Trauma Recovery

Trauma is defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) as, “the emotional response someone has to an extremely negative event.”  Typically when we think of trauma we may think in terms of  experiencing physical violence or witnessing the same. While this is certainly true in some cases there are psychological sources of trauma as well. Examples of these include repeated emotional abuse, death of a loved one, severe illness, going through a divorce, childhood neglect, being bullied, etc.  Due to our past experiences we all process traumatic events differently.


It is important to note that trauma is a normal reaction to a horrible or deeply distressing event. Trauma damages our brain and is an injury not an illness.  Our brain actually changes in response to a traumatic experience.


Our bodies are adaptive yet when in ‘fight our flight’ we have little in the way of self reflection.  In this state we can be impulsive and lack focus, unable to think of future outcomes.


When your system is aroused for too long you may have difficulty regulating emotions and behaviors. Symptoms can vary from person to person however some signs that you may be experiencing traumatic stress are: feeling markedly distressed at reminders of the trauma psychologically and/or physiologically (body memory); disturbing dreams and/or nightmares related to the trauma or flashbacks. You may also feel depressed, have mood swings, feel anxious, irritable or have difficulty concentrating.


Getting triggered does not require that you experience the same stressors (i.e. abuse, abandonment, physical or sexual hurt).  Just the repeated perception of threat or a stress filled environment is adequate. Also, just because we may be afraid does not mean we’re in danger.  Our painful past learning is causing us to perceive threats where there may not be any danger.


It is possible to heal from emotional and psychological trauma. As a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional we can work together to leave your trauma behind and help you learn to feel safe again.

The Next Step

If you think you have symptoms that could reflect past or current traumatic events, Kristina Polley is here to help you recover. Contact her at 815-477-4727 today and take the next step toward peace, safety and freedom in your life.

Kristina Polley

Kristina Polley


Kristina has worked in outpatient and inpatient settings with various age groups, and brings 20 years of experience as a licensed clinical social worker... Meet Kristina Polley