For those struggling with trauma, finding relief and “feeling better” can seem like an overwhelming endeavor. However, I assure you, change can happen, you can become “unstuck.” As an experienced trauma therapist I offer a empathetic, non-judgemental approach and use modalities focused on trauma resolution and long-lasting healing. You don’t have to be held hostage by the past.
The past is the past – but trauma is about the residues of the past in your current system.
Since trauma lives in the body as well as the memory, trying to talk it out if often not enough. All elements of experience – physical, emotional, cognitive – must be engaged and reintegrated. I use NARM (Neuroaffective Relational Model), Somatic Experiencing, and EMDR to process trauma and restore your body’s inherent capacity to self-regulate and reorganize. You’ll move towards release and healing through exploring your survival strategies as a result of trauma, experiencing and tracking how your body harbors and regulates stress (physical, mental, and emotional), and discovering agency.
Too Much, Too Soon, Too Fast
Trauma can result from any incident where you perceived that you or someone else was in danger, and your ability to protect or escape was limited or unavailable. Often these events are sudden and you had little or no power or influence. Dual impulses, such as running to save oneself and wanting to stay or fight to help another can result in trauma.
It’s not necessarily the event itself that causes trauma but the resulting symptoms and inability to be present in life that plagues us. Witnessing or being the victim of violence, accidents or attacks, military service, adoption, abandonment, prolonged chaos or abuse, or a sudden life change, any of these, can push us into trauma.
We’re either stuck on or stuck off.
What makes a traumatic event so difficult is that we don’t “get over” it quickly. As you have probably already discovered, trauma is stored in body as well as in our memories. Meaning, our nervous system and brain are responding to the past rather than the present moment as it is unfolding.
You are not holding on to your past,
your past is holding on to you.
It is important to remember, everyone responds to experiences differently. Events that may be traumatic to one person may not be traumatic for another person.
Trauma can disrupt your life in a variety of ways.
- fatigue, pain, stomach issue, sleep issues
- inability to sit still or feeling on-edge all the time, easily startled
- feeling drowned with sadness, grief, aggression, anxiety, or guilt
- difficulty connecting deeply with others, poor boundaries
- emotional outbursts or “irrational” behaviors
- intrusive memories or flashbacks
- increased alcohol or drug use, sometimes as a form of “self medication”
- difficulty being in the present or concentrating
- difficulty being touched, sensitivity to light, irritation with clutter or obsession to clean