Treating Trauma with the Brain and Body in Mind

Do you long to feel more alive and vibrant? Are you frustrated by certain habitual patterns or blocks that you seem to have no control over?

A trauma is defined as any experience, situation or series of events that are emotionally painful, distressing, and overwhelm an individual’s ability to effectively cope. Traumas are both physical and emotional, and may have a lasting negative impact on your life.

Contemporary brain research tells us that talking out our problems can only take us so far in any change process. Certain scary or difficult experiences in our personal history imprint themselves beyond where language can reach. Research has shown that the memory of a negative experience can be stored in the midbrain, where your mind can avoid consciously confronting it. The problem is that, without reprocessing, such memories can diminish your ability to feel and function at your best. Brain-body based therapy is the fastest-growing field of trauma treatment because of its proven ability to rapidly address issues that traditional talk therapy takes longer to resolve.

Trauma is not what happens to you; trauma is what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you.
— Dr. Gabor Mate


HEALING FROM TRAUMA

Healing happens when we allow the wisdom of the brain and body to bring itself back into alignment. I work through the lens of neuroscience and the body, utilizing holistic and somatic therapeutic techniques to help you heal from trauma and adversity in the safest and most sensitive way possible.

As an internationally certified Brainspotting therapist and practitioner of Attachment-Focused EMDR, I specialize in cutting edge brain-body therapies to gently process trauma on a neurobiological level, restoring balance to the nervous system and altering neural patterning with intention so that real change can happen. My approach is gentle, respectful, and client-led. With strategies to treat the unspoken part of trauma, we can work in a way that does not require you to recall or verbalize painful memories. In fact, memory may not be necessary for you to heal.

The impact of trauma is powerful, and the relief can be huge when work in healing and restoration is done. Our work will help you:

  • Develop body awareness

  • Learn to track trauma in your body

  • Help you contain feelings and sensations

  • Heal aspects of trauma you cannot verbalize

Benefits of effective treatment may include: a reestablished a sense of safety and predictability in the world; being able to breathe more easily; a sense of being more grounded and relaxed; and the ability to think more clearly, connect to your intuition and creativity, and move forward with your life. Our work can help you move from "survival mode" into a thriving state of presence and prosperity, where inspiration and creativity are readily available. 

What is trauma? 

Types of traumatic events and early life experiences may include: 

  • Critical, unpredictable, or alcoholic home

  • Verbal, physical, or sexual abuse

  • Neglect or abandonment

  • Pregnancy / Birth trauma

  • Divorce / betrayal

  • Bullying

  • Sports & performance accidents, defeats / humiliations

  • Grief, loss, unresolved situations

  • An attack, rape, or disaster

  • Car accidents

  • Medical procedures

Are my problems trauma-related?

Trauma impacts every part of a person's being, their thoughts, emotions, physiology, and basic sense of the world. When something traumatic happens, our nervous systems become dysregulated. Some folks are jolted into anxiety, panic or tension, while others feel dropped down into exhaustion or numbness. Some people develop difficulty regulating their emotions, while others may develop symptoms of PTSD. People often blame themselves for not being able to move on, for feeling blocked or stuck, or for not being able to accomplish things in their lives that others appear to manage easily. Some people notice they have trouble maintaining a stable relationship, making more money, calming their anxiety, or getting back to creative pursuits

Our brain’s way of dealing with trauma is a matter of survival; faced with experiences too painful or overwhelming to deal with directly, we find another way to carry on. But these improvised patterns of thinking, feeling, and being become habit and remain fixed long after they have stopped being necessary or serving us well. Unresolved traumas are often at the root of anxiety, depression, PTSD, phobias, chronic pain, and low self esteem, among many other difficulties. Frequently they cause personal and creative blocks, but the existence of these blocks may not be obvious, much less the means to remove them. 

Trauma can be particularly devastating if we’re young and vulnerable (particularly if we weren't supported at the time of the experience), so early traumatic experiences often have deep impacts that, as adults, we may be completely unaware of. You may or may not consider your life experience to include trauma. As a trauma-informed therapist, I am adept at understanding how to help you heal from adverse past experiences, whether or not you identify as a trauma survivor. 

VICARIOUS TRAUMA

In addition to working with those impacted directly by trauma, I also provide therapy for individuals who work with traumatized populations. Whether you are a medical professional, therapist, coach, healer, or social justice advocate, working closely with trauma can take an often-unrecognized toll on your own mind, body, and relationships. Therapy is a place where you can make space to process the work you do and develop tools to bring yourself back into a state of balance, in order that you may safely care for self while caring for others.

I offer help with: 

  • Depression

  • PTSD

  • Anxiety, stress, hypervigilance, or difficulty relaxing

  • Overwhelm, procrastination, or shut down

  • Pregnancy & birth trauma

  • Addictions

  • Emotional dysregulation

  • Relationship issues

  • Heartbreak, grief or unresolved situations

  • Creative blocks

  • Performance or art-related anxiety

  • Chronic pain

  • Not feeling “like yourself”

 

Resources 

Learn more about Brainspotting


Contact me to find out how brain-body therapies can heal trauma and expand creativity.