Many people have experienced a traumatic event in their lives. Unfortunately, some will experience continued traumatic events in their lives (childhood abuse, mental/physical/sexual abuse, neglect, military trauma, military sexual trauma, substance abuse, racism, systemic trauma). These events often lead to an ineffective way of coping, often diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is not yet recognized in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM V), and lumped in with PTSD. C-PTSD includes prolonged exposure to traumatic events and can include even more persistent and intense symptoms.
Common (but not exhaustive) symptoms include reliving a traumatic event, changes in beliefs about yourself or others after the event, being easily startled (hypervigilant), avoidance of situations or people that remind you of the event, dissociation or flashbacks, feelings of being detached, inability to experience positive emotions, and loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. Other symptoms include toxic shame, low self esteem, intrusive emotional flashbacks, and dissociation.
I am a Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist, and will help you by using individualized interventions. These will help you lower arousal, increase ability to cope and regulate emotions, interrupt panic attacks, and being to feel connected to self and others again.
Do you feel like you are living in never-ending emptiness? Like everyday is consumed by things outside your control?
Trauma, neglect, grief and mental health are all intricately intertwined with addiction and substance abuse. Every day ends up being a painful survival. Living with addiction is a painful existence, filled with shame, sadness, guilt and isolation. Lies and covering up your addiction becomes overwhelming. Every day becomes consumed with the addiction.You are not alone. Despite what your addiction tells you—let me say it again—you are not alone. You CAN move forward. You can exist and thrive without the chains of addiction dictating each living minute.
Dialectical behavioral therapy and a genuine therapist can help guide you toward coping, moving forward, and breaking the hold addiction has on your life. I have worked in with addiction and dual diagnosis for most of my career. I have been the Clinical Director of multiple substance abuse treatment facilities, where I created and implemented daily group curriculum, trained therapists and substance abuse counselors, and provided trauma and addiction therapy. With the knowledge, skills, and experience I have, I can help you move forward.
Anxiety, a mood disorder commonly diagnosed as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), is a condition in which each day is riddled with overwhelming restlessness, constant worry, inability to relax, difficulty concentrating, muscle tightness, feeling jumpy and on-edge, easily fatigued, feelings of being out of control, having difficulty breathing, and irritability (to name some).
Your anxiety, whether diagnosable as GAD or not, impacts your life in a variety of negative ways. Your body is constantly in sympathetic nervous system arousal. You may be easily startled, feel tight in various areas (neck, shoulders, legs, back, etc.). You may have constant racing thoughts, intrusive worries, and difficulty concentrating. It is exhausting for your body to maintain this arousal.
Therapy can help you slow your physiological responses, increase your ability to cope in the moment, and increase feelings of hope, connection and contentment.
Depression is a common, and very serious mood disorder. It is commonly diagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Some (not all) common symptoms include depressed mood, diminished interest in things you once enjoyed, lack of interest or pleasure in daily activities, fatigue, poor sleep (too much or too little), difficulty concentrating, feelings of worthlessness, and thoughts of death or dying.
Even if you do not meet all criteria to be officially diagnosed with MDD, your feelings of sadness and worthlessness are absolutely worth working through. YOU deserve to live a life full of hope, fulfillment and contentment.
Depression can be treated with multiple interventions, usually focused on self care, challenging our thought processes and the feelings associated with them, and increasing self esteem, inspiration and hope.
Whether our stressors are work related, family, finances, divorce, graduation, new parenthood, or holiday related, they are stress. Stress, whether negative or positive, can affect our ability to cope and regulate our emotions.
We often end up irritable, short with others, having feelings of depression or anxiety, and we feel lost and overwhelmed. While these feelings are a completely normal response to a variety of difficult situations, it doesn’t make living with them any less comfortable.
Through therapy I will help you navigate the life stressors that keep you from living your best life by increasing your ability to cope, getting pent up frustrations “off your chest,” and finding ways to be mindful and present.