I work with survivors of childhood abuse, neglect, or emotionally immature parents, women who have survived abusive partner relationships and people who have been in accidents or witnessed traumatic events. Survivors continue to struggle to find peace or contentment in their families, friendships, work lives and intimate relationships.
“Trauma survivors have symptoms instead of memories” (Janina Fisher).
Symptoms of trauma include: depression, irritability, hypervigilance, loss of a sense of self or purpose, hopelessness, phobias and paranoia, impulsivity, generalized anxiety and panic attacks, self destructive behaviour, substance abuse and addictions, eating disorders, decreased concentration, insomnia, emotional overwhelm, loss of a sense of the future, shame and worthlessness, little or no memories, nightmares and flashbacks, mistrust, chronic pain, headaches, and feeling unreal or out of the body.
To treat the symptoms of trauma we have to wake up the thinking brain, create safety, reduce phobias to the trauma symptoms, reconnect to our bodies, our selves, and learn to develop healthy relationships. We also need to make sense of the trauma symptoms as survival responses and to integrate them into our sense of self.
I work from a Trauma Informed Stabilization Treatment, Attachment Focused, Neurobiological, Sensorimotor , trauma informed yoga and Relational Psychotherapeutic perspectives. Together we will discover the strategies you used to cope with the trauma you experienced and how adaptive those strategies were. We will notice how those strategies continue to be alive today, and how they can be out of place in your life as it is being lived now. We will look at ways to update those strategies to better fit your current life. We will also notice the ways those strategies have become encoded in your body and practice specific strategies so that you can shift your physical patterns to find more ease in your body and mind. Learning strategies to update your encoded trauma symptoms will provide more peace in your relationships and more choice in how you respond to old triggers when they arise in the present.
At your own pace, we will work to develop a safe, non-judgemental, boundaried professional relationship that will provide you with a sense of security in the world and a place you can come back to when you need to refuel. Ideally, this new feeling of security and being appreciated and understood accurately, will lead you to value yourself more. In this valuing of yourself you may start to seek out safe people who can love you for just being you and who can respect your boundaries. You will learn in our connection how to handle the normal ups and downs of relationships and feel more competent in these moments in your own life. Instead of running your life, your history can be metabolized emotionally. As you integrate the past, you can find freedom to be who you were meant to be and to appreciate all the strengths and resources you have gained in your life.