Peggy Freeman, M.A.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Specializing in Trauma, Anxiety,
Depression and Couple's Therapy
In my work, I have come to understand that the emotional wounds from traumatic experiences often does not heal with time alone. You may struggle with disturbing memories or dreams, make efforts to avoid things that are triggers, feel numb or alternately as though your feelings are out of control. You may feel shame and fear that others will reject you if they knew what you have experienced. You may notice that you continue to experience disrespect or abuse in your current relationships. Trauma is an injury, not an illness, and the good news is that, with help, healing is possible.
One of our most difficult tasks in life may be developing and maintaining a healthy long term relationship with our partner. Perhaps you find that you are fighting more and unable to work through your differences or maybe you are reeling from learning of a recent affair. You may be considering whether you want to stay in this relationship or not. It is also possible that you would like to have your relationship evaluated before making the decision to marry. Conflict is inevitable and can ultimately bring us closer together or drive us further apart.
Anxiety is the most common reason people seek therapy so know that you are not alone! You may feel tense and worried all the time, alert for the bad things you fear might happen. You may have difficulty falling asleep or wake in the night with difficulty getting back to sleep. Perhaps you feel as though you can't shut your mind off. You may have panic attacks in which you suddenly feel as though you can't breathe, feel hot or notice tingling sensations. The good news is that you don't have to continue to live like this as anxiety is one of the most easily treated conditions. Therapy can help you learn skills to not only manage your current stress but also equip you with tools you can use in the future.
We all experience losses but some can feel overwhelming. The loss might have been sudden or you may have had multiple losses close together. It is normal to feel sad, lonely and even angry and to become tearful suddenly when something reminds you of your loss. You may feel that you need support to help you through the grief or may feel you are not getting better. If you find that your grief is interfering with your ability to handle your responsibilities or that you are having difficulty thinking about anything else, you might want to consider therapy to help with your healing.
Everyone gets sad at times but depression is different. It is not something you can just "snap out of" as others might have advised. You may feel sad all the time or as though you have no emotions. You may be irritable and want to isolate. You may sleep too much and still feel tired or you may struggle with insomnia. You might find that you overeat or perhaps food has lost it's appeal to you. Even simple tasks may feel like too much effort and you don't find enjoyment in the things that used to give you pleasure. You may have been diagnosed and put on an antidepressant but find that you are still struggling with your depression. Therapy has been shown to be effective in treating depression and might be the missing piece.
Our minds and our bodies are connected and physical health challenges can also challenge us emotionally. Perhaps you have chronic pain or disability due to a health condition or accident. You may be having difficulty adjusting to a new health condition or experiencing fears about your future. In my practice, I have seen how even those who had good mental health have found it helpful to seek counseling after a change in their physical health.