Going into the counseling field, I never imagined the passion I would come to have for adult trauma survivors. I jumped in headfirst during my internships during graduate school and have had created opportunities over the years to continue working with clients who have experienced trauma ever since. I continue to be amazed by my clients’ strength, beauty, and perseverance in the midst of such incredible pain. We work together to grieve what has been lost, make sense of what is happening now as a result of the trauma, and connect to others or even parts of self that have been pushed away.
Coming into therapy to address trauma issues can be extremely intimidating and even terrifying. My most important purpose is to make you feel safe and in control during every session. I look at the ways you’ve attempted to organize your emotions, and I view them as survival skills that have served great a purpose for you, perhaps even your survival in a literal physical or emotional sense. When you experience a traumatic event, your body immediately begins to adapt to keep you safe. These adaptations may present as “symptoms” or pathology to others, but I see them as a way your brain has kept you secure and alive, even when the “danger” is not present any longer. For example, a soldier in combat who is not constantly vigilant may not physically survive or a child who experiences sexual abuse who does not “numb out” may not emotionally survive; these survival skills worked brilliantly in times of trauma but may pose problems later in other areas such as relationships, work, or view of self. Therapy involves organizing these emotions, making sense of them, and integrating parts of self back together. When applicable, marriage, relationship, or family counseling are tremendous assets to this process that provide additional support outside of the therapy office.
Whether it is childhood abuse or neglect, natural disaster, car accident, abusive relationship, sexual assault, or sudden loss of a loved one, I would consider it an incredible honor to work alongside you to in this process. I view my seat across from you as a humbling one, where I get the opportunity to work with exceptionally vulnerable and beautiful parts of who you are with great hope that healing can be found.