Many people who have experienced trauma do not develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), however, they often still benefit from working with a highly trained therapist to work through the complicated symptoms that often follow a traumatic incident. Research shows that obtaining therapy quickly after a trauma can often prevent the development of PTSD symptoms. If PTSD has developed, either from a single incident trauma or multiple, complex traumas, it can be successfully treated and recovery is possible.
Trauma can change the way you think about yourself and how you interact with the world. You may believe you are to blame for what happened. After a trauma or upsetting life events, people often have trouble making sense of what happened to them and struggle to return to their “normal” life. Trauma therapies can help your body and mind to heal providing you a sense of peace, safety, and the ability to resume fully living your life.
Our therapists all have training in evidence-based trauma therapies. Each modality has a different approach which allows us to decide together what best fits your needs, your personality and will give us the tools needed to address the trauma(s) deeper than traditional talk therapy can while allowing the body and mind to heal.
Talk Therapy & Beyond
Many clients are hesitant to begin therapy because they often struggle to put into words what exactly is bothering them or they simply just don’t know where to begin. Through the use of sand-tray therapy children, teens, and even adults can effectively express and process their inner thoughts, struggles, concerns, and emotions.
Sandplay is hands-on psychological work. It is a powerful therapeutic technique that opens up your mind’s natural capacity for healing. The client chooses from a large collection of miniatures to build a small world reflecting what is going on in their lives. Sandplay can give both children and adults the opportunity to portray, rather than verbalize, emotions and experiences that are difficult to express in words which often leads to insights and powerful internal healing.
Play is not just for children! Many teens, adults and senior clients also find playing games, drawing, putting together puzzles, etc. to be an invaluable way to relax and keep the hands busy while doing the work of therapy.
Family Therapy & Parenting Support
Families face all kinds of challenges and struggles. In our family of origin, we learn how to love, interact, habits, customs, rituals, and our views of the world. If we are born into a healthy family, we learn to create and maintain healthy relationships. If we are born into a less than healthy family we may struggle to connect with others in a healthy way. Family therapy can help you create a healthy environment where you and your family can learn to express and accept love, interact in an effective manner, create your own habits, customs, and rituals, and face the world together.
One of our specialties is helping parents learn to communicate more effectively with each other and their children, create effective discipline that works within your shared values, and create a strong foundation for building the family you want and deserve.
Family therapy is often challenging and we are skilled at helping you walk through the difficulties so you can join together and become stronger than ever. Family therapy can involve parent coaching, experiential activities with the whole family, practicing communication skills, and more. We will work together to find the right mix of activities to help your family grow stronger.
Adolescent and Young Adult Therapy
The adolescent and young adult years are difficult under the best of circumstances. Many teens and young adults today struggle with adjusting to middle school, high school or college, peer relationships, anxiety, depression, bullying, alcohol or drug use, sexuality, gender, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. Many teens and young adults benefit from a non-judgmental, supportive, and encouraging counselor to assist them in finding their true selves, their voice, and their place in the world.
One of our passions is helping teens and young adults discover their own values, their own truths, and how to be their own best person while functioning effectively within their family, school, and community. In our office, teens and young adults can find acceptance, feel understood and comfortable as they navigate through these extremely challenging years.
As needed or desired, parents, or other loved ones, can be brought into sessions in order to facilitate communication and relationship building.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based therapy to help people learn how to live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, and improve their relationships with others.
DBT has adapted over the years to treat many mental health conditions such as personality disorders, anxiety, depression, non-suicidal self-harm, suicidal ideation, bipolar, eating disorders, and substance use disorders resulting in clients enjoying more satisfaction in their lives.
Some of the strategies and techniques used in DBT:
Mindfulness helps you focus on the present or “live in the moment.” This helps you pay attention to what is happening inside you (your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and impulses) as well as using your senses to tune in to what’s happening around you (what you see, hear, smell, and touch) in nonjudgmental ways.
Mindfulness skills help you slow down and focus on using healthy coping skills when you are in the midst of emotional pain. The strategy can also help you stay calm and avoid engaging in automatic negative thought patterns and impulsive behavior.
Distress tolerance skills help you accept yourself and your current situation. You will learn four techniques for handling a crisis:
- Improving the moment
- Thinking of the pros and cons of not tolerating distress
Distress tolerance techniques help prepare you for intense emotions and empower you to cope with them with a more positive long-term outlook.
Interpersonal effectiveness helps you to become more assertive in a relationship (for example, expressing your needs and saying “no”) while still keeping the relationship positive and healthy. You will learn to listen and communicate more effectively, deal with challenging people, and respect yourself and others.
Emotional regulation helps you to recognize and cope with intense negative emotions (for example, anger), it reduces your emotional vulnerability and helps you have more positive emotional experiences.
In DBT, a patient and therapist work to resolve the apparent contradiction between self-acceptance and change to bring about positive changes in the individual in treatment. Part of this process involves offering validation which helps people become more likely to cooperate and less likely to experience distress at the idea of change.
Because this approach to therapy is able to help people successfully improve their coping skills, they are able to develop effective ways to manage and express their strong emotions.