Therapy for Trauma

It is widely regarded in psychology that there are two forms of trauma: 1) “T” Trauma and 2) “t” trauma. The former is the more overt kind where something really specifically and objectively horrifying happens to us: getting physically assaulted or abuse, getting in a car accident, being sexually abused, experiencing or engaging in direct military combat, etc. The latter is more covert in nature where something subjective and nuanced happens that is more difficult to identify as traumatizing: growing up in a dysfunctional family, having parents who struggled with addiction, abandonment issues, being emotionally abused or manipulated, being bullied, etc. It also has the ability to be a big factor in the maladaptive or unhealthy patterns people find themselves in because there is a part of that trauma that is being acted out for longer periods of life in tricky ways. Both forms of trauma have the ability to leave deep and lasting harmful impressions on us if unaddressed or untreated.

The types of trauma I specialize in are:

  • sexual abuse
  • physical abuse
  • abandonment issues
  • growing up in a dysfunctional or abusive household
  • having alcoholic or drug addicted parents
  • having gone through a traumatic divorce either as one of the spouses or children
  • workplace abuse
  • being bullied/dominated/manipulated by family members, spouses, or partners

Many of those I serve struggling with some sort of trauma also tend to experience:

  • anxiety, panic, or depression
  • fear of vulnerability
  • problems with boundaries
  • codependency
  • anger, aggressiveness, irritability, or rigidness
  • abandonment issues
  • chronic stress
  • body image issues
  • shame, constant/regular self-criticism, low self-worth/self-esteem, feeling unlovable, lack of confidence
  • constantly trying to prove themselves to others
  • difficulty connecting with others on an intimate level
  • subscribing to problematic or counter intuitive interpersonal and/or behavioral problems
  • poor coping skills
  • isolation/loneliness

I can help you:

  • find ways to break out of patterns that no longer serve you and cause you distress
  • reduce difficult/overwhelming symptoms that make it hard to function
  • learn to treat yourself more fairly
  • develop and assert clear and appropriate boundaries
  • learn to stop chronically blame yourself
  • connect more deeply with others
  • forgive yourself
  • feel more comfortable with vulnerability
  • learn positive coping skills

I use a relational therapy approach to identify all the ways one’s trauma is currently affecting them and when appropriate supplement that modality with EMDR therapy, which is a shockingly quick way to help clients fully process the trauma (both “T” and “t”). If you are coming for more short term trauma therapy to help you get past a specific and isolated “T” traumatic event, I will start with a comprehensive assessment which may last 1-3 sessions. Then I will take a session or two to provide you with adequate resourcing and coping skills to make sure you are ready to move into the third and final step of memory reprocessing. If you are dealing with more “t” trauma I will typically suggest implementing EMDR as needed whenever we come up against a particularly difficult part of your life that is stemming from past emotional wounds. It is perfectly fine if you are apprehensive to EMDR. There is still plenty of benefit to be had from more in-depth relational psychotherapy. However, due to how trauma can affect the nervous system and our neural pathways EMDR can be immensely helpful in ways that talk therapy is limited. I will help you see more fully how parts of your past were experienced in traumatic ways and all the nuanced forms those affects are showing up in your life today. Then, together we will collaborate on coming up with a variety of ways you can better manage these patterns and core issues so that you can have more control over them rather than the other way around.

For more information on my approach please visit my About Therapy page. For a complimentary 20 minute phone session or to schedule an initial session 50% off please contact me at 510-329-8674.

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