PTSD & Trauma Counseling
in Columbia, Mo.
Counseling for Anxiety, Trauma and PTSD | Columbia, Missouri | Jennie Lannette Bedsworth, LCSW
Do you have disturbing memories?
Are you often feeling jumpy, on edge, or hypervigilant?
Do you have flashbacks or panic attacks?
Are you having sleep issues, or disturbing dreams?
Do you avoid certain people, places and things because they cause overwhelming anxiety?
Immediately after a trauma like an accident, sexual assault, shocking death of a loved one (or other disturbing event), it’s normal to feel pretty shaken up. It can take several weeks to start to feel normal again. For a while, we can feel on edge, have intrusive memories about what happened, and avoid situations that remind us of the event.
However, typically over several weeks, our minds and bodies can naturally start to adjust and get back to normal again. We gradually are able to process what happened and make some kind of sense of it, and start to get back into our normal lives.
For some people, this natural adjustment back to regular life doesn’t happen. Instead, some of us can get stuck in the aftermath of the trauma, and feel like it’s continuing to happen, for months, years, or even decades. This can sometimes be called post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
PTSD and Trauma are
Most people experience one or more traumatic events in a lifetime. Unfortunately, this is even more common for women and students, but can affect anyone. Among those who experience a trauma, around 20% go on to develop complications, which can sometimes be diagnosed as PTSD, which is a formal condition. Common traumas that can lead to PTSD include:
Other types of disturbing deaths
Other types of sexual assault
Threats, or feeling threaten with, of any of these things above
Secondary trauma (like medics who work with accidents)
Anything that feels life threatening
Some traumas, such as the more difficult ones like rape and sexual assault, are more likely to lead to complications like PTSD. However, anyone can develop complications. PTSD doesn’t discriminate - professionals like doctors and lawyers can get PTSD just like anyone else -- sometimes they are even more likely to experience this!
Is PTSD Curable?
Absolutely! In fact, sometimes PTSD is easier to treat than issues like general anxiety and depression. That’s partially because PTSD is much like an injury like a broken arm, rather than an underlying condition like asthma. We know exactly now what treatments work best for PTSD. I (Jennie) have been trained in three of these effective treatments, and I find the best therapies that work the quickest include common steps.
These include calming your day-to-day symptoms like anxiety struggles, allowing yourself to have your feelings and memories, and thinking more positively about yourself and how you handled what happened. It can be a bit tricky to do this on your own, but specific, structured PTSD therapies can work really well to help you do these things. In the treatment I provide, I help you learn how to do these steps on your own, and help you move through it when you get stuck (as we all do with our own thoughts from time to time).
For initial stages, we often use mindfulness and grounding techniques focusing on the senses, to lower our anxious response (sometimes called the fight or flight). We then use mindfulness to allow and notice our emotional feelings and body sensations. Learning to use this information rather than avoid it is very helpful in healing PTSD and anxiety. Following that, we look at what things we are telling ourselves that may be keeping us “stuck” in the aftermath of the trauma, and we start to gently challenge and think about these things differently. Healing these negative beliefs about ourselves, sometimes called self-compassion, is the core of PTSD healing. I love watching people experience this transformation of being the hardest person in the world on themselves to the most loving of themselves.
What if I Have Doubts About
Trauma and PTSD Treatment?
Pretty much everyone I’ve worked with has had doubts about treatment for trauma and PTSD. Some people have no idea where to start. Others have tried therapy for many years and it didn’t work. Most people have not tried the type of targeted PTSD treatment that I’m trained in and provide. Everyone I’ve ever had complete a structured trauma therapy no longer has PTSD by the end of treatment, typically within a few months, sometimes much less. (Consider reading that sentence again!) Here are some common questions people ask:
What if I don’t think I can handle therapy?
Because it’s so overwhelming to be struggling with a trauma, it can also be difficult to even think about therapy. Avoidance is also one of the symptoms of PTSD, and this has kept many people from seeking counseling. While therapy can push you a bit out of your comfort zone, we take those steps slowly and intentionally, and you are ultimately the one in charge! I try to arm people with information, so they can make the best choice possible for what’s BEST FOR YOU.
What if I’m too anxious to come to therapy?
I am happy to take things slow. You need to be ready and have the control, and you will get better on your own terms. Some people prefer to e-mail or text without talking on the phone (a very common fear). We can also schedule a short phone call (if you do not mind those), or meet briefly for the first time. I offer a no-obligation, free first consultation. You can also feel free to ask me questions for as long as you need to.
What is the cost?
I offer a free 30 minute phone or in-person consultation. I answer questions for free via e-mail and text. I also discuss fees and payment fully over on this page. You might check that out and let me know if you have questions.
Are You Ready for the Next Step?
If you’d like to learn more about trauma, PTSD, and therapies that can help, or just go ahead and get started, the next step is to contact me. We typically start with the free consultation and go from there. You can e-mail me, use the form found throughout my website (including the front page and below), call me, message, or text. I'm ready to help you. I want you to go from feeling miserable to feeling free again!
PTSD counseling in Columbia, Mo. or through Live Video
I have a very private, discreet corner office downtown, near the Uprise Bakery/Ragtag area (in fact, across the street in downtown Columbia, Mo.). I am careful and respectful of your privacy and boundaries when it comes to therapy for PTSD and related issues. I also offer video counseling for those in other parts of Missouri, or for in-person clients when you're unable to make it to the office.
What others have to say about Jennie:
"She has a very gentle approach that is also deeply knowledgeable and intentional. Jennie knows PTSD therapy extremely well, and I've seen her make a big difference in the lives of people she works with."
"Jennie is very professional and well trained. If you're looking for help in a judgment free zone, Jennie and The Counseling Palette is the place to go!"
PTSD Help is On the Way
If you’d like to learn more about how PTSD treatment can help you, the next step is to contact me. I try to make that as easy as possible. You can e-mail me, use the form found throughout my website (including the front page), call me at 573/291-7315, message, or text. I’m always happy to hear from you! There's nothing I know more strongly in life than that PTSD therapy works. I've seen it change people's lives over and over. It is my responsibility and my joy to bring this to more people in the Mid-Missouri and Columbia area. I look forward to starting this journey with you.