Trauma Informed Therapy

Trauma is anything the body perceives as too much, too fast, or too soon. Whenever trauma is involved, the first step in mending any relationship--or any emotional dysregulation--involves working through that trauma. And in order for someone to do that trauma work, he or she must first learn to slow down, observe his or her body and allow it to settle.

Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW, SEP

Trauma-Informed Therapy offers hope and healing for people whose lives have been impacted by trauma.

Daily life can be confusing and overwhelming for people who have experienced trauma.  Trauma survivors often have symptoms instead of memories and feel flooded when ordinary circumstances trigger thoughts, emotions and sensations associated with the traumatic event—as if it were still happening.  Trauma survivors can feel disoriented and discouraged because they often function well in some areas of their lives but feel incapacitated in others.

Psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress are neurobiological responses to a deeply distressing or disturbing event or series of events.  Traumatic experiences overwhelm our ability to return to a state of normalcy and self-regulation. Trauma survivors may develop a variety of symptoms and coping strategies that can disrupt their lives. Survivors often struggle with feelings of helplessness, diminished self-worth, difficulty feeling a full range of emotions, and an inability to feel safe and satisfied.

Trauma-Informed Therapy offers hope and healing for people whose lives have been impacted by trauma.  As a Trauma-Informed therapist I integrate a variety of modalities to address the impact of trauma on the mind, brain, body and spirit.  Utilizing an attachment-sensitive, collaborative approach, I carefully assess where you are in your healing process and develop an individualized plan tailored to your unique needs and goals.  We start with understanding your symptoms and experimenting with how to respond more effectively to internal and external stressors.  Trauma-Informed education re-frames your symptoms as survival strategies and cultivates a state of mindful noticing, which reduces reactivity.  Resourcing connects you with helpful self-states like calm and wisdom.  Parts Work increases self-compassion and integrates the alienated and wounded parts.  When appropriate, I use Attachment-Focused EMDR to resolve traumatic memories.

…the goal of trauma treatment is finally to be ‘here’ and not ‘there.’
-Bessel van der Kolk

Often trauma survivors have symptoms instead of memories. Some symptoms of trauma include:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest
  • Numbing
  • Decreased concentration
  • Insomnia
  • Emotional overwhelm
  • Hopelessness
  • Helplessness
  • Shame and worthlessness
  • Few or no memories
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Hypervigilance
  • Mistrust
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Chronic pain
  • Substance abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Dissociation

(Source: Janina Fisher, PhD)


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