Bringing the Past Into Focus
I believe the human body, mind, emotion and spirit are capable of healing given the right support. Psychological trauma leaves us disconnected and disempowered. Recovery happens in the context of a safe, supportive relationship. Creating a place of safety where you are gently held, validated and empowered to create new connections, both within yourself and with others is the basis of my work.
Symptoms of Trauma
Trauma impacts all areas of living - including Mind, Body, Emotion and Spirit - and it is important to tend to all aspects of one’s experience to bring about more lasting results.
Common experiences post-trauma include:
- Many people who have experienced trauma struggle with intrusive thoughts, flashbacks or nightmares and may experience frequent trauma triggers that bring back images or a flooding of emotions related to the traumatic event. Others may experience memory problems, fuzzy thinking, and difficulty concentrating that can look like ADHD symptoms. I support clients to understand and better manage these symptoms while gradually processing the adverse life experiences caused them.
- Many times people who have experienced trauma feel disconnected from their body and its sensations. Or the opposite can occur, where a person has frequent sensations that are not understood and may feel frightening. Often people struggle with issues around sleep, eating, sexual function, chronic low energy or “exhaustion” and may have unexplained chronic pain. I use techniques of mindfulness and body awareness to help you feel more connected with your body again, make sense of what you are feeling and teach you how to respond to your body’s communication.
- Many times people who have experienced trauma may also feel depressed or anxious, experience panic attacks, fearfulness, compulsive or obsessive behaviors, feel irritable, angry, or emotionally numb and may withdraw from others. In the context of a therapeutic relationship where clients feel safe, supported and validated, I teach distress tolerance and coping strategies to help manage upsetting emotions. I help clients “tune in” to what is really going on inside, and to respond with more acceptance and compassion.
- In my experience, many trauma survivors seem to have a strong spiritual connection. Suffering in many spiritual traditions is linked to awakening. There seems to be a relationship between the transformation of trauma and various aspects of your spiritual experiences. This is one possible side effect of trauma that can be an important part of your healing in therapy. Over and over again, I marvel at the resiliency of the human spirit in the clients with whom I am privileged to work. Whether you march along your own path or follow a particular spiritual or religious tradition, I welcome spirituality of all forms, or none at all. You bring what is meaningful to you.
I utilize a combination of approaches when treating trauma, including cognitive-behavioral and attachment and trauma therapies, with a good dose of mindfulness, all based on today’s brain science. I pay careful attention to the whole person; mind, body, emotion and spirit. I work collaboratively, supporting you in moving through the trauma, gradually freeing you to live life from a place of empowerment and joy.
Due to the intensity of emotions involved while processing trauma, it is important to work with a therapist with whom you feel safe and able to develop a strong connection.
Each person’s experience is unique. If you have questions about how I might be able to help you, please call for a free phone consultation (206) 650-0254.