What is trauma?

Trauma is a past experience that causes distress in the mind and body due to negative experiences and perceptions about an event. Trauma negatively impacts someone’s present life.

How does trauma vary?

Traumas come in many different forms. Trauma can be a horrific life-threatening event, which endangers the individual’s survival or another’s survival. Traumas often feel unavoidable and unpreventable leading the person to feel helpless. Examples include being mugged or witnessing a murder. Trauma can also be any devastating experience where the individual feels distressed at the time and later feels unable to move past the experience (such as little “t” traumas as explained below). As professionals, we define traumas in two categories, though each can feel equally devastating to the individual.

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Experiencing or witnessing a life threatening or terrifying event such as a rape, fatal or near fatal car accident, war, sexual or physical abuse, terrorist attack or witnessing a murder.


Also known as Life Disturbing Events. Experiencing everyday smaller negative experiences such as bullying, negative messages from others, work-related/ school performance stressors, and challenges of social media.


What are common symptoms of trauma?

Trauma exhibits itself in many ways: psychologically, physically, sexually and socially. Here is a list of common symptoms of trauma.

  • Nightmares
  • Sleep problems such as difficulty staying or remaining asleep
  • Feeling constantly on-guard or hypervigilant
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood changes and fluctuations
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger and irritability
  • Flashbacks or sudden memories of the experience, which seem as if the experience is happening in the moment
  • Isolation and withdrawing from others in daily life
  • Intense fear of re-experiencing the event or memoires of the event, which leads to avoiding anything which might “trigger” memories of the experience
  • Intrusive and reoccurring thoughts about the event
  • Loss of memory regarding the event
  • Feeling “numb”, disconnected and unable to experience emotions in the way one did before
  • Physical arousal when exposed to external or internal “triggers” related to the event. For example, someone could feel pain in their back when hearing a loud noise which might resemble the sound of a bomb during combat.
  • Avoiding any thoughts or feelings related to the event
  • Loss of pleasure in actives
  • Sudden avoidance of people, places or experiences which someone used to engage in
  • Intense fears of danger or death
  • Problems in relationships such as sexual activities in romantic relationships or lack of friendships due to someone’s symptoms

Treatment methods

Trauma can be treated most efficiently by an experienced professional who can work with the physical, psychological and social symptoms. It is best to treat trauma holistically, meaning helping someone heal both physical and psychological wounds. Here is a list of common treatment methods (though not exclusive).

  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy or EMDR Therapy
  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
  • Somatic Experiencing or SE
  • Internal Family Systems or IFS
  • Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or TF-CBT
  • Talk therapies such as Psychodynamic, Emotion-Focused, and Gestalt therapies
  • Neurofeedback
  • Biofeedback
  • Yoga Therapy
  • Meditation
  • Experiential Therapy
  • Psychodrama
  • Dance and Movement Therapy
  • Art and Music Therapy
  • Animal-Assisted Therapy/Equine Based Psychotherapy
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Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP) is a treatment modality focused on healing trauma and attachment issues. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy focuses on processing experiences from a bottom-up perspective. This means, we work through an experience by starting with noticing the body (somatic) or physical sensations, followed by our emotional reactions, and finally our thoughts that coincide with these sensations. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy focuses foremost on our physical and sensory experiences and secondarily on emotions and thoughts. This technique flips the emphasis of most traditional talk therapies. Most clients find this treatment approach to be helpful in getting past triggers or struggles which continue to linger after being in traditional psychotherapy that focused on thoughts and emotions.

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is informed by research from neuroscience, physiology, psychology and sociology. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy works in three phases. In the first phase, Safety and Stabilization, the therapist and client work together to create a safe environment for healing to occur. Clients learn about mindfulness and develop the skills needed to be aware of their experiences. In the second phase, Processing, clients further develop their mindfulness skills and begin to process information without being triggered by their negative/traumatic) past experiences. In the third phase, Integration, clients integrate their past experiences in a way that provides healing, and focuses on how to take this healing into their lives.

I have been trained in all three levels of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and I am a Certified Sensorimotor Psychotherapist. I integrate my training and experience in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy with my experience and training as a Certified EMDR therapist, Certified Gestalt Equine Psychotherapist, and Yoga Instructor, with traditional talk therapies such as cognitive behavioral, emotion focused, dialectical behavioral and mentalizing-based therapies to best support clients in healing their wounds.

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)

When someone has experienced a trauma, they often are not able to process through the trauma, and report feeling “stuck”. EMDR is an evidence-based therapy to help someone get “unstuck” from their traumatic experience by helping the person develop a healthier understanding of the event.

EMDR uses a set of standardized methods to help the individual work through their trauma both physically and mentally by attuning to the person's thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations related to the event. EMDR helps the event feel less distressing and then helps the individual create new beliefs about the event. For example, people often take responsibility for what happened to them in a trauma such as someone believing it was their fault they were raped. EMDR helps this person to feel less distressed about the rape and then change their belief about the event to understand they were not at fault.

I am a Certified EMDR therapist and also trained in somatic or body interventions with EMDR. Somatic interventions with EMDR help me to work with the body and bodily experiences that occur with trauma. These body interventions are important because the body will remember the trauma as well as the mind. This along with yoga therapy, allows me to help you find greater healing from your trauma.

Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal Assisted Therapy is often used to help create a safe, comforting and less threatening environment for individuals in therapy. For many people, animals have a calming and nonthreatening effect which allows people to feel more comfortable exploring emotionally distressing topics in therapy.

Everyone is welcome here

I am committed to creating an environment that supports inclusivity and respect of all people regardless of race, color, size, shape, culture, religion, spiritual practice, sex, age, socioeconomic status, perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, relationship status or configuration, national origin or physical and mental abilities.

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Everyone is welcome here

I am committed to creating an environment that supports inclusivity and respect of all people regardless of race, color, size, shape, culture, religion, spiritual practice, sex, age, socioeconomic status, perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, relationship status or configuration, national origin or physical and mental abilities.


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