Trauma Processing

 Whenever we are in a threatening situation and we cannot fight or get away, we go into what is called the Instinctual Trauma Response (Gantt & Tinnin, 2007).  It's easy for the brain to stay stuck in parts of this response, which often leads to a variety of distressing symptoms, like flashbacks, nightmares, feeling disconnected or like you are always on alert or panicked. You don't need a diagnosis of PTSD to benefit from trauma processing.

 

Traumatic memories are stored in areas of the brain

that are hard to get to when we just use words. We use a

process called the ITR Method. This method uses the art and

narrative processes to act as vehicles to access and

organize difficult memories. Once your story is told 

in a complete and linear fashion, your brain is better able

to file it away as a past event and you can get

back your life.  

 

How do I know if trauma therapy is right for me?

 

Have you experienced any of the following in your lifetime?

 ​

  • Neglect or abandonment

  • Physical abuse or assault

  • Domestic violence

  • Sexual abuse or rape 

  • Military & combat trauma

  • First responder/helping professional secondary trauma 

  • Car accidents

  • Natural disasters

  • Medical trauma 

  • Diagnosis of chronic or terminal illness

  • Bullying or harrassment

  • Other situation where you felt you or a loved one was threatened

 

Are you currently experiencing any of the following symptoms?

 

  • Avoiding certain things or places because they remind you of a painful time or event?

  • Feel stuck in a constant state of feeling hyper-alert and anxious?

  • Have you stopped enjoying the things you used to like to do?

  • Flashbacks

  • Nightmares

  • Feel disconnected from your body

  • Panic Attacks

  • Mood swings

  • Trauma-related voices/hallucinations

  • Stuck in self-destructive patterns

  • Difficulty focusing/zoning-out for spans of time

  • Trouble remembering long periods of time

  • Overwhelming guilt/shame

  • Difficulty maintaining healthy relationships

  • Do your medications seem inneffective?

  • Do you feel at a standstill in your current treatment or that your diagnosis doesn't fit?

 

If this is describing your experience,

trauma processing may be the answer.   

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a session like?

 

During your initial session, we will talk about what results you want to see from therapy, you will fill out some paperwork (or take it home to fill out and return) and we will share with you some strategies that you can start using immediately to work towards your goal. 

 

Sessions typically include a check-in, followed by a protocol for processing your trauma in chronological order. The process is not about re-experiencing, but rather about completing the narrative and gaining a sense of relief from your symptoms related to the trauma. We will partner in this process to ensure that we move at a pace comfortable to you. Sessions are typically 1 hour to 1.5 hours and we discuss this ahead of time so that you know what to expect.

 

How often will we meet?

 

We can discuss how often we meet during your consultation as we have several options to meet your individual needs.

 

Do you work with insurance and how do I pay for sessions?

 

Insurance

We do not accept insurance simply because insurance companies do not reimburse art therapy services in the state of Virginia.  However, we are happy to provide an invoice if you would like to attempt to submit it to your insurance on your own or claim it on your taxes.  We are also happy to call your insurance to find out your deductable.  Some clients choose our services after learning that they would be required to pay out of pocket either way due to having a large deductable.

Other Options

We are CSA providers, meaning we can request to work with your social worker (if you or your child has one) to inquire about getting our services covered. Many clients also have success with beig reimbursed by their health savings accounts.

Benefits of paying out of pocket are: 

  • Your treatment plan can be centered on your needs and goals.

  • You can decide how many sessions you want or need.

  • We can provide an extra layer of privacy in that we do not need to report on your participation or progress in therapy.

 

Payment

We accept cash, checks & credit/debit cards for payment.

 

Do you provide supervision to art therapists pursuing their ATR?

 

Yes, I provide individual and group supervision at a reduced rate to art therapists seeking supervision.

 

 

©2016 Shenandoah Art Therapy, LLC