Developmental trauma refers to the long-term impact of adverse experiences during critical periods of development. These experiences can disrupt normal developmental processes and have lasting effects into adulthood. In this blog from me we will discuss adverse childhood experiences and key points of developmental trauma. We will also take a look at how you can heal through Trauma Therapy.

What Happened to You? Adversity Impacts the Developing Child

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are negative experiences that happen between birth and 17 years of age. The ACEs questionnaire is comprised of 10 questions that target three types of negative childhood experiences, abuse, neglect, and a challenging home environment. The questionnaire is often used as a screening tool to help clinicians, therapists, and clients understand a client’s past. This can go a long way to validating a person’s experience and to implementing effective care.

The Lasting Influence of Developmental Trauma on the Brain

In his recent book, What Happened to You?, Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, neuroscientist and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry makes three key points about the validity of ACEs: (1) experiences in the first years of life are disproportionally powerful in shaping how your brain organizes (2) ACE studies show that adversity impacts the developing child. Period. (3) developmental trauma will always influence our body and brain.

I love the way Dr. Perry moves the conversation around developmental trauma from “What’s wrong with me?” to “What happened to you?” This remarkable, yet subtle, shift changes the focus dramatically and has a profound impact on the approach to treatment for developmental trauma. Dr. Perry goes on to say, “I can’t tell you how many people feel incredibly relieved when they get an explanation of how their brain is working and why. We don’t give them a psychiatric label. We’re just saying this is the way you’re organized and it’s absolutely predictable based on what happened to you. Then we help them understand that the brain is malleable, “plastic”, and changeable.

Simple knowledge of neuroscience can be truly empowering. When you can understand what happened to your brain early in life and learn that reshaping and rewiring is possible, you can begin to shift hopelessness to hope; you can begin to heal.

A woman sits leaning against a wall crying into her hands. Has your developmental trauma stopped you from moving forward with your life? It might be time to start trauma therapy in Austin, TX. Speak with a trauma therapist to find out more today!

Relationships are the Currency of Change” – Dr. Bruce Perry

Developmental trauma affects every part of your brain and many aspects of your life. This includes your ability to form healthy relationships, regulate emotions, and cope with stress. Here are four key points to keep in mind:

Impact on Brain Development

Early childhood experiences play a crucial role in shaping the structure and function of the brain. Traumatic experiences impact the development of neural circuits involved in stress regulation, emotional processing, and social interaction.

Attachment and Relationships

Secure attachment with caregivers during early childhood is essential for healthy emotional development. Trauma disrupts attachment patterns and influences adult relationships, leading to difficulties in forming and maintaining connections.

Coping Mechanisms

Individuals who experience developmental trauma may develop maladaptive coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse, self-harm, or avoidance to deal with the emotional pain stemming from their early experiences.

Neuroscience and Healing

Neuroscience helps us understand how psychotherapy is a path to healing. As noted above, our brain is not hard-wired. It is flexible and malleable and has the miraculous ability to shift and change throughout life. Meaningful and new experiences, healthy relationships, movement, and finding a way to focus our attention are ways we can rewire our brain. Psychotherapy provides an opportunity for a new relational experience and the type of attuned focus that supports this natural adaptation of our brains. This is why the therapeutic relationship is central to the process of trauma therapy. Dr. Perry writes, “Remember, the major tool you have in helping others change – whether parent, teacher, coach, therapist, or friend – is you.” He then profoundly says, “Relationships are the currency of change.

Wounds that Happen in a Relationship can be Healed in a Safe and Supportive Relationship

A woman is comforted by a man as she cries on a couch. Looking to learn the benefits that a trauma therapist can bring? Work through your developmental trauma in Austin, TX through trauma therapy today!

Depth therapy is a category of psychotherapy that explores the unconscious. It aims to bring deeper, often unconscious, aspects of the individual’s psyche into awareness. I think of all trauma work as being depth work. It provides a safe relational space for individuals to explore and understand the roots of their difficulties.

Outgrow your Developmental Trauma through Trauma Therapy

My depth approach is grounded in Jung-oriented depth psychology and is relational, collaborative, and holistic. This involves the exploration of the unconscious mind to understand how past experiences and unresolved conflicts may be influencing current behavior, emotions, and relationships. I will help you gain insight into unconscious patterns and work through unresolved issues. We may incorporate dream analysis, explore symbolic imagery and your journey toward individuation, the process of becoming one’s true self. Spirituality, meaning and purpose, and existential questioning are often a part of the depth approach.

True to Jung, my approach has an interdisciplinary aspect to it. We may draw on literature, philosophy, mythology, and the arts as a way to access your deepest self. I integrate body-based therapies to help you tap into the inherent wisdom of your psyche and central nervous system – essential for growth and healing. Neuroscience emphasizes the importance of the body-mind connection in healing. Each of these experiences adds a dimension that fosters a connection not only to yourself but to others, nature, and that which is greater than we are.

Depth therapy gets to the root of trauma, relational issues, emotional regulation, and personality questioning. While depth therapy does reduce symptoms associated with your struggles, the goal is to seek long-lasting change. This can only come from taking a deep look inside ourselves. While we cannot take away your trauma we can work together to help you outgrow the wounds of your past so you can live in the present.

Why Online Trauma Therapy?

If it’s a challenge to get to the therapy office but you’re ready to get to the root of your struggles, online trauma therapy may be for you. I find that many of my Texas clients prefer the comfort of their own home. This allows them to feel more at ease and able to relax and open up. Many sit with their pets and relish the convenience and warmth of home. Others find it beneficial to stay at work and create a private setting to conduct their sessions. Many are busy, driven people who want to do the deep work but don’t have time for the commute.

Online therapy saves you time and gives you a safe and secure space to address your trauma and explore the deeper you. Through the use of a secure HIPPA-compliant virtual platform, I can offer you effective psychotherapy without all the hassle of coming into a counseling office. Reasons abound for each individual. My personal experience is quite revelational as I find each session rich with deep exploration and transformative healing, regardless of the setting.

Work Through your Developmental Trauma with Trauma Therapy Texas Today!

A woman types on her laptop. Want to start counseling with a trauma therapist to work on your developmental trauma in Austin, TX? Reach out to learn more about trauma therapy.

Are you ready to transform the way you view your past and reclaim your present? At Lysle Shaw Psychotherapy<, I specialize in providing compassionate and effective support for those impacted by developmental trauma. As a compassionate trauma therapist, my approach is rooted in the latest insights from neuroscience, empowering you with a deeper understanding of how your experiences have shaped your brain and your life. Through my therapeutic process, you can begin the journey of reshaping your brain and rewiring your responses, leading to a more hopeful and fulfilling future. Take the first step towards healing by following the steps below:

  • Reach out for a free consultation.
  • Move Past your Developmental Trauma today!

Other Therapy Services Offered at Lysle Shaw Psychotherapy in Austin, Houston, and throughout Texas

At Lysle Shaw Psychotherapy, I offer a diverse range of therapeutic services that extend beyond Trauma Therapy. My therapy sessions provide a convenient and accessible platform for you to explore your inner self, navigate life’s challenges, and embark on a transformative journey. In addition to trauma therapy, I also provide expertise in outdoor psychotherapy, trauma therapy, individual therapy for relationship issues, and Jungian dreamwork. Take the first step toward a happier and complete life by reaching out today. Your path to healing from your developmental trauma starts now.

A woman sits on the floor crying. Dealing with developmental trauma but do not know what to do about it? Speak with a trauma therapist in Austin, TX to see if trauma therapy is right for you.

Recent Posts