Is unresolved childhood trauma sabotaging your Present day life and relationships?
Childhood trauma can leave unhealed wounds in the body, mind, and spirit.
Maybe, you were physically or sexually abused by a parent, family member, or trusted community member.
Maybe you grew up with an alcoholic, narcissistic, or depressed parent who neglected your physical and emotional needs.
Maybe, you were persistently bullied and humiliated by a family member or peer, which felt like death by a thousand paper cuts.
Or, perhaps, you experienced the loss of a loved one at a young age.
Now that you are an adult, you may feel relieved to have “survived” the trauma of your childhood, but it’s not uncommon for the echos of the past to intrude on your present day life. This is because trauma has a tendency to get trapped in the body, quietly but insidiously influencing the fabric of who you are and how you relate to others.
To cope with relentless anxiety and unsettling feelings, you may turn to avoidance, distraction or perfectionism – but each of these strategies is only a temporary fix. The truth is, no matter how hard you try to contain or ignore it, unresolved trauma will ALWAYS find a way to get your attention – sabotaging your relationships, robbing you of good health, and preventing you from enjoying life until the underlying cause is understood and healed.
While we can’t change your past, we can work towards a better future. Therapy can help you make peace with your trauma and guide you towards a renewed sense of safety and security, both in yourself and in a world that often feels unstable and uncertain.
Trauma therapy may benefit you if:
- You are hyper-vigilant and have difficulty feeling safe
- Flashbacks, nightmares or traumatic memories overwhelm you
- You avoid inner pain by withdrawing or numbing out with food, alcohol or drugs
- It feels difficult to control your emotions
- You frequently have feelings of worthlessness, shame and guilt
- Trusting others and maintaining healthy relationships is a challenge
- Boundaries are difficult for you to identify and set
- You have a history of abuse, neglect, or abandonment
- There was a sudden or difficult loss in your life
- You have multiple mental health diagnoses and believe that unresolved trauma may be the underlying cause
An Integrative Approach to Healing Trauma
My approach to treating complex and relational trauma is holistic, addressing you as a whole person rather than simply focusing on individual symptoms or behaviors. My approach also goes well beyond traditional talk therapy because simply talking your way through trauma doesn’t work.
Instead, we will draw from a wide range of proven, experiential therapeutic modalities to help you connect with your feelings and emotions profoundly, in an environment that facilitates the incredible ability of your body to heal.
The process is collaborative, gentle, and aimed at undoing the isolation that often accompanies unresolved relational trauma. It is also guided by the wisdom of your body, at a pace that feels right and comfortable for you.
Central to our work is the idea of reclaiming what was lost so that you can become whole once more. This means creating space and giving voice to the silent suffering and unspoken pain that has been locked within you, and re-integrating the parts of you that you had to sacrifice in order to survive.
Healing trauma is also about learning how to be comfortable with uncomfortable sensations and feelings. I will help you develop the skills you need to break the cycle of discomfort, fear, and avoidance that is keeping you from experiencing well-being and fulfilling relationships with others.
Together, we can create a bridge between past pain and suffering and a future that is rebuilt with a sense of safety and trust in yourself, others, and the world.
Our work together will help you to…
- Feel safe, understood and supported
- Develop an understanding of how you evolved as a result of experiencing trauma, including your personal attachment style, survival strategies and coping behaviors
- Track and regulate your nervous system so that you can be more responsive rather than reactive in stressful situations
- Build skills that increase your tolerance for uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, without triggering unhealthy coping behaviors
- Increase your confidence and self-esteem, particularly so that you can trust yourself
- Be more present and comfortable with others
- Develop healthy relationships with people who will love and support you
- Create a new chapter in your life that is filled with possibility and hope
Here’s what you can expect
Transform from within with trauma therapy
In all forms of therapy, but especially trauma, it’s very important to find a therapist who makes you feel safe and comfortable. This is why I offer a 30-minute complimentary phone or video session, so you can ask me questions and see if I am a good fit. If I am, we can set up an initial online session. If not, I will provide you with referrals to other therapists who may be a better match for your needs. (Please note: at this time I am only providing online therapy. Learn more about it here.)
