“Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence.”Dr. Peter Levine
The impact of trauma is held in our brains and bodies, as our system attempts to keep us safe. If you’re reading this, you survived, and I am so glad you’re here. The automatic “survival mode” system in your body kicked in, and unconsciously responded to get you through the situation you never asked to be in.
Due to the overwhelming nature of trauma, there may not always be a felt sense that the danger is over. The survival responses that helped us in the moment, may become chronically activated, resulting in long-term feelings of alarm and danger, tendencies to flee, fight, or shut down under stress, debilitating feelings of vulnerability and exhaustion, or an inability to assert and protect ourselves. These symptoms make sense given what you’ve been through, and are a part of your brain and body’s programming to attempt to keep you safe.
Some common symptoms include:
- Hypervigilance and fear
- Feeling numb or disconnected
- Avoidance of reminders and feelings
- Loss of memory and difficulty concentrating
- Flashbacks and nightmares
- Panic attacks
- Feeling unsafe and unable to trust others
- Sense of shame and guilt
The aftermath of trauma looks different for each individual, and depends on many factors including developmental stage at the time of the event(s), how chronic the trauma, and response of support system to name a few. There are many different types of trauma, which may affect your unique needs and treatment approach. Some examples are:
- Shock Trauma
- Complex / Developmental Trauma
- Interpersonal Trauma
- Intergenerational Trauma
- Collective Trauma
- Vicarious Trauma
How I approach trauma work:
I am trained in many treatment modalities for trauma healing, and we can work together to identify what you need and what works best for you given your unique needs, experiences, and preferences. I will collaborate with you to approach your process individually. In general you can expect working with me will prioritize:
- Choice: During traumatic experiences, our sense of agency is taken from us. I will honor your choices including when and if you are ready to work on any trauma or part of the trauma.
- Safety: A crucial part of healing is helping your brain and body reorient to the present. Your safety will always be my number one priority. If there are threats to your safety in the present, we will start there.
- Empowerment: You are the expert of yourself and your healing process. I will help you connect to your inherent truth and power.
- Connection: No one should have to go through life’s tragedies alone. I strive to be a warm and supportive presence for you, and to help you connect with your true self as well as supportive others in your life.
Check out my blog post series called “Being Trauma Informed Means” for more information.
You are not alone. If you are interested in connecting with other folks who are healing from trauma, you may learn more about our group offerings here.