As I’ve dived deeper into my psyche in therapy as well as in one intensive psychotherapy training after the next, I’ve also learned something about this adaptive coping something- or -other, and that is that this quest for information and knowledge is also my strategy… To avoid pain. To stay safe. To not feel uncomfortable feelings. To be able to deal with difficult people & experiences. To know something in my head. Where it’s safe. That will fix everything. Knowing. Underst
The goal of TF- Yoga is to safely learn to embody oneself as many of us affected by trauma and/or oppression survive those experiences by dissociating from the body. According to research by trauma expert, Bessel van der Kolk, Yoga “is a gentle, safe way for people to befriend their bodies, where the trauma of the past is stored.” Meditation and breathing exercises can also be triggering for folks who have a trauma history. It is vital to work with a practitioner that is supp
It’s holiday season during quarantine and we are about to be inundated with body and food shaming. Even a global pandemic is not enough to stop the insanity of food and body control efforts in the new year. For folx whose bodies are marginalized in society, this pressure can bring up complex feelings of shame, urges to modify their bodies, as well as depression and anxiety. This is an especially tenuous time for individuals with past or current eating disorders. Adapting a ne
A lot of folks seek trauma recovery after engaging in traditional talk therapy modalities such as CBT or hearing from a friend or doctor that they should give EMDR a try. This is wonderful as there are many body-based modalities that can be incorporated into psychotherapy that help with the integration of trauma symptoms, experiences, and memories. A common misconception is that these modalities replace traditional therapies, but that is inaccurate. Modalities such as Brainsp
“I believe so much of the healing process has to be the patient’s activity. If you’re a trauma survivor and feel as though your recovery and healing is the work of the therapist, you’re still not free. What I want is for people to feel their own capacity for healing. When we’ve lost our sense of agency from traumatic experiences, it’s important that, part of the recovery, be the recovering of the sense of agency.” – Janina Fisher Understanding the role of client a
These days, social media allows us to share our beliefs and causes to a large audience at any time. Certainly, it has its advantages, but where does sharing and evangelizing cross over? When does your activism become judgment. Is your way of thinking, feeling, eating, moving, doing… the only way? Is it your duty to educate others on how to live? Why is that your job? Notice when you are evangelizing. Before you click ‘share’ or call out another person on their choices or beli
Focusing only on the positive aspects can be a trap. “I want to move but, I have a really great job here.” “I’m sad a lot in this relationship but I just care about them so much and I don’t want to be alone.” “I feel a sense of dread walking into my corporate office everyday, but I just make too much to leave.” These are statements I hear from my clients everyday in therapy. In fact, the frequency by which I hear sentiments like these is so often, I’ve begun to notice them ev
There are a lot of reasons we avoid conflict, the obvious being that it just doesn’t feel good. It can also be an outdated strategy from childhood, if the people In control didn’t handle conflict well or were abusive. But, if you are in a safe and secure environment as an adult, conflict doesn’t have to be feared or avoided. Although those avoidance strategies make sense, the truth is, that if you avoid conflict by ignoring it, you are hurting the relationship and the other p
The more complicated, difficult, oppressive, and taxing life is for you: the more time & energy you need in self-care practices that energize, heal, and fill you back up. Life is more difficult if: You’re a survivor of trauma.
You’re a minority.
You experience micro-aggressions.
You are a person of color.
You identify as LGBTQAI.
You have a mental illness.
You live in poverty.
You are disabled.
Your work is in service of human healing & social justice. Therefore, your
We can change the distorted beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world through active, intentional mindful awareness of our internal world in the present moment. Trauma dysregulates our nervous system so that the messages sent from our bodies to our brains and back can get very confused. One of the central message errors is in regard to the very thing our brain cares most about: our safety and ability to survive. One question trauma survivors can begin to ask themselves t
The brain utilizes our past experiences to provide information on how to interpret our emotions in the present. The brain is really good at relying on the past to make guesses about the future. As we develop throughout our lives, the brain can learn new things and develop a new lens, that’s why adults tend to be more emotionally- regulated than toddlers. But, trauma very easily disrupts this progression, and we can easily develop triggers associated with particular emotions t
There’s a continuum of ‘treat yo’ self’ to ‘discipline yourself’ and being able to find a balance from day to day is what makes it ‘healthy’. This was an aha moment for me during my morning run. It’s extra hot out right now and as I ran slowly on my regular route I thought about how it takes discipline to keep going forward when the conditions are not ideal. I haven’t always have a good relationship with discipline though. Naturally inquisitive, I’ve been pondering my journe