I'll help heal your traumatic experiences through trauma-informed processes, to unleash peace, joy and freedom in your life.
Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA
A key task of infancy and childhood -- an essential element in growing up to feel secure, confident, with high self-esteem -- is the formation of secure attachments to reliable, loving caregivers. I work with those who didn't have this experience growing up, to build what is called "earned secure attachment" -- the work of building those same internal circuits in adulthood, which were not adequately built in childhood.
I am trained in the use of EMDR for the treatment of trauma, both single- and multi-incident traumas. EMDR is a powerful tool which helps the mind to heal itself in a gentle and kind way. I am especially equipped to work with people living with chronic health challenges, people dealing with alcoholism, addiction, or addictive behaviors, and people who experienced abuse and neglect during childhood.
I like to think about attachment this way: our experience of the world is formed in childhood. If we were raised by caregivers who projected that everything is okay, that is the default way we tend to view life situations. If we were raised by caregivers who were in fear, rage, depression, then we tend to see the world as scary-unsafe-not okay. I love to work with clients to develop a secure sense of attachment, even if their beginnings were scary-unsafe-not okay.
I specialize in Attachment-Focused EMDR, designed for healing trauma resulting from adverse childhood experiences – abuse, neglect, loss of loved ones, childhood illness and so on. If the past stayed in the past, we could just leave these behind and move on. But when we're under stress, the past can intrude into the present – as anxiety, depression, freezing, dissociation. These present-day experiences are our key to the healing process, and as they resolve, they're our best measure of success.
I work with clients who have used various forms of dissociation to control their overwhelming experience. When the body has been a source of pain – physical and/or emotional – we retreat into one escape and another. Mindfulness is a set of tools for reconnecting with our present experience and gaining vital information about what it is to be alive and uniquely ourselves. And as we learn to tune in to our beingness in all its messiness, we begin to get in touch with joy and meaning and purpose.
If you're experiencing fear that seems out of proportion to your present circumstances, or your level of fear is ratcheted up to a 10 all the time, I can help you understand why that is. I can help you learn emotional self- and co-regulation -- tools to bring your emotional state within your window of tolerance. I can help you discover and resolve the roots of your dysregulated alarm system.
I use Lifespan Integration to help clients make sense of the flow of their lives, to develop a more holistic experience of themselves, to grasp the relationship between their present-day self and their past experiences, and even to help shift the way they hold difficult past experiences.