What is Trauma?
You might know exactly what happened—a relationship fell apart, you were assaulted, or you experienced an unexpected loss. But sometimes trauma is more hidden. Sometimes it’s the result of something not happening. You were excluded, marginalized or ostracized, or you didn’t get the kind of attention you needed when you needed it most.
Most of the time we’re able to heal and move on from painful experiences, but other times, the experience outstrips our system’s capacity to effectively cope, and the wound is prevented from healing cleanly. And instead of living the life you want, painful reminders of the past keep popping up and wreaking havoc in the present. You feel like you’re on edge, unable to relax, and find yourself reacting in ways that are out of scale with what’s actually happening. Survival mode is your default and it’s draining you of your joy.
Because you’re used to seeing the world as a threatening place, it’s been a long time since you’ve let your guard down to let anyone in, and you’re wondering if your “solutions” might actually be feeding the problem.
You’re not broken
Our understanding of what works when working with trauma has exploded over the past couple decades. And thankfully, there is hope.
When working with trauma, I help you understand how trauma operates and how it affects our whole selves—our bodies, our minds, our emotions, and our relationships. And before we start working directly with the trauma, I’ll help you develop resources to effectively cope with and manage the reactions and anxiety that accompany trauma.
Once we’ve established safety and stability, we’ll begin working on actually healing from the past. I am trained in Somatic and Attachment Focused EMDR, and find EMDR to be an efficient way to work with trauma. Unlike some our older ways of working with trauma, it doesn’t rely as much on retelling the story of the trauma, which is helpful because retelling the story can sometimes be re-traumatizing. In this stage, we’re not just desensitizing you to the painful memory, we’re actually tapping into your body’s inherent resources to process the painful past so that is no longer an intrusive presence in your life.
But this isn’t all about just feeling “less bad”
The third phase is where things get exciting as we shift from healing the past to fostering post-traumatic growth. Here we’re discovering and imagining what life might look like when you’re no longer encumbered by the aftermath of past hurt. And energy that had been previously spent on managing the symptoms of past hurt can now be redirected toward living a life of meaning and purpose– a life where you’re truly thriving.
If you have questions about Trauma or are interested in scheduling a free 20-minute consultation, please call me at (615) 823-0701