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What's it like: To get trauma-based counseling

Traumatic events can cause feelings of helplessness, anxiety and aggression, and trauma can leave a lasting impression on a person’s mind and body. Emotional trauma is known to be a physical injury because important parts of the body are affected.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: May 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm •  Published: May 11, 2014
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What is trauma?

Many children and adults will experience some form of trauma in their lifetimes, whether from physical, sexual or emotional abuse; losing a loved one; violence in war; a car accident; divorce; or a natural disaster, such as a tornado.

Trauma, in reference to mental health, refers to an overwhelming, life-threatening experience.

A traumatic event is perceived and experienced as a threat to one's safety or to the stability of one’s world.

In some cases, people might develop post-traumatic stress disorder, an anxiety disorder that can cause a person to suffer from flashbacks, bad dreams and angry outbursts, among other symptoms.

Why seek counseling for trauma?

When people break bones, they take time to heal and recover.

But people often don’t apply the same standards in regards to their mental health.

Traumatic events can cause feelings of helplessness, anxiety and aggression, and trauma can leave a lasting impression on a person’s mind and body.

Emotional trauma is known to be a physical injury because important parts of the body are affected.

You might need to consider seeking professional help if you feel sad or depressed for more than two weeks, or if you are not able to take care of your family or do your job.

Outside of therapy, there are many things you can do to cope with traumatic events, including talking to family, friends and clergy for support.

What is treatment like?

Mental health professionals have their own approaches for applying their training and experience with patients.

It’s important to find a counselor that you feel comfortable with.

One common misconception is that all counselors will make a person talk about the trauma repeatedly.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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