Healing Complex Trauma

Chest tight… heart-pounding…

Is that what happens when you look back on your past?

Does it feel like it will consume you if you start talking about it… like you will fall into a hole and not be able to climb out again?

Better to let sleeping dogs lie. It’s all in the past now.

Or is it?

The way you cringe when a door slams…

The way your ears prick up, hyper-attentive to footsteps in the hall…

The way that conflict, even over something super small, makes you completely shut down…

And we both know that it’s much more pervasive than that.

Do you have difficulty managing your emotions?

Unresolved trauma can lead to intense waves of anger, grief, fear, and shame. Sometimes even the smallest thing can set you off. These emotional flashbacks seem to spring up out of nowhere, derailing whatever plans you had for the day (or week!) and drumming up a lot of drama in your relationships while they’re at it.

Do you constantly try to please everyone around you?

When you were a kid, other people being upset did not equal good things for you! You learned to track your family member’s emotions carefully, tend to their needs and moods, and make sure everything went as smoothly as possible. You got good at it, and you lost track of your own experience. That habit of tending to others is a survival strategy that kept you safe in the past. But these days, it’s draining all your energy and keeping you from setting boundaries, asking for help, and actually enjoying your relationships.

Is it hard to open up and trust people – even those you know who care?

When past relationships have been unsafe and unpredictable, it creates a tough inner conflict. The people who you relied on for care and comfort were the same ones who caused pain. You want to be close to others, to feel connected and loved, but at the same time, the idea of closeness gives rise to intense fear and the desire to guard yourself or run away.

What from the past continues to haunt you and hold you back?

What are the memories that still hold an overwhelming “charge”? What keeps surging up when you have your guard down? You’ve probably dealt with…

Yelling, fights, gaslighting, and confusion…

Walking on eggshells, always remaining alert to anything that might set your parents off…

Keeping things “right” in the house so that you didn’t attract the wrath of someone living with you…

Taking care of yourself while other kids your age were out playing (no one else was going to)…

Sometimes, it takes a long time to realize that these things are not normal – that they’re abusive – that they’re traumatic.

Complex trauma is just that: complex.

These experiences have struck at the core of who you are.

Childhood is a time of key developmental phases in which we learn about ourselves, relationships, and our place in the wider world. When an impressionable young body and mind is immersed in repeated experiences of danger, uncertainty, and fear rather than love, comfort, and support, it upsets the perception of self, others, and the world.

You look back at the blurry, disjointed memories and wonder what really happened? What’s real?

Even now, you wonder how you might have provoked it. Maybe if you had been different – been better… it wouldn’t have gone this way.

As you start to peel back the layers, you question who you even are underneath all of these trauma responses. And frankly, you’re a bit afraid even to find out.

You might be wondering: “Can any of this really get better, or am I just broken?”

In therapy, you can heal and discover your true inner self.

This isn’t just about reviewing what happened in the past. Trauma therapy is a path to developing a new relationship with yourself that allows you to feel grounded and confident as you move through present-day life.

Move beyond the confusion and distress…

We will use the natural mechanics of the body and nervous system to develop your toolkit for managing emotions, stress, triggers, and overwhelm. Things like breathing techniques, mindful body awareness, visualization, and self-expression in art or movement will help develop your understanding of your reactions and find new ways to cope and move forward with clarity.

Develop a sense of safety and wholeness in your body…

Your body holds your greatest fears and most intense emotions, but it also holds your greatest capacity for presence and security. Together, we will build your capacity to work with the parts of your body that feel unsafe and locate your places of inner strength and resilience as well.

Rebuild your capacity to trust others…

Our relationship becomes a practice ground to explore what it’s like to be connected with another human. By exploring themes of trust, boundaries, and safety with a caring professional, you have the opportunity to build new maps for what a healthy relationship can look like.

Have more balance in your emotions and worldview…

As we start to add words, movement, and imagery to things you’ve kept locked away, it will open up new space in your body and mind for other kinds of experiences. We will let all of the different parts of you express themselves in words and movement, dialogue with each other, and get their needs met little by little. This newly opened space often leads to new perspectives, increased self-compassion, and an ability to embrace the in-betweens rather than living in the realm of black vs. white.

Find a way to move through the world that feels good for YOU…

As we build your awareness of your body and emotions, you will get to know yourself better than you ever have before. Then, we get to practice creatively expressing your true thoughts, feelings, and desires in artistic and movement-based ways. This will link your inner experience with your outward actions and help you make life decisions that you are sure and excited about!

A painful past does not have to mean a painful future.

It may seem at times like your mind and body are working against you. But much of that is a natural, healthy response to the extremely dangerous, unhealthy situations you’ve experienced.

You are not broken!

And together, we can apply proven therapeutic methods that will open up a new sense of ease and comfort in your daily life.

Don’t worry! My style is slow and gentle. I will be right there with you guiding, but you are always in control of the process: how much, how fast, how intense, what topic, what day.

I would love to help. Please, reach out to me today for your free consultation.