Triggered: A Look at Life After Trauma

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Adult Counseling

Why do I react with such strong emotion every time my boss doesn’t consider my input? Why do I feel like I’m not seen when my spouse talks over me? It’s possible at some point in your upbringing you experienced trauma. Trauma was once only considered to be things such as neglect and abuse. We now know that trauma can also result from things like overly strict parenting or negative experiences in school. You began to form a negative belief about yourself. Perhaps feeling like you are “bad” or “worthless”. The experiences that brought about those feelings can get “stuck” and therefore those present-day situations bring up the same emotion, memories, and sensations as if you are right there experiencing them all over again.

The good news? The brain is a very intuitive organ. It wants to protect you now just as it did then. The not so good news? Until you work through that trauma, your brain (and nervous system) are still getting highjacked when you are in those familiar situations. In fact, you will likely find yourself behaving in ways that may seem unwarranted given the present situation. That’s because your thinking brain goes “off line” and your brain and your body respond accordingly. After all, it thinks it’s in danger again and doing what it was designed to do; protect itself.

Maybe you identify with some of the things described above. Maybe you’ve just been irritable, angry and had a sense of hypervigilance but you didn’t understand why. Perhaps right now you are sitting in the shame that often occurs after you have such a strong reaction. Maybe you’ve hurt someone you love in the process. Seek forgiveness from others and forgive yourself. When you are ready to put in the work, the right therapy can change your world. The right therapist will help you find that place of safety so you can begin the courageous work of processing your trauma.

I am living with CPTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder). I have done and continue to do the work. EMDR gave me my life back. It allows me to feel safe so that I may engage with others again. I’d love to help you do your work and regain that sense of safety about the world.

About the author:

<a href="" target="_blank">Stephanie Rodenberg-Lewis</a>

Stephanie Rodenberg-Lewis

Stephanie is a licensed professional counselor, a registered play therapist, a national certified counselor and a certified school counselor. She has over 17 years of experience working with children as a classroom teacher, school counselor and licensed therapist. She founded Collective Hope Counseling in August 2020 to help serve her community. With her extensive experience in child development, she knew she wanted to work with kids and their families. Stephanie completed additional training in child centered play therapy and became a certified+ play therapy professional in 2024.