I wrote my Master’s thesis on a holistic model for the treatment of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse back in 1993. Since then, trauma therapy has grown and developed extensively. At one time, people were facilitated or even hypnotically regressed to remember, possibly even re-experience, trauma after trauma from their past. Even EMDR is typically done by taking folks back to a traumatic moment over and over. We’ve learned so much about trauma healing over the years, which makes it possible to do deep, effective work without risking re-traumatization or causing significant stress to overflow into daily life.
The key element to making working with trauma safe, is to help you shift away from anything overwhelming, and support you to be in control of the focus and depth of work. It is not healing to go back into overwhelm, or feeling trapped, or powerless, without feeling safe and supported. I will also help you to learn tools and resources so you can stay grounded in your body, and work with triggers on your own when they come up in your life.
Luckily, it is not necessary to consciously remember all the traumatic things that happened to you growing up or since then. In fact, it can be rewounding to focus too much on memories. The key is clearing the patterns from the body and the nervous system, which can be done non-verbally, and releasing the unhealthy beliefs which go with trauma. The tools I use, allow us to go to that depth, without having to spend a lot of time going through painful memories. Brainspotting, in particular, is amazing in its ability to process a whole traumatic thread on the level of the nervous system. EFT is great for releasing unconscious, unhelpful trauma based beliefs.
I also am very careful to use my tools in a way which allows the end of the session to feel organic and safe. I keep track of time to make sure that we have cleared the intense emotions and reoriented you to your day before we are out of time. I also book sessions with 15 minutes between people so that you aren’t rushed out of my office abruptly. I have done at least ten years of my own psychotherapy so that I can hold space for your work from the perspective of having healed my own wounds which may be similar to yours. That gives me a sensitivity combined with stability which will help the traumatized parts of your psyche relax and feel safe. I don’t see more than two clients in the morning, and two in the late afternoon with a nice hike/yoga/meditation time in between so you won’t be walking into my office and getting less than my full, heartful presence. I’ve been practicing meditation, dance and yoga since my twenties, so I have great respect and value for a wide range of ways to heal, and practice my own self care on a daily basis. I believe that healing absolutely depends on a safe, gentle, loving therapeutic relationship. I’ve experienced being a client with numerous therapists, and have have great respect for the importance of respect and safety, partially, sadly, by experiencing lots of mistakes from other professionals as well as great therapy.