Counseling and Psychotherapy for Anxiety, Depression and Relationships in New York

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Has a Trauma Dramatically Impacted Your Life And Affected Your Sense Of Safety?

Have you witnessed or been directly involved in a traumatic event that presented a real or perceived threat to your sense of safety? Has the event led to nightmares or feelings of panic? Do you feel hyper-vigilant – ready to act at any moment, or like you’re frozen on the inside – almost unable to move? Perhaps you’re vacillating between this hyper-action and inaction. Are you full of fear, experiencing racing thoughts, unable to concentrate or no longer enjoying activities that once brought you joy? Do you avoid people or places that remind you of the event because you’re afraid of becoming emotionally or physically triggered? Maybe you’ve experienced dramatic changes in eating, sleeping and activity patterns. Do you feel stuck, scared and unable to move past the trauma? Are you longing for a sense of peace – to get your breath back and feel safe again?

Serious traumas can be scary, unsettling and make people feel imprisoned within their own minds and bodies. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop when a real or perceived threat to oneself or a close loved one occurs and a person’s sense of safety is shattered. Traumas are different for everyone, and how someone responds to a trauma usually corresponds with their resiliency, support system and perception of self in relationship to the event. People with PTSD either have been or feel victimized. They may experience perpetual fear, feel mentally and physically exhausted all of the time and isolate from friends, family and the greater world.

PTSD Is More Common Than You May Think

Living with PTSD is a very common experience, although it’s also a very quiet one. People generally don’t talk openly about their traumatic experiences or related thoughts and feelings. It can be hard to talk about difficult and painful emotions – especially if the trauma is overwhelming and/or has instigated intense feelings of panic. And, people with PTSD often experience deep feelings of shame, which may cause them to withdraw. This emotional and oftentimes physical isolation can significantly affect relationships. Unlike a physical wound, people cannot see the injury that the trauma created. It can be hard for people – even your closest loved ones – to understand the extent of your pain and why you are acting and feeling differently. Living with PTSD can be a very lonely and fearful experience.

Thankfully, asking for help can bring relief. Talking about your feelings can normalize the event. With the help of a trained therapist, you can start untwisting your feelings and better understand your experience. You can feel validated in your emotional and physical responses and experience support and relief.

I Can Help You Put Words To Your Experience And Move Forward With Less Fear

In our therapeutic relationship, I can create a safe space for you to feel and talk without shame. So much relief can come from having a secure environment in which to talk, especially if the rest of the world feels unsafe. In time, however, the safety you experience in our sessions together can expand into other relationships and the outside world.

In our sessions, you can start understanding that what you’re experiencing is a normal part of PTSD. I can help to validate and normalize your experience, which is where healing begins. I can also help you articulate your feelings and shift the language that you use to describe yourself and your experience. Your words may change as your perception of yourself shifts and you begin to heal.

With help, there is hope and there is movement. It is possible for you to work through painful emotions, overcome physical reactions to your trauma, and release the fear that is holding you hostage within your mind and body. Together, we can ease you out of isolation, process painful emotions and build a resiliency that will serve you long after our therapeutic work is complete.

But, you still may have questions or concerns…

I think that PTSD counseling could be helpful, but I’m concerned about costs.

Therapy is an investment. You are investing in yourself and your wellbeing. Take a moment and ask yourself how you want to be in the world and how you want your relationship with yourself and others to be. How much is fear holding you back and causing you to suffer? Do you want to move through life with less heaviness and worry and, rather, with more security and ease? If so, it is possible to work through a trauma and live a joyous life again. But, getting there requires an investment of money, along with time, energy and exploratory work.

I encourage you to take inventory of your monthly income and expenses. There may be simple budget shifts that you can make to cover therapy costs.

Also, I do not work with a contract. You can take sessions one at a time. It’s part of my practice to regularly check-in with you about how you feel about the progress of the work we’re doing together. If at anytime you decide that you are not deriving benefit from therapy, you are under no obligation – financial or otherwise – to continue.

I don’t think that anyone can help me – even a therapist.

Even though you may intellectually know that many other people have experienced PTSD, it’s still very common to feel like you’re the only one who is beyond help. It’s also very common for people suffering from PTSD to feel weak, broken and hopeless. However, you are not the only person walking around, struggling to keep it together. Traumas happen to people everyday, yet everyday people experience breakthroughs and insights about how to move forward. Breakthroughs are possible for you, too, and therapy can help you understand and heal from painful emotions, which may be difficult to do on your own. In our sessions, I can help you release fearful thoughts, become more curious about yourself, and sort through painful issues safely and without judgment so you can move forward.

I can’t talk about the event. It’s still too scary and overwhelming.

The belief that the traumatic event will be the cornerstone of our work together is a very common misconception of therapy. Alternatively, there are many ways to heal in therapy and move forward that do not include revisiting the trauma. PTSD therapy is highly individualized and I will meet you where you are emotionally. I can create a safe place for you to feel what you need to feel. I can gently guide you, be present and humble with you, and help you listen to yourself with a whole different ear. Together, we will help set the pace of our sessions and you will be an active part of the process and your healing. We will not touch the trauma until we both decide that you are strong enough and ready to.

I invite you to contact me and schedule a free, initial session. It’s imperative that you find the appropriate therapist to work with as you embark upon this healing self-exploration. Meeting will help both of us to determine if our personalities and styles work well together.

Rutie Havazelet, LCSW serves individuals in the following communities: New York metropolitan area including Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester and Long Island.

This site is not a substitution for medical, psychiatric or psychological help.