Does Reliving Past Trauma Make You Feel Stuck?

  • Do you have flashbacks or nightmares of traumatic events?
  • Have you felt distant from your loved ones since undergoing trauma?
  • Do you feel trapped in a cycle of anger, sadness, and shame?
  • Is the fear of going through another traumatic experience holding you back?

After experiencing a traumatic event, you may struggle with guilt or shame. You might feel angry when you think about what happened, or you may be plagued by sadness, even when you do things that you used to enjoy. Or maybe you shy away from engaging in old hobbies or trying new things for fear of encountering triggers that remind you of your trauma. 

You may even feel like trauma has left you physically ill. Your mental and physical health are connected as trauma is held in the body. Perhaps a lack of sleep is giving you frequent headaches, and holding tension in your body has led to struggles with chronic pain. 

Maybe you long to tell your family and friends about your trauma, but you worry that if you allow yourself to be vulnerable, people will judge you negatively for what happened. Or perhaps you’ve found it harder to connect with your loved ones lately, and you’re not sure if they will understand what you’ve been going through. Forming new relationships may also have become difficult—you don’t feel comfortable placing your trust in anyone.

In therapy, however, you can address your trauma and truly heal from it in your body, mind, and spirit. Rather than suppressing your past, you can learn to process traumatic experiences, work through your fears, and cultivate a sense of inner peace.

Countless People Struggle With Unresolved Trauma And Live With PTSD

Despite living with unresolved trauma, a lot of people are not inclined to speak up about their traumatic experiences. But so many of them don’t realize that plenty of others have dealt with the same challenges.

Trauma comes in many forms. In general, witnessing or experiencing violence can be a catalyst for trauma. For example, people who have been assaulted can often trace their trauma symptoms back to this event, and many veterans return from their service with PTSD. On the other hand, abusive relationships can also be a source of trauma. Children who grew up with abusive parents can carry trauma well into adulthood, and adults who find themselves trapped in abusive relationships might suffer from trauma even if they manage to sever ties with their partner. 

Regardless of the source of someone’s trauma, it is very rare for a person to get their symptoms under control without professional support. This is because many people do not even recognize what happened to them as traumatic. 

On top of that, our culture is not necessarily conducive to honestly talking about trauma. People may feel like they have to dismiss or minimize their traumatic experiences, and others in their lives might even tell them to simply “get over it.” Yet trying to suppress the effects of trauma can exacerbate the symptoms and thus worsen the lived experience of that trauma in the long run.   

But in therapy, you can talk openly about your trauma, reflect on the root cause, learn and practice tools to cope and to grow, and set goals for your future. You are not bound to be defined by your trauma forever. PTSD treatment is quite effective, and you have the power to create a life in which you feel truly secure and valued. 

Therapy Can Help You Address Your Trauma And Find Healing

Many people hesitate to seek therapy for PTSD or trauma because they worry that telling a counselor about their experiences will worsen their symptoms and even retraumatize them. But in a safe, therapeutic environment with a trustworthy professional, talking about your trauma can actually feel liberating. 

We will make every effort to create a safe place for honest conversations, and you will never be pressured to talk about a particular event before you are ready. Our counselors treat each client with compassion, and with their support, you will have time reflecting on the source of your trauma while learning to manage your symptoms outside of treatment.

When you schedule your first appointment, we will match you with a therapist who is qualified to address your specific needs. As you discuss your history, symptoms, and goals with your therapist, they will design a custom treatment plan with your input. Your therapist will always explain why they recommend a particular treatment option—we value transparency with our clients. 

Your unique treatment plan will be based on your own needs, resources, and available time. Overall, therapy sessions will center around recognizing your own strengths and mastering the tools you need to rebuild your life. For that, your therapist may incorporate a few different modalities into your treatment.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, also known as EMDR therapy, involves processing trauma through bilateral stimulation, allowing you to rewire and heal your brain in order release the negative outcomes associated with the trauma. Psychodynamic therapy can be a powerful modality for deepening your self-awareness and insight into the origins and effects of the trauma so that you and your therapist can better understand what is preventing you from fully overcoming your trauma. Through Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, you will learn to identify negative and incorrect thought patterns that have developed as a result of your trauma. Then, your therapist will guide you to focus on new thought patterns that are grounded in fact and help you navigate your recovery. Through therapy at Affinity Psychological Services, you can learn to feel safe and comfortable in your own skin again. In treatment, you will gain insights into the mental and physical effects of your trauma and begin making decisions about your future with confidence.

Our therapists treat clients with PTSD who come from varied backgrounds, and no matter what brings you to our practice, we will support you along your personal path to healing. 

But you may still have some questions about trauma therapy…

What if I’m too broken to heal?

If you experienced a traumatic event, you might worry that the experience left you broken—but healing from PTSD is entirely possible. Our practice has helped many people with PTSD process their trauma, reduce their symptoms, and rediscover their self-worth. Even if you experienced severe, ongoing trauma, the right counselor can help you heal.

I’m scared that therapy will retraumatize me.

Perhaps you’ve tried to talk about your trauma with your loved ones, and bringing up the subject left you feeling raw and vulnerable. It’s only natural to worry that discussing some of the worst experiences of your life with a therapist will prove distressing. But telling a counselor about your trauma in a confidential, welcoming environment can be less intimidating than you might think. In fact, you might leave your first session feeling relieved that you were able to express yourself honestly.

I’ve been struggling with my trauma for so long—can therapy really help me now?

If you went through a traumatic experience as a child, and it still affects you as an adult, you might fear that it’s too late to address your past. But our therapists can help you process and heal from trauma that happened at any stage of your life. Traumatic events that occurred during your childhood do not have to define your adulthood.

You Can Recover From Trauma And Find Peace In Life

If you are ready to explore the roots of your trauma with a therapist and begin taking steps to feel content and safe, we invite you to submit any questions you may have through our contact page. Or if you wish to schedule an appointment, you can book a session at one of our Minnesota locations in Edina, Plymouth, St. Paul, or St. Cloud through our scheduling page.


Why EMDR: A Valuable Tool in Your Effort To Feel Safe Again

Trauma can cause significant problems if you feel stuck inside a traumatic memory. You may have been the survivor of a tragedy, experienced assault, or have seen destruction happen right in front of you. Just when you thought the world was a safe place, reality kicked in and the shock stayed with you. The reason […]


5 Signs Unresolved Trauma Might Be at the Root of Your Anxiety

The impact of unresolved trauma can be varied. For example, it can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — a form of anxiety disorder. Therefore, if anxiety is a chronic presence in your life, it helps to consider unresolved trauma as the possible root cause.

trauma-in relationships

Relationship Patterns That Signal Your Unresolved Trauma

Trauma cannot be resolved solely through lifestyle changes or self-help tips. These choices can be very important. However, you will need the guidance of an experienced mental health professional to help you navigate the effects on you and your relationships.