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Untangling Trauma: Attachment, Body and Mind

Trauma comes in many forms. Sometimes it can be a shock trauma like a car accident. Sometimes it can be a developmental trauma from difficult relationships from childhood.  I have spent my professional career helping people with trauma understand how trauma affects their lives and develop tools and skills to manage that trauma.


Untangling trauma is not easy. Trauma not only affects the mind but also affects the body. Our nervous system is very powerful. It allows us to feel positive things like intimacy and safety but it has also developed mechanisms to protect us from danger. These mechanisms include the sympathetic nervous system, which controls our “fight or flight” response, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which causes us to shut down and conserve energy. Trauma, either from a single event or a pattern of abuse causes these systems to malfunction, which can lead to somatic symptoms that can profoundly affect a person's life.

My training is in therapy modalities such as Somatic Experiencing (SE) and Dynamic Attachment Re-patterning experience (DARe) which are proven modalities for treating both the psychological and physiological effects of trauma. My passion is partnering with those suffering from trauma to help them lead a more full and happy life. My greatest joy and sense of accomplishment comes from helping my clients open up a whole new world of living after trauma.

 

Somatic Attachment & Trauma Psychotherapist

When human beings experience trauma or severe life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. My passion is bringing healing to people who have been through a traumatic/stressful experience. I am a licensed psychotherapist. I help my clients to find healthy perceptions of themselves and strengthen their relationships so they can know themselves as peaceful, complete, whole, and safe.
I know that no single approach is the right one for every individual, and so I have been trained in a range of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Somatic Experiencing (SE), Dynamic Attachment Re-patterning (DARe) as well as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

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My Approach

Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a naturalistic approach to the resolution and healing of trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine and is supported by research. It is based upon the observation that wild prey animals, though threatened routinely, are rarely traumatized. Animals in the wild utilize innate mechanisms to regulate and discharge the high levels of energy arousal associated with defensive survival behaviors. These mechanisms provide animals with a built-in “immunity’’ to trauma that enables them to return to normal in the aftermath of highly ‘’charged’’ life-threatening experiences. 


—SE employs awareness of body sensation to help people "renegotiate" and heal rather than re-live or re-enact trauma.

—SE's guidance of the bodily "felt sense," allows the highly aroused survival energies to be safely experienced and gradually discharged. 


—SE “titrates” experience (breaks down into small, incremental steps), rather than evoking catharsis - which can overwhelm the regulatory mechanisms of the organism.

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DARe (Dynamic Attachment Re-patterning)

DARe is a treatment modality built on extensive research about attachment styles and how a better understanding of those attachment styles can unlock the human's natural ability to self-heal. Developed by Dr. Diane Poole Heller, an internationally recognized speaker, author, and expert in the field of child and adult attachment theory and trauma resolution, DARe. Our brains store memories of early experiences, creating patterns that deeply affect our relationships and our behaviors in adult life. Dr. Heller's holistic approach, largely based on Somatic and Relational healing techniques, helps us discover the source of those patterns and to apply the right understanding to unwind them, thus releasing new energy to heal trauma.

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EMDR

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy technique that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used to process negative memories that are affecting the individual. Harvard researchers have studied the connection between negative memories with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. EMDR therapy works by using that connection to help people process their negative memories and the disturbing feelings related to those memories. In successful EMDR therapy, the meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level. 

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