Trauma Counseling for Hawaii

We are a psychological health and therapy center for the state of Hawaii. At Living Pono, we believe in finding balance in life. Trauma, whether mental, emotional, physical, or some combination, prevents us from being balanced and at peace. Our mission is to help you change that. We offer many different therapy options to help you heal, including solutions-focused therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and more!

What Is Trauma Counseling?

Trauma counseling is a form of therapy that helps people work through the aftermath of a traumatic event. This type of counseling can be beneficial for those struggling to cope with what happened to them. Trauma counseling can give survivors the tools they need to move on from their experience and live healthier lives. Whether you are dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster, experiencing violence in your community, or recovering from abuse, trauma counseling can help you work through what you’ve been through and heal.

Types of Trauma We Counsel For


People who have gone through traumatic events, or have witnessed such events, sometimes experience symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, or persistent stress and anxiety. This is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is common in soldiers and survivors of violence.


People usually think of smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and taking drugs when they hear the word addiction, but it can apply to many behaviors. Anything that is done impulsively, and has any negative or unwanted effect on the person’s life or sense of well-being, can be classified as an addiction.


More than just an aversion or distaste for something, phobias are characterized by a lasting and intense fear. Often, people experience panic attacks when faced with the object of their phobias. As a result, people who suffer from phobias may take extreme measures to avoid the things they’re afraid of. This can create tension and difficulty in day-to-day life and interactions with others.


Relationship Trauma

Many people who have been the subject of physical, emotional, or sexual trauma in relationships do not even realize they are abuse victims. Being mistreated by someone with whom we have shared intimate space can be psychologically devastating, and the effects of the trauma can extend into future relationships if left untreated.


Other Counseling Services

At Living Pono, we recognize that no two people are alike. All our clients require individual attention to form a complete picture of their unique mental health challenges and counseling needs. Very rarely does anyone face only one challenge; it’s almost always a combination of contributing factors and symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and behavioral issues. 


That’s why we take the time to get to know you, both in the initial intake and during our ongoing sessions. It is our goal to help you feel heard and understood. Once we’ve sat down with you to know where you are starting, we will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan designed to help you heal. Contact us today to talk to one of our therapists!


What is trauma?

Trauma is the emotional response to a negative event such as assault, natural disaster or accident. It is normal to experience some degree of reaction after a negative event. Shock, denial, anger and difficulty sleeping are considered normal reactions to a traumatic event. However, oftentimes these symptoms evolve or do not decrease after the passage of time. This lack of change in response to a traumatic event is what categorizes trauma. 


Oftentimes we equate trauma with bigger events such as war or physical violence. While it is true that war and physical violence are traumatic, other events or experiences can also be equally as traumatic for certain individuals. Events such as poverty, sudden loss of a loved one, racism, violence in the community, living with a family member with mental health or substance use disorders, childhood neglect, physical, sexual and emotional abuse are also traumatic events. These events can be ongoing or a one-time occurence and do not have to include direct harm to you. 


Trauma can include events where you have felt:












Childhood Trauma

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful or difficult experiences in childhood including sexual, physcial, or emotional neglect or abuse. Research has shown that the first 1,000 days of life or 3 years is critical for development. Trauma at an early age can negatively impact areas of the brain responsible for cognitive functions, short term memory and emotional regulation. Adults who have experienced childhood trauma often struggle to respond appropriately to situations that appear to be normal and non-threatening. Many adults with childhood trauma struggle with depression, anxiety and other emotional regulation issues such as maintaining boundaries and healthy relationships.

What are the long-term health effects of trauma?

In a study conducted on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), it was determined that individuals with ACE score of 4 or more were approximately: 

-2 times a likely to smoke

-2.5 times more likely to have sexually-transmitted infections

-4 times more likely to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

-7 times more likely to consider themselves an alcoholic

-10 times more likely to have injected street drugs

-12 times more likely to have attempted suicide

(Source: Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults)

Experiencing one or more of these symptoms?