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Evidenced-Based Trauma Therapy in Austin

Heal from the Burden of Trauma
with Specialized Treatment

Trauma is our past made present through our bodies' persistent memories of traumatic and destabilizing experiences. At Crossroad Psychotherapy, we take a multifaceted approach to trauma healing, working with clients to foster safety in their current lives, rewire pathways in the nervous system that are trapped in survival mode from past experiences, and develop the ability to internalize one's safety and resilience of the present moment both mentally and physically using specialized techniques like AEDP, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and IFS.

Our Approach to Trauma Therapy

What is trauma?

Trauma is the psychological remnant of danger, helplessness, and aloneness—our physical and emotional memory trapped in a moment, or many moments, of unsafety. Trauma is not just the traumatic event. It is also the response of our bodies and brains to the traumatic event in the moment, as well as their response in our present lives to people and experiences that remind us of our traumatic experiences.

 

We often experience trauma as a felt sense of hypervigilance, overwhelm, anxiety, panic, paralysis, or rage that is ignited by a trigger resembling the original traumatic event. Trauma may also appear as helplessness, dissociation, or overthinking. Secondary features of trauma often include self-criticism, perfectionism, peace-keeping or people-pleasing, shame, guilt, harmful coping habits, emotional repression, and difficulty experiencing positive emotions.

What causes trauma?

Person masking from trauma.
Relaxed person free from trauma.

Our Approach to Trauma Therapy

It is a common misconception that the complex phenomenon of trauma stems solely from witnessing the gravest horrors in our world. While these experiences can and do often lead to trauma, the reality is that trauma is a nervous system process (not a black and white diagnosis) that can result from a vast number of experiences: neglectful, manipulative, abusive, or unstable relationships, economic hardship, political violence and instability, acculturation, social isolation, and physical injury, among many others.

 

When we face experiences that make us feel deeply powerless, afraid, unsafe, broken, or alone, our nervous systems turn off our normal memory-forming processes and encode these experiences primarily as emotional and physical memories—anxiety, overwhelm, paralysis, dissociation, shame, etc.—in order to produce reflex-based, safety-oriented responses that get triggered in the present day by experiences resembling the traumatic event or process. This trauma-producing process is especially likely to occur when protective resources like loving caregivers or memories of our own resilience are absent.

Stabilization

Experiencing

Reconsolidation

At Crossroad Psychotherapy, our approach to trauma therapy focuses on three processes that can occur separately or simultaneously:

1. Stabilization: In the Stabilization process, we focus on fostering safety in client's bodies, relationships, and lived experiences through immersing in the secure relationship between therapist and client, solving present-day issues yielding unsafety, and learning how to listen to and appropriately regulate survival-based emotions, sensations, behaviors, and thought patterns.

2. Experiencing: In the Experiencing process, we turn to the adaptive emotions—things like anger, grief, fear, and sadness—to process the feelings that have been locked away by our need to survive, freeing up space to feel into our present lives. Clients learn to safely experience and even enjoy these necessary emotions. We also focus on something that is new to most clients—an emotional phenomenon known as Transformational Affect. Transformational Affects are the physical sensations and positive emotions attached to experiences of pride, joy, awe, growth, change, self-recognition, and peace. We will teach your body and mind how to internalize these feelings so that you no longer feel stuck in survival mode and can shift to feelings of self-efficacy and thriving.

3. Reconsolidation: In the Reconsolidation process, we  develop a sense of meaning and knowing around our findings from the Stabilization and Experiencing processes. In this process, we rewire your nervous system's responses by cognitively processing our experiences of soothing survival-based reactions as well as our experiences of safely processing adaptive emotions and transformational affect. This process involves reactivating and utilizing the brain's logic and memory centers—regions that had been previously co-opted by trauma—to foster a meaningful understanding of our past and present experiences and promote situational responses that are appropriate to the present moment rather than reactions that are rooted in a felt sense of danger (i.e. triggered trauma responses).

 

Therapeutic modalities include Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems, Interpersonal Neurobiology, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.

Let's get started.

Crossroad Psychotherapy Austin TX

Counseling and Psychotherapy in Austin, Texas

512.368.8763

michael@crossroadpsychotherapy.com

Specialties

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