Many people have experienced a traumatic event in their lives. Unfortunately, some will experience continued traumatic events in their lives (childhood abuse, attachement trauma, mental/physical/sexual abuse, neglect, military trauma, military sexual trauma, substance abuse, racism, systemic trauma). These events often lead to an overactive nervous system and difficulty 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 EMDR trained. I will help you by using individualized interventions, at a pace you are comfortable with. Trauma therapy will help you lower arousal, increase ability to cope and regulate emotions, interrupt panic attacks, and help you begin to feel connected to self and others again.
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.
Anxiety therapy can help you slow your physiological responses and increase your ability to cope in the moment. Together, we will work to increase feelings of hope, connection and contentment.
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. It not only affects our thought processes and general outlook. It can affect our bodies in the form of illness, pain and exhaustion.
When encountering stressors, we often end up irritable, short with others, or having feelings of depression or anxiety. We may 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. In therapy, you will learn how to engage in the world around you, and with yourself, in an effective manner. This isn’t just deep breathing and meditation. Here you will practice new skills, gain new insights, learn boundaries and new ways of thinking.
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. Together, we will forge a way out of the stress that has burndened you. You will come away feeling empowered and able.