Has a Loss or Trauma Left You Feeling Abandoned, Unsafe or Insecure?
Are you overwhelmed by fear, uncertainty or self-doubt? Do you have a hard time trusting yourself or others? You may have been through an event, such as the loss of a loved one or the end of a relationship that has left you shaken and overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness or isolation. Maybe you have become irritable, anxious or depressed, and you are worried about the impact your change in mood is having on your life and the people you love. You may feel detached, disconnected or disappointed in your relationships, but you can’t understand why or what you can do to feel more fulfilled. Perhaps you have been successful in your career and personal life, but don’t feel safe or satisfied in interpersonal or intimate relationships. It may be that you are too nervous or exhausted to participate in activities you used to enjoy. Or, maybe you have withdrawn from relationships and certain activities in an effort to avoid triggering painful memories, emotions or distressing physical symptoms, such as hyper-arousal, rapid heart rate or panic attacks. You may feel emotionally numb or distant, like you are going through the motions without really living your life.
Alternately, you may have a child, partner or family member who is struggling to cope with the symptoms of unresolved trauma, and you don’t know how to support him or her. You may recognize that unresolved trauma is impacting the way you communicate and interact as a couple or family, but your efforts to be there for your loved one haven’t brought you closer or helped him or her heal as you had hoped. Or, maybe a child, sibling, spouse or parent is in a residential treatment or wilderness therapy program, and you want to know how to help him or her continue to thrive when he or she returns home. Do you wish you could feel more secure and make more empowered, confident decisions to support yourself and the people you care about?
Almost Everyone Experiences Fear and Self-Doubt
We all experience loss and feelings of fear, doubt and uncertainty in our own way and for different reasons. For some people, trauma is caused by a past event or series of events, such as an abusive relationship, giving up a child for adoption or sending a child away to a residential treatment or wilderness therapy program. Others experience trauma as the result of abandonment or a history of relationships in which they felt they were not valuable or that they didn’t deserve to be happy. In an effort to cope with trauma-related distressing emotions and physical sensations, many individuals develop problems with substance abuse or various types of addiction. Furthermore, we hold unresolved trauma in our body, and, for many, this manifests through physical symptoms or discomfort, such as chronic tension or difficulty sleeping. You may not associate what you are experiencing with trauma, however, or maybe you may have lived with it so long that you don’t realize you can live a calmer, more satisfying life.
Fortunately, there is help and hope for healing. An experienced and compassionate trauma therapist can help you understand how trauma impacts your body, emotions and relationships. With guidance and support, you can process unresolved trauma, learn how to leverage your strengths and move forward with increased resiliency, confidence and joy.
Trauma Therapy Can Help You Heal and Grow as an Individual, Couple and Family
There is a path to meaningful, lasting healing, and I offer compassionate support and unconditional positive regard to help you see that you are not alone. Whether you are searching for explanations for why you are struggling or personalized skills you can use to help yourself or a loved one find relief, trauma therapy can help. I take a solution-oriented approach, focusing on your unique personal, professional and relationship goals.
Current research has shown that the most effective approach to treating trauma is a combination of somatic work intended to help you identify self-defeating patterns of thought or behavior and connect with your emotional and physical experience in a healthy, healing way. Because everyone experiences trauma differently, I’ll work with you to tailor create a trauma therapy approach that best supports and addresses your unique history, trauma, needs and therapy goals. For example, I may incorporate nature-based, farm-based and/or equine therapy as a way to supplement the healing work we are doing in my office. Throughout sessions, I will support you as you learn to identify and manage difficult emotions or uncomfortable physical sensations as they arise. I’ll also provide you with the tools needed to address the stress and anxiety that is common with trauma before they can negatively impact important aspects of your life. Depending on how you experience trauma, we may incorporate mindfulness, meditation, breath work, trauma-informed yoga or nature-based exercises in our work together. We can take time to practice these techniques in sessions so you can feel confident applying them out of the office and in your own life. Grounding and breathing techniques truly can help you effectively manage distress and feel more comfortable in your body.
I incorporate EMDR therapy into most of my trauma work, and it plays a central role when I am working with couples, families or children and their parents together. We are often hurt in relationships, so to heal together in relationships can be incredibly powerful. Through this highly effective process, I can help you learn to come together and be a part of your loved one’s path to healing and recovery. In addition to somatic work and EMDR therapy, I take a Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) to help each individual in your relationship or family understand how past experiences influence how they think, feel and behave in current relationships.
I have been helping adults, children, couples and families heal from trauma for 20 years. I recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to recovering from trauma, and I continue to engage in the most current and advanced training in trauma treatment. In addition to my training as a psychotherapist, I have nearly 30 years of personal and professional experience practicing and teaching yoga, mindfulness and other techniques shown to support health and well-being. With help, support and a willingness to engage in the trauma therapy process, you can address areas where you feel stuck or uncertain, resolve trauma and foster a happier, more peaceful life.
But, you may still have questions or concerns about working with a trauma therapist…
I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread. What if therapy makes things worse?
It can be frightening to consider making a change in your life when you are already feel overwhelmed or helpless. Throughout our work together, we will do more than just talk about your experience; we will work to implement practical and sustainable change. I use scientifically researched and validated approaches shown to help individuals understand and recover from trauma. Whether you recently suffered a loss or you have been coping with unresolved trauma for years, a trauma therapist can help.
I’ve always felt anxious or disconnected.
Do I really need trauma counseling?
Trauma can be passed on from generation to generation, and you may have grown up feeling anxious, unhappy or on edge without understanding why. You may believe the fear, self-doubt and physical symptoms you are experiencing are normal or unavoidable, but there is a path to recovery. Together, we can explore coping strategies that you have used in the past, such as substance abuse or addictive behavior, and develop new strategies to help you heal and recover.
What if my partner, child or family refuses to attend therapy sessions?
I work with the families and couples as well as individuals, and in many cases it is possible to start therapy even if one or more members can’t or don’t wish to attend. You can’t change your family members or partner, but you can take steps to grow as an individual. The work you do during sessions has a ripple effect on the people around you. In time, your partner or resistant family member may recognize how effective trauma counseling has been for you and your relationship and decide to join you in a path of healing.
You Can Find Relief
If you are ready to live a more peaceful, confident life and build stronger, more supportive relationships, or if you still have questions about trauma therapy at my offices in Longmont and Boulder, I invite you to contact me at (303) 859-7410 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.