What is Trauma?

You may think of trauma as something that happens to people who have suffered terrible accidents, war or crime. Yet, trauma can be part of everyday life. Any unexpected experience that shakes the body, mind, and overwhelms one's ability to cope is considered a trauma. 

There's another kind of trauma called relational trauma, which is what happens if you've experienced a betrayal of trust, confusion, abuse of power, a sense of loss, or felt trapped with another person, especially if that person was someone who was meant to keep you safe and protected. 

How do you know if you have symptoms of this thing called “trauma”?

You have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • You re-experience the trauma, and may get easily triggered by upsetting memories, thoughts, nightmares, or flashbacks.
  • You avoid people, places, and conversations that remind you of the event. As you avoid your feelings, you may also seem distant and experience a loss of interest in other parts of your life.  
  • You sometimes feel "spaced-out" or like you're in an "out of body experience", that is referred to as dissociation. (more about that here.)
  • You experience outbursts of anger and often feel irritable and jumpy.
  • You may also have trouble sleeping.

Is this maybe just “the blues” we all experience from time to time?

Blues are feelings that make us feel down. When you have the blues, you are experiencing waves of emotion that come and go, however they do not interfere with day-to-day functioning. 

When there’s something deeper going on, you're feel stuck in a place that isn't getting you to the next stage of life.

How will you know when you start to get better?.

At the beginning of treatment, we come up with treatment goals and we track your progress along the way. We work together to address the issues at hand and identify manageable goals that will slowly help create shifts and movement.

As a trauma therapist I don't see my patients as victims or labels that emerge from diagnosis, I see each person as the unique individual they are. Our work is working toward the healthy core beneath stacked "tough stuff"that are weighing on you.

In session I use a holistic approach blending talk therapy, expressive arts, self state work, mindfulness, somatic psychotherapy and EMDR processing. 

I'm a therapist who will hold onto your hope when you feel like you can't hold onto it alone.

I'll hold the picture of what your life can be because I've seen possibility and hope emerge from trauma. I've seen people get better and I trust you can too.

It is possible. Let's do this together.  

The trauma is not the story of what happened long ago; the trauma is that you are robbed of feeling fully alive and in charge of yourself.
— Bessel van der Kolk