Therapy for Trauma
Trauma includes events and situations that cause a person to feel helpless, or that their existence is threatened. When we speak of trauma, it not only relates to physical violence, but emotional violence and neglect as well.
Trauma can imprint itself on an individual's nervous system, and many long lasting coping mechanisms may develop as a result of trauma. Someone who has experienced trauma may find concentration or sleep difficult, they may anger easily, feel depressed or anxious, it may be difficult to form intimate relationships or to trust others. Some people who have a history of trauma develop phobias, others may turn to drugs or alcohol or other addictive behaviors.
The goal in treating trauma is to help the client manage the effects of trauma - fears, anxiety, depression, anger. It is also to help reduce the charge of the traumatic memory - so that the client's traumatic experience becomes part of their past, a memory, rather than something that continues to negatively impact their wellbeing.
One of the ways I approach trauma is using Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, which uses mindful awareness of physical sensation to work through the effects of trauma not only on the body, but on emotions and thought patterns as well. It is a gentle and transformative way of working.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) uses bilateral stimulation to help the body and brain process and release traumas, both large and small. It is a widely studied tool known for its effectiveness in treating PTSD. It is also useful in treating negative beliefs, phobias, anxiety, and places that feel stuck. EMDR can be a very fast treatment, sometimes resolving issues in just a few sessions.
In working with trauma, we will always go at your pace. I will never push you to do something you don't want to do. It is also not necessary to recount the details of traumatic events in order to heal.
I am a provider for the California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) which provides compensation to people who have been victims of or witnesses to a crime. The program will cover the fees for 40 sessions of therapy for people who qualify. For more information, please visit their website.