Do you feel a sense of shame regarding your past?
Are you constantly overwhelmed and unable to achieve an inner sense of quiet and safety?
Does it seem like no one understands what you’ve been through?
Maybe you think you suffered from trauma or abuse, but you’re not entirely sure.
Perhaps you constantly avoid situations that remind you of what happened.
The past hangs like a dark cloud over the present, leaving you unable to relax and let your guard down. You may struggle to control your emotions and experience rapid fluctuations in your mood and behavior. Perhaps you feel sad, angry and confused all at once, not knowing where to turn for help.
One of the hardest parts of living with trauma is how isolating it can be. Maybe the people closest to you know about your trauma, but for the most part, it is your biggest secret. You may tell yourself: No one knows how much I’ve suffered, so what’s the point of telling them? They wouldn’t understand, anyway.
Perhaps you fear that telling people about your trauma will impact how they see you. Maybe they see you as high-functioning and successful—you wouldn’t want to show them your vulnerable side. People may tell you that you’re funny, outgoing and confident, when in reality you feel sad and just want to be alone.
If you experienced neglect or abuse as a child, you may have trouble trusting other people. Although you seek comfort and peace in others, the idea of putting your trust in them terrifies you, causing you to self-sabotage and withdraw into yourself.
In trauma and PTSD therapy with me, you have a chance to rebuild your sense of trust from the ground up. This is a chance to overcome the pain of the past and achieve a fresh start in life.
Unfortunately, many people do not realize they are traumatized because they do not understand that trauma is a spectrum.
Losing a job, going through a breakup, and growing up with neglectful or verbally abusive parents are all examples of traumatic experiences.
Maybe you grew up in poverty or were constantly juggled between two different caregivers. Or perhaps you’ve been mistreated in the workplace—overworked, underpaid, and unrecognized for all your hard work. You may have even suffered from discrimination or systemic racism. All of these experiences can disrupt your sense of safety and take a toll on your emotional well-being.
As a member of the African-American community, I know there is a tendency for people in our culture to brush trauma under the rug. Coping often takes the form of suppressing our emotions and moving on with our lives as quickly as possible. We work ourselves harder and harder in the hopes that our trauma will get left behind.
But what actually happens is just the opposite—our trauma gets stored in a treasure chest somewhere deep inside our bodies. When someone or something triggers that treasure chest, the trauma is unlocked and released back into our lives again. Our bodies go into a stress response—we isolate, lash out, or panic. In this way, ignoring trauma or working hard to suppress it only makes it worse.
To truly heal your emotional wounds, you have to be willing to confront them. But to do so in a way that is safe, controlled, and non-retraumatizing, you may need the help of a trauma counselor.
Talking about trauma can be scary. That’s why my approach to therapy is more body-centered than mind-centered. It is a deeply intuitive process—there is more feeling than talking. The body is the storehouse of trauma, so by focusing on calming the body, we can weaken the stress responses it instinctively resorts to.
My first goal is to create a safe and relaxing environment to be vulnerable without feeling distressed. Together, we will identify coping skills and calming techniques—such as grounding and deep breathing exercises—that you can use to soothe your symptoms in daily life. From time to time, we will check in to determine what’s working and what’s not. After all, you have control over the treatment process—I will only do what makes you feel comfortable.
As we work together, I will help you learn to listen to your body. By paying attention to the body cues that signify stress, you will be able to identify what makes you uncomfortable. This will help you avoid falling into the unhealthy patterns and behaviors that your trauma may be fueling.
For instance, if you grew up with an overly controlling parent, you may find yourself unknowingly drawn to romantic partners who exhibit the same tendencies. Being more in-tune with your body can help you listen to your gut reaction when you meet such people. You will learn to say “no” when you feel uncomfortable and develop a greater sense of personal autonomy. Moreover, you will learn to separate the trustworthy from the untrustworthy and gain clarity on what relationships are healthy for you.
One of the main approaches I utilize in trauma counseling is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy. EMDR uses a series of gentle stimulation techniques—such as tapping, visualization, or side-to-side eye movements—to help your brain associate new feelings with traumatic memories. The goal is for you to be able to recall what happened to you without feeling traumatized. Your brain can learn to connect new sensations and emotions with memories that were once painful to remember.
Additionally, I often draw from an approach called Brainspotting, which seeks to help you identify your reactions to trauma. Together, we will explore the nonverbal cues that come up when you discuss traumatic events. For instance, where do your eyes go when you recall your experience? What happens to your chest and shoulders? By honing in on your body’s reactions, you can consciously and deliberately change the way you respond to negative memories.
In the end, trauma therapy isn’t just a chance to find relief—it’s a chance to reclaim your life. My goal is to help you recognize your stressors, minimize self-judgment and blame, and make decisions based on insight and awareness rather than guessing and survival.
Not at all! In fact, about 70-percent of people in the United States suffer from trauma. There is nothing wrong with you. Self-judgment and self-blame are common in the wake of traumatic experiences, but you are not at fault for what happened to you. That’s why I seek to be as kind, sensitive, and nonjudgmental as possible. If you struggle with feelings of guilt and shame, I can provide psychoeducation to show you that the way your brain internalized trauma is not your fault.
You can’t undo the past, but you can undo the effects it has on your life. Trauma-informed therapy is a chance to understand how your experiences impact you individually and in your relationships. The ways that trauma affects the mind and body are often hard to notice, but with treatment, you can gain clarity on your symptoms and minimize their impact on your life.
No, you don’t. This is your space to use as you would like. My approach to therapy does not require you to discuss your trauma in detail. With EMDR, we focus on developing new feelings connected to your memories, which means there isn’t much talking involved. You can share as much or as little you want.
If the past feels too present in your life, I would be honored to help you heal your emotional wounds and move forward with peace and assurance.