I believe therapy is not only a place to work through difficult experiences and emotions but also to foster joy and connection.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Alexandria, VA
Trauma doesn't just stem from a terrible car accident or a natural disaster. It can also be the result of racism, sexism, homophobia, or transphobia. Oftentimes the most damaging forms of trauma can stem from a harmful relationship, one where you often felt rejected or made to feel less-than. Sometimes we carry the wounds of relational trauma from childhood long into our adult lives. I have a certificate in trauma from Boston College and am IFS Level 1 trained.
Highly sensitive people feel, perceive, and think deeply. They are often sensitive to changes in their environment and stimuli as well as other's emotions. While this can come with challenges, it can also be a great strength and allow for deep fulfillment. I have taken trainings and understand both the difficulties and the possibilities that come with this sensory processing trait.
Anxiety can manifest in lots of different ways (wanting to run or hide in a new situation, feeling overwhelmed, racing thoughts). I believe that by understanding your anxiety's intention, we can better help you to feel safe and calm yourself.
Everyone has unique parts that come up every day. Angry parts, scared parts, critical parts, procrastinator parts, people-pleasing parts, and funny parts are a few common examples. Together we can explore how these parts got to be the way they are and why they do what they do. The reason why these parts do what they do is often not what we initially thought! IFS comes with the understanding that all parts have good intentions. I have received training through the IFS Institute.
Psychodynamic therapy looks at how the past influences the present. In other words, the way one was treated or what one experienced as a child affects how one feels, the relationships one forms, and the decisions one makes as an adult. Often times by gaining insight into our past, the messages and dynamics that use to control us loosen their hold so that we are better able to make choices that feel more true to our authentic selves. I have received training and mentorship in this area.
Approach therapy through a strength-based, person-centered, relational way
I believe the most important factor in whether or not therapy works is the relationship between the client and therapist, so we can work together to create a space that feels helpful to you. I always welcome feedback about what is and isn't working, and this can often lead to important insights.
Brainspotting was discovered by an EMDR therapist who noticed that "where you look affects how you feel." By noticing activation (intense feelings, body sensations, etc.) in one's body and visual field, the therapist and client can work to better process memories and experiences that are connected to less conscious parts of the brain. It can sound a little strange at first, but it allows one to connect to feelings that are a little more difficult to access through traditional talk therapy.
Trauma is not simply the bad or harmful things that happened to someone. It's also the imprint on a person that can affect one's beliefs about oneself and their world. Sometimes this imprint can look like anxiety, depression, dissociation, or intrusive thoughts. Trauma therapy seeks to help someone be a witness to their own experiences and tune into the feelings and beliefs that sprung up from the trauma. By tuning in and understanding one's experiences in therapy, one can process and heal.