Kim Kraft, LPC

Caregiver Stress

As a caregiver, you devote an inordinate amount of time and energy to provide care for your parents, your children or other loved ones with special needs. But who cares for your needs?

 

Caregiving is a mentally and physically demanding task - often it’s a thankless one as well – and it can take a toll on you to such an extent that it causes burnout, depression, overwhelm, resentment and frustration. And if you belong to “The Sandwich Generation” – caring for your parents as well as your own children (or even grandchildren,) the combination of demands and stressors is particularly overwhelming.

 

Nearly 20% of caregivers suffer from some form of depression. If caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, that figure jumps to a staggering 40%. Getting emotional support for yourself is vital to navigating this very challenging stage of life.

 

You may be familiar with the in-flight safety instructions to put your oxygen mask on before assisting others. This is a very apt metaphor for counseling as well, which can be a place for you to breathe easier, to sort out difficult feelings and to learn to use effective coping techniques.

Trauma / Response to Loss

The term “trauma” refers to a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. Examples of trauma include the death of a child/grandchild, surviving an experience of assault or abuse, dealing with the aftermath of an injury or accident, combat experiences, or even the lasting emotional debris from a traumatic divorce or loss of a parent.

 

People who have been through a trauma can often struggle for a time with depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties or tough feelings like anger or guilt that just don’t seem like they will ever go away.

 

In more extreme cases, going through a traumatic event can lead to what is known as Post-Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) which can cause you to begin avoiding people or situations associated with the event, feeling “on edge” all the time, disturbed sleep or nightmares, irritability, or emotional detachment or numbness.

 

As a licensed therapist specializing in the treatment of trauma, I will safely guide you through the process of resolving the emotional difficulties related to your specific type of trauma. I have experience in working with individuals who have experienced sexual abuse both child and adult, domestic violence, near death experiences, assault, traumatic loss from violence, vehicular accidents, fires and other traumatic experiences.

 

We’ll work together  using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a scientifically validated approach to the treatment of trauma which helps people to restructure their thinking into more helpful and adaptive patterns.

Integrity Psychological Services provides comprehensive counseling, therapy and psychological treatment services for the communities of Monroeville, PA, Murrysville, PA, Plum, PA and surrounding Pittsburgh areas in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.