Break the repetitive patterns and move forward from the trauma.
The word "trauma"
The word “trauma” in everyday language means a highly stressful event. The key to understanding traumatic events is that to what degree it overwhelms a person’s ability to cope. It is an individual’s subjective experience that defines whether an event is or is not traumatic. A young child being criticized by a teacher, can be more traumatized than an adult experiencing public humiliation.
A traumatic event is determined as one in which you perceive a threat to your life, body or your mind. The other significant part of the definition is your reaction to the event. If you can cope with the event, even if it is a serious threat, it isn't trauma. Trauma happens when your ability to cope is completely overwhelmed.
We have experience treating several types of trauma such as developmental trauma, childhood adverse experiences, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, and negative beliefs that contribute to anxiety or low self-confidence.
We provided integrated trauma care to clients. Your therapist may combine Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Internal Family System (IFS), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), creative arts, Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, attachment, creative arts therapy, and mindfulness-based treatment to help you navigate the journey to recovery.
EMDR for Trauma & Negative Self-Beliefs
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a "psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. ". In EMDR sessions, Therapists guide clients to focus on a troubling memory, emotion, or body sensation while moving the eyes rapidly ( or slowly) back and forth following therapists' fingers. This rapid eye movement, which also occurs naturally during our dreaming, seems to be helpful in processing unpleasant memories.
What is it used for?
EMDR is used to treat attachment trauma, anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, and post-traumatic reactions. It is also proven to be helpful in reclaiming your confidence and self-esteem.
What happens in EMDR?
It is different for everyone because the experiential healing process is guided from within. Sometimes past memories associated with the current concern come up. These may also be targeted with EMDR. Sometimes a painful memory brings up unpleasant emotions or body sensations. This is ABSOLUTELY normal and often passes within a few minutes with eye movements. The disturbing emotion or memory often fades into the past and loses its power.
Why bring up a painful memory?
When painful memories are avoided or inadequately processed, they still have power over you. A flashback or nightmare can feel as upsetting and overwhelming as the original experience. In therapy, and with EMDR, you can face the memory in a safer and less intrusive way, so that you have a new opportunity to integrate and process information.
Do I have control?
It is hard to predict the thoughts, feelings, or memories that might come up during EMDR. It depends upon each individual's natural healing process. You are ALWAYS in charge of whether to continue or stop. You are always in charge of how much to disclose to me. It works well with children who cannot fully verbalize their thoughts and feelings.
Are there any precautions?
Yes. There are specific protocols to be followed depending on clients' presenting problems, emotional stability, medical condition, and other factors. We will teach you tons of containing/soothing techniques before starting processing.
What happens afterward?
You may continue to process the memories for days or even weeks after the session. You might experience strong feelings, new insights, or dreams. It is a continuation of the healing process. You can use the container skills to manage strong feelings/sensations and address residual concerns with your therapist next session. As the distressing symptoms fade, you can work with me on developing new skills and ways of coping.
Art Therapy for Trauma & Unawared Patterns.
What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is a therapeutic approach where we use both art and talk to promote healing, self-discovery, and personal growth. Art therapy finds its roots in the fields of psychodynamic and Jungian psychology, drawing inspiration from their theories on the connection between creativity, symbolism, and the unconscious mind. In the modern art therapy field, individuals engage in the art-making process, which not only provides a calming and soothing experience but also serves as a unique form of communication.
What is it used for?
Art therapy provides a powerful and transformative approach for individuals with trauma, depression, anxiety, and unaware repetitive patterns. Through the creative process, art therapy offers a non-verbal and expressive outlet to explore and release emotions, memories, and experiences that may be difficult to put into words.
What happens in Art Therapy?
The process of art therapy for trauma involves creating a safe and supportive environment where individuals can explore their traumatic experiences and promote healing. Initially, the art therapist establishes a therapeutic relationship built on trust and understanding. Through various art mediums, such as painting, drawing, or sculpture, individuals are encouraged to express their emotions and memories visually, bypassing the limitations of verbal communication. This creative process allows for the externalization and reprocessing of traumatic material, facilitating a sense of control, release, and empowerment. The art therapist provides gentle guidance and interpretation, helping individuals make meaning of their artwork, integrate fragmented experiences, and gradually work towards resolution and healing. Along this transformative journey, art therapy can foster self-awareness, resilience, and a renewed sense of wholeness, supporting individuals in their recovery from trauma.
Do I have to be an artist to do Art Therapy?
Not at all! Art therapy is not about creating masterpieces; rather, it focuses on somatic experiencing through sensory exploration and self-expression. The emphasis lies on the therapeutic benefits of engaging with art materials, colors, textures, and forms, which can stimulate the senses and promote self-discovery. Through this non-verbal and intuitive approach, art therapy offers a safe space for individuals to tap into their inner world, allowing emotions, memories, and experiences to manifest in a tangible and expressive manner.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness
What is CBT?
Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on the relationship among thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We will coach you to understand how changes in any one domain can improve functioning in the other domains. For example, altering a person’s unhelpful thinking can lead to healthier behaviors and improved emotion regulation. CBT targets current problems and symptoms and is typically delivered over 12-16 sessions in either individual or group format. However, longer treatment might be helpful to cope with secondary problems caused by the traumatic event.
What happens in CBT?
In CBT, you will learn about trauma and its negative effects on you. If you are a minor, parents can also participate in family sessions. Parents will be educated on trauma and taught parenting skills that can help them understand and interact in healthy ways with you. Sessions may be held with you alone, the parents alone, and you and your parents together.
Your therapist will provide relaxation techniques training. We can use the skills during the therapeutic process as well as later on. Your therapist will coach you to talk about the experience and help you develop a trauma narrative that organizes your thoughts about the experience. You will also learn how to express your feelings appropriately. Your therapist will also guide you to examine thoughts related to the traumatic experience and learn to adopt more helpful thought patterns. Our goal is to help you develop a greater sense of confidence and believe in your own power.
CBT treatment also usually involves efforts to change behavioral patterns. We might practice role plays to prepare for potentially problematic interactions with others. We may suggest you revisit the location or type of location where the event happened. We can also do it together. We can either be with you in person or through online therapy tools. This is done gradually, with exposure beginning slowly and more elements of the scene being added a little at a time. The exposure allows you to face the situation again, this time relying on coping skills you learn earlier in the therapy.