“That makes it sound like a conscious choice. The psyche is much smarter than consciousness allows. We bury things so deep we no longer remember there was anything to bury. Our bodies remember. Our neurotic states remember. But we don’t.”
Jeanette Winterson—Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal
Childhood Histories: Adult Enactments
Do you find it difficult to maintain intimate relationships or friendships? Does trusting another person make you anxious? Do you find yourself living on the edge and always pushing the limits? Is self-medicating with alcohol or drugs a way to control unwanted emotions? Do you feel disconnected to internal body sensations? Do you struggle with simultaneously wanting closeness yet pushing people away? Are you overly critical of your spouse or co-workers? Do you walk through you day avoiding triggers?
Treating Childhood Trauma
Single or chronic experiences of neglect, abandonment, loss, betrayal, rejection, physical or sexual abuses are often at the foundation of the problems that can emerge years later, in adulthood. Often, the abuse occurs at the hands of an adult who is supposed to provide a foundation of support, love, acceptance and attunement. A vital bond that has been broken or damaged can have profound ripple effects on a person’s intimate, friendship, parenting and work relationships.
“Tell me about your family?” is a question often answered by people with abuse histories as “Fine.” Sometimes, the answer is given as a way of safely deflecting the question, but mostly it is given because the realization of what one experienced has not been made fully conscious. This potential realization may feel frightening or overwhelming, which is why treatment for child abuse moves at a pace determined by us, together, based on what feels safe for you. We will lay the groundwork for stabilization, grounding, self-regulation and soothing before doing any trauma work. I provide an integrated, holistic approach to healing trauma.
Safety and Containment in Therapy
Due to these earlier experiences, reaching out to a therapist can be frightening. Feeling anxious, excited, scared and hopeful are all normal feelings to bring to therapy. Not only are they normal, they are understandable. And yet, reaching out to a well trained, non-judgmental, compassionate, and qualified therapist who knows the importance of establishing safe boundaries is the path through which healing takes place. Taking the next step, and seeking the help you deserve (even though you may feel you do not) allows you to begin the hard work of healing from these experiences.
You do not have to feel engulfed or defined by the past or by trauma. You do not have to struggle in isolation. Witnessing another person’s healing process and helping them to establish a healthier, more meaningful, and self-determined life is truly an honor.
The Therapeutic Process
I am keenly aware that turning to face issues of childhood abuse/neglect is complex, frightening, and it can open up seemingly contradictory and perplexing feelings. I will set the pace of therapy according to what allows you to feel safe, secure and to remain present in your body and in the therapeutic relationship. I will provide a protected space for you to discover the words and language needed to explore and discover your obstructed feelings and thoughts so you may re-claim your true and authentic self.
“Be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.…Live the questions now. Perhaps you will gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
Rainer Maria Rilke—Letters to a Young Poet
You are invited to Contact Me so that I may answer your questions or to schedule an appointment at 415-923-0866.