Lauren is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist working with The Heart of the Matter Counseling in Point Loma, California.
Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA
Supervised by Susan Heemstra
I've worked with many clients who suffer with PTSD, including military combat, sexual trauma, and childhood abuse. With trauma-informed cognitive therapies, we work to reduce difficult symptoms of trauma, including avoidance, flashbacks, changes in sleep/appetite and depressive or anxious symptoms. The therapy is focused on understanding the thoughts and feelings behind the trauma(s) so as to slowly and safely gain control over your brain's reaction to the trauma memory.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a structured type of therapy proven to benefit clients who have struggled with depression and anxiety. As clients of CBT work, you will delve into three areas of your experiences, including your thoughts, your feelings and your actions. CBT can help people feel more empowered in the decisions they make every day by understanding more deeply what drives those feelings and actions. CBT is an evidence-based therapy which has decreased symptoms for many clients.
So much of what we do is rooted in our upbringing. In attachment based therapy, we like to look closely at the relationships you had with your caregivers as a child and understand more about your early development environment. By uncovering your specific attachment style, we can then see how your current behaviors are a reflection of that attachment style and then you are more able to alter the behaviors that don't serve you.
Clients often come to therapy in crisis when anxiety has overwhelmed their lives and they can no longer withstand it. We know so much about anxiety, including where it resides in the brain and how it manifests in the body. And we have proven tools to reduce anxiety and panic in the brain, helping clients to function more efficiently and live their lives without interruption. By learning these tools, and practicing anti-anxiety exercises, you can severely reduce symptoms and get your life back.
We all go through ups and downs in life, depending on the stress we're under or a loss we've endured, and sometimes for no apparent reason at all. I've worked with many clients who found they were stuck in cycles of debilitating depression. Once we uncovered the source, the pattern, or the avoidance, these clients learned to thrive in the face of stress. Overcoming depression is not an easy thing to do, but the first step is acknowledging you have the power to make the first call for help.
I've worked with many military service men and women and respect the unique stressors you encounter in the service. The types of trauma, anxiety and depression seen in veterans and active duty service people are perhaps the most isolating because of the specific culture of the military. In therapy, we can build skills to cope with those experiences and help you feel more in control of your life.