and relationships

Stage 3: Reconnection and Integration

The third stage of the trauma recovery process focuses on client’s establishing a new normal. The power of the past no longer drives the present experience and now clients will focus on what it looks like to live a life in the present. While clients may always carry scars of the past trauma experiences, they can experience freedom from trauma’s grip and re-define emotional, cognitive, physical, and relational well-being in light of moving through their trauma recovery journey.

We consider trauma recovery a marathon and an onion. For most of the journey the finish line is out of sight. Our goal is to help you see the mile markers along the way and find your motivation to keep moving at the pace that best honors your healing process. We also acknowledge that healing comes in many forms and clients find our team at different points in the healing process. We consider trauma recovery an onion. The layers you have peeled back before seeking counseling in our office will be honored and celebrated as we endeavor to help you prepare and peel back the layers that are ahead.

 

Team approach to Trauma Therapy

Trauma never touches just one person. Our team knows that trauma is often a root contributor to issues and struggles such as anxiety, panic, depression, anger, fear, or relationship difficulties. The Aspen Haus team joins clients in approaching their trauma recovery journey by creating tailored treatment plans that address multiple areas of their life when desired and appropriate. This can include clients utilizing several of our clinical services to address trauma difficulties, e.g. individual counseling and couples counseling.

Many couples find that they feel stuck in the wake of trauma experienced by one or both partners. Our team specializes in tackling this unique challenge by offering a team approach to addressing trauma in the couples system. An individual may address their trauma history in individual trauma counseling while the couple spends time with a couples counselor who will aid in holding the marriage together during the recovery.