BASED IN SEATTLE AND SERVING ALL OF WASHINGTON & MASSACHUSETTS
Counseling for Trauma
Support for adults to safely explore, heal, and gain freedom from the past
The impacts of trauma can touch every aspect of our lives.
Sometimes our trauma is obvious to us, but sometimes it can be hard to define or even detect. You may have even been in therapy before working through another issue (e.g., anxiety, depression), but were unable to feel full relief due to some underlying trauma that went unresolved.
Whether your trauma happened yesterday or decades ago, whether it was a single event or a daily occurance, whether it was something that happened to you personally or something that happened to your family or community - Whatever the trauma, the consequences can be vast, and sometimes they may not even feel directly related to the trauma experience itself.
You’ve likely been carrying this burden fora a long time. The way to move forward can be elusive and difficult to recognize, particularly if you’ve felt disconnected and isolated in your struggle.
Trauma can show up in a multitude of ways. Can you relate to any of these?:
Intrusive thoughts, emotions, memories or images
Intense emotions that are difficult to explain, irritability and agitation, or numbness
Hypervigilance, overreactivity or under reactivity, often feeling unsafe
Burnout, fatigue, exhaustion, worry and stress
Problems sleeping, chronic pain, stress or tensions in the body
Persistent self blame - “What’s wrong with me?”
Difficulty breaking out of negative behavior patterns despite your best efforts
Vague yet deep sense of “stuckness” and disconnection
Trauma looks different for everyone.
Since the impacts of trauma can be very diffuse, you may be having challenges in several aspects of your life. You may be burned out at work, have trouble concentrating, and are overly fatigued and stressed. Moving around in and interacting with the world can feel unsafe, or bring a sense of unease, preventing you from doing things you want to do and perhaps unknowingly cutting yourself off from a lot of the world. Generally, it can be difficult to truly relax, rest, or get immersed in something, making activities that should be more enjoyable and interesting - leisure activities, socializing, a personal project - into another complexity or pressure. Relationships are also inevitably deeply impacted by trauma. Whether in highly entrenched relationships, like with parents and family, or with new relationships, despite best efforts, communicating effectively can feel blocked or thwarted by uncontrollable emotions or physical shutdown. Whatever the context, you may often feel “triggered”, overwhelmed, and uncertain about how to break out of negative and destructive behavioral, emotional, and thinking patterns.
Find peace from the past, relief in the present, and confidence in your future.
Just as the consequences of trauma can be widespread, the process of healing has the power to transform and touch all aspects of life. Instead of tension, fear, and disconnection, you will experience a greater sense of ease, confidence, and purpose within yourself, in your relationships, and in the ways in which you interact with the world. Healing trauma is a gift that we not only give to ourselves, but also to our families, friends, communities, and even to our lineage. By no longer being hindered by experiences in the past, not only will you see some very concrete changes (e.g., improved concentration at work, greater sense of connection and communication within relationships), but your perception of the world and your moment to moment experiences will generally feel lighter, fuller, and more vibrant.
Move away from trauma and find the freedom to “just be”.
MY APPROACH TO WORKING WITH TRAUMA
I am a somatic trauma therapist, and primarily work from a Somatic Experiencing (SE) perspective. While other therapies may focus primarily on thoughts and cognitions, somatic experiencing therapy focuses on processing trauma through the body and sensations, in addition to exploring thoughts, emotions, and memories. This holistic way of healing trauma leads to tangible relief, as well as more sustainable and transformational change.
Trauma therapy can help you:
Safely reconnect with your body
Break negative patterns of behavior, thinking, or emotions
Improve your sleep, energy levels, and sense of vitality
Relieve tensions, aches, and pain in the body
Build authentic relationships that feel trusting and open
Go through difficult life events without them overwhelming or crushing you
Deepen your sense of connection and fulfillment with yourself, others, and the world
Trauma can look very different at different times and for different people.
Just about anything can be experienced and felt as traumatic; it is not the actual event(s) that matter, but instead how it is experienced. With that in mind, my trauma specialities include:
Intergenerational and historical (within generations & communities)
Interpersonal (emotional, attachment, psychological, physical)
Societal and structural (racism, xenophobia, displacement)
Institutional and systemic (religious, spiritual, medical)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How many therapy sessions will I need for addressing my trauma? How long are therapy sessions?
Just as everyone experiences trauma differently, working through trauma in therapy will be just as individual. Therapy with me in highly customized and dependent on what you're looking for and your needs. All sessions are 50-minutes, and how long we meet for (a few weeks, months, or years) and at what cadence (weekly, biweekly, monthly) will be based on what makes the most sense for you and your needs right now. At the start of therapy, we'll discuss your goals and intentions for therapy, and establish a structure that best fits. And as life is dynamic and unpredictable, and your focus in therapy may also shift, the structure of therapy often changes accordingly.
How should I prepare for the first session? What will the first session be like?
The only preparation required for the first session is ensuring as best as you can that you're in a private space where you feel comfortable, but please do what you think would be most supportive for you in session (e.g., some clients bring a few notes of things they might want to talk about). We'll start off by getting situated in the virtual space, and reviewing any of the intake forms you might have questions about.
The first session with me looks pretty similar to future sessions. Unlike some other therapists, I do not do a formal intake filled with lots of questions about your history and background. Instead, we'll start with what's most salient for you - it could be something we discussed during our consultation call, something you mentioned on the intake questionnaire, something that just happened, a dream you had, a memory that keeps coming up, something that's been on your mind, a feeling of stress by being in the session... really, anything - and from there, we'll begin, and inevitably the most critical and important details will naturally emerge over time. Over the first few sessions, we will get a sense of how it is to work together, refine your goals and objectives for therapy, and ensure that we are on a path that feels supportive and effective to you.
How do I get started with therapy for trauma?
If you'd like to get started, the first step is scheduling a free 15-minute consultation phone call. The goal of this call is for each of us to share and ask questions to assess as best as possible if we might be a good fit. I will ask you some questions about what brings you to therapy at this time, what you're hoping to get from therapy, as well as ask you a few questions about your psychological history. You only need to share what you're comfortable with. I will also share more about myself and how I work, and answer any questions you have - about me, my approach, the therapy process, anything at all.