Research-driven approaches to PTSD and complex trauma, at your desired pace.
"Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness."
You’ve lived through trauma. You may still be living in the midst of it. And if so, it’s possible you can relate to some of these experiences:
You feel a lot of fear, anxiety, or instability in your relationships.
Emotions feel intense and uncontrollable—or the opposite, emotions seem to be absent or disconnected.
You feel critical towards yourself, or altogether distant from a sense of self.
Certain things and people seem to put you on edge, or make you feel totally shut down.
You feel foggy-headed and easily distracted.
Thoughts, feelings, and memories intrude your mind and derail your day.
Nature and biology teach us that trauma responses are adaptations—strategies that we learn to survive a situation or a threatening environment. That anxiety once helped you stay alert when you needed to. And it’s possible that depression was your body’s best attempt to conserve resources. But we begin to feel stuck when our survival strategies feel like they’re working against us. This is especially true when we find environments of safety but our body still relays the message “nope, not safe!”
Just as we intuitively learn survival strategies, we intentionally re-learn creative and sustainable strategies that help us identify stress and choose how to respond. Therapy is meant to be that safe, experimental space where you can unpack old strategies and practice new ones.
What’s your experience working with trauma?
Trauma comes in many forms and stems from many sources. I’ve worked with clients on their unique legacies of trauma resulting from: abuse, neglect, unsafe relationships, violence, oppression, traumatic grief and loss, among others.
In my training at Antioch University Seattle, I was fortunate to work with instructors and supervisors who taught trauma-informed and trauma-responsive approaches to counseling. Their emphasis on neurobiology and relationships in the development and course of trauma expanded ways of interpreting symptoms, and remains foundational to the counseling approaches I use.
How do you work with trauma?
Trauma isn’t “all in your head.” Research tells us that a lot of the experience occurs in the body. For this reason, my general approach to trauma combines awareness of thoughts and beliefs as well as physical and sensory experience.
In my practice I utilize a combination of approaches influenced by polyvagal theory, attachment theory, interpersonal neurobiology, Internal Family Systems, and sensorimotor psychotherapy to address trauma in both mind and body.