WHAT TO EXPECT FROM TREATMENT
What to Expect
Our first one to two sessions will be used to gather information about you and your treatment goals.
Over the course of treatment we will work together to identify your values and use these as the “big picture” to guide our work of developing the skills that will empower you to identify and face experiences you've been avoiding. Together, you and I will work to cultivate non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts and emotions and a willingness to tolerate them as opposed to struggling against them. Our ultimate goal is to develop an acceptance of situations you are unable to change and a commitment to changing situations you can. The work we do together in each session will be active and goal-oriented, and in between sessions you will be encouraged to practice the skills and strategies that you are taught.
Healing from trauma involves developing the resources to handle challenging emotions, upsetting thoughts, and distressing memories. Trauma experiences are not only held in our thoughts and emotions, but also in our bodies. Polyvagal theory explains that our bodies can react to stressful events even before we are aware of what triggered our reaction. Outside of our conscious awareness, our brain can release a cascade of stress chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline, which leads our body to have a survival reaction (fight/flight/freeze). Since this is outside of our awareness, to truly heal from trauma, we cannot just think our way out of the symptoms of trauma; but instead need to partner cognitive work with working with the body. Therefore, as we engage in any evidence-based trauma treatment, we will integrate developing skills to build self-compassion and a sense of safety and stability, within the body through practices that may include mindfulness meditation, breathing, and/or body movement to build awareness of the present moment.
I believe in providing a treatment environment that is compassionate and collaborative. A defining characteristic of trauma is experiencing a loss of choice over what happened to you. This can lead to feelings of powerlessness and helplessness. Consequently, recovery from trauma necessitates the knowledge that you have choices available to you. Therefore, throughout our work together I will check-in with you about what feels right for you and what choices you want to make in your treatment so that you are well-equipped to progress in the journey of living the life you want to be living.