During our first session together, we will go over your intake paperwork. You can share as much or as little information about yourself as you wish. This session helps to give me a sense of what you are experiencing in your daily life as well as your personal history and goals for therapy. It’s the first step in helping me get to know you as a unique person and how unresolved trauma may be impacting your life and relationships.
Session 2 & Beyond
Together, we will create a safe space for you to explore, learn and grow. Session by session, you will gain a deep understanding of how trauma from your past is impacting your life and relationships in the present. As you work toward healing old wounds, you will stop living in survival mode and instead, create safety and support in your body. The ultimate goal is for you to develop healthy and meaningful relationships with others, while also stepping confidently into a brighter and more hopeful future.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if examining my trauma is more than I can handle? I don’t want to feel worse!
First and foremost, our work together will help you build the skills you need to safely process trauma. Our sessions will be gentle, collaborative and allow YOU to set the pace. Only when you feel confident enough in your new skills will we start processing your traumatic events.
Even then, we will work to titrate the process by breaking things down into small, manageable steps. As we do, you will become more and more capable of navigating uncomfortable emotions and sensations and you will expand your emotional capacity and resilience.
While turning toward pain and going through it, rather than avoiding it, can seem scary and counterintuitive, it is the only path to true healing and deep transformation. It is also probably less scary than you may think!
Many of my clients have told me that while it was hard to turn toward pain, shame, or fear at first, they experienced an immense sense of pride in being able to navigate through these emotions without getting stuck.
With this confidence, they found it more and more comfortable to explore their feelings, so that they could move forward in their lives and relationships, and begin to thrive.
While I can’t promise that your journey will be easy, I can promise that you won’t be alone. I will be here every step of the way to guide and support you. As a therapist, nothing gives me greater joy than helping my clients find the courage to step toward the future they want for themselves.
Do I have to share all the horrible details of what happened to me?
No, you do not. To heal from trauma, you do not have to verbalize everything you experienced, and you will always have complete control over what you choose to share.
A priority of trauma therapy is to help you develop a sense of safety in your own body, so you are longer triggered by intense feelings, thoughts or bodily sensations.
As this sense of safety develops, you will become more and more comfortable sharing painful parts of your past, since it no longer scares or overwhelms you. In this way, you can be a witness to your past pain and suffering in a way that encourages healing at a safe and comfortable pace.
Is it better for me to meet with you in person or online?
There are benefits and drawbacks to both.
Some people find it more helpful to work online because they can be more consistent with scheduling sessions. More consistency leads to better therapy outcomes.
Also, some people find it comforting to meet from their own home, where they feel safe and in control of their own space. They can relax after the session, rather than having to jump in their car and drive home.
For other people, there is no substitute for meeting in person for therapy sessions.
During your initial and complimentary 30-minute session, I will ask questions to determine if online therapy is appropriate for you, or if an in-person option may be a better choice. At this time, I am only offering online therapy, until further notice.
I’ve been to therapy before but I still don’t feel better. Why should I believe this will work?
It’s possible that your previous therapy involved traditional talk therapy alone. This type of therapy focuses on understanding ourselves intellectually – which is often not enough to release stored trauma from the body.
Many of the symptoms of traumatic stress are due to an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system, which is why I incorporate somatic, body-based interventions with emotional and cognitive techniques to balance the nervous system and treat the whole person.
Our work together will also be attachment-based (i.e. exploring how we bond and form relationships with others) because complex trauma needs a relational lens to facilitate healing.
Shouldn’t I be over this? Why can’t I move on?!
Everyone copes with trauma in their unique way, and healing from trauma is not a linear process. Trauma is complex and impacts people in emotional, mental, and physiological ways.
Please know that unresolved trauma that remains in your nervous system is not your fault. Your body became stuck in a response to threat and it has not returned to its natural state of well-being.
It’s only when we can create a sense of support and safety in the body that trauma will begin to heal. Part of this healing process involves turning toward the pain, rather than ignoring or avoiding it.
While it may feel scary and daunting, you deserve to feel better. Just by being here, you’ve taken the first step.
Ready to take the next step?
Let’s connect with a free, 30-minute phone consultation. I’ll answer any questions you may have so you can decide if therapy with me is a good fit. It’s the first step in your in your journey to healing from trauma.