What is trauma? Most people consider trauma to be events such as exposure to the violence of war, the sudden death of a loved one, experiencing an assult of some kind, ongoing abuse or neglect, and other things.
What I have come to realize over time, with training and experience, is the broader definition of trauma. Events that are unexpected and exceed our own capacity to cope push the nervous system beyond it’s ability to self-regulate. Ongoing stressful situations such as toxic work or family environments, childhood neglect, embarrassing or shameful experiences, could be traumatic to the body, mind, and spirit. When the nervous system is taxed beyond normal capacity, it may get “stuck” in fight or flight mode OR may drop into depression and disconnection. The result is often chronic anxiety, hyperawareness, difficulty sleeping, problems regulating emotions, fatigue, chronic pain, and illness.
Blearned that “trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body.”
It is imperative to pay attention to the mind-body connection when doing trauma work. Sensations from past trauma often become trapped in the body and must be addressed utilizing somatic approaches such as breathing techniques, grounding, and body awarenss.
My approach to working with trauma incorporates the mind-body-spirit connection through the use of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and somatic psychology. We first work to establish a felt sense of safety in the therapeutic relationship and environment. This begins with developing a trusting, therapeutic relationship as I learn about you and your experiences. We also work to create additional resources or “tools” to assist you in calming your body and mind outside of the therapy session. Together, we create the pace for our sessions and collaborately navigate the path toward healing one step at a time.