Approaches

What is Trauma?

Trauma is hard to define. Of course, there is a medical definition for trauma, but, in reality, it is far more individual. At its core, trauma is about fragmentation– the experiencing of a strong sense of overwhelm and powerlessness. When we experience trauma, it’s like wearing blinders. We feel stuck in rigidity and lose perspective. Trauma separates us from ourselves and from others, binding us to the past.

Many people struggle with trauma around life’s inevitable experiences with grief, change, loss, and disappointment, and others struggle with complex trauma stemming from abuse, neglect, assault, and other forms of violence (including accidental, natural, and violence inflicted by others). My aim is to facilitate a journey back to the whole of the self, and I work with folks who have experienced trauma, using a variety of therapeutic modalities and experiences to approach this work.

Trauma is specifically an event that overwhelms the central nervous system, altering the way we process and recall memories. Trauma is not the story of something that happened back then, it’s the current imprint of that pain, horror, and fear living inside people.” Bessel van der Kolk

Somatic Experiencing 

“The body remembers, the bones remember, the joints remember, even the little finger remembers. Memory is lodged . . . in the cells themselves” (Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes—Women Who Run with the Wolves).

Somatic Experiencing resolves trauma symptoms and relieves chronic stress through a potent psychobiological method. By using this approach, we can work to restore inner balance and enhance resilience to stress, resetting the nervous system and increasing your vitality, equanimity, and capacity to actively engage in life.

It is believed that trauma does not rest in the past, but in your nervous system. By paying attention to your body, I can support you in your experience of a more coherent and resilient system.

What Does SE Look Like?

The goal of an SE session is to offer you the opportunity to engage, complete, and resolve your body’s instinctual fight, flight, and freeze responses. This helps restore inner balance and build your capacity to actively engage in and enjoy life.

SE can be very effective for individuals who are suffering from toxic stress, chronic pain, shock trauma, medical trauma, and assault. That said, it is effective for most all of us.

To learn more about Somatic Experiencing®, click here.

Jungian Sandplay Therapy

When you enter my office, you will see hundreds of miniature figures lining my shelves. These figures represent the architecture of our universe, including ancient archetypes, real-life people and objects, and fantasy figures. If you can imagine it, I hope you can find it on my shelves.

Jungian Sandplay Therapy is described as a non-verbal, experiential, therapeutic modality that makes use of the sand, miniatures, and water to explore a person’s inner thoughts and subconscious. I use Sandplay as an adjunct intervention to trauma work.

To learn more about Sandplay Therapy, click here.

 

EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a psychotherapeutic modality specifically designed to help with adverse experiences and trauma. EMDR posits that we can all heal from psychological trauma and toxic memories. This modality is effective for those struggling with life’s challenges, whether simple or complex. We are all wired toward healing, and EMDR therapy can help facilitate the process.

To learn more about EMDR Therapy, click here.

 

 

Mindfulness Practice and Therapeutic Movement

Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

Many of us sometimes find it difficult to sit with ourselves. We fill up our days with noise and activity, for fear of staying present. I incorporate mindfulness practice and meditation in my work with clients. In both my personal and professional experience, I have found that mindfulness allows for many rejuvenating emotions, such as gratitude and self-compassion, and these emotions can help us as we struggle with life’s challenges. I also incorporate movement in many sessions, as yoga therapies and dance can help connect us with that part of ourselves that has been in the shadow and deserves light.

Movement is the Song of the Body.” Vanda Scaravelli

 

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