Frequently Asked Questions
Q; What is a traumatizing experience?
A: Traumatic experiences are both adverse and overwhelming. Opus separates trauma in to two general types, shock trauma and chronic or developmental trauma. See our LINKS AND INFO page for more detailed information.
Q: Does trauma therapy hurt?
A: Yes, it can hurt at times. Any therapy can be painful during parts of the process. Trauma work, by it's very nature, can also be painful. The most important thing to remember is that you and your therapist can tailor treatment to a pace and method that is manageable for you. It doesn't have to hurt forever.
Q: What's the difference between heathy stress and traumatic stress?
A: Stress is helpful for us and our development when we have the resources (internal and external) to cope with it and grow from the experience. Stress becomes traumatic when a person does not have the resource or ability to cope and is overwhelmed by the experience. This leads to maladaptive coping strategies such as substance abuse. See our LINKS AND INFO page for more information.
Q: Can I really heal?
A: Yes. The newest and most compelling research points to neuroplasticity. This means that our brains can change and form new neuro networks. It usually takes a combination of therapeutic modalities and corrective experiences to effect lasting change. This doesn't mean we can erase what has happened. It means we can change the way our past effects our present and future.
Q: What is trauma therapy like?
A: Most models break down into three basic phases: 1) resourcing/stabilization, 2) processing, 3) integration. The time a person spends in each phase is highly individualized. Some people spend most of the time in phase one and sometimes people go back and forth between phases. We are happy to discuss individualized treatment on a case by case basis.