As a board certified mental health nurse practitioner, who is also an internationally certified trauma treatment specialist with extensive training in trauma recovery and dissociation, the services I provide are holistic and based on my extensive knowledge and skills regarding the impact of the mind/body connection on mental health.
Sessions can be done in the traditional weekly format or as intensive full-day sessions. I provide both in-person and telehealth sessions. My goal is to provide you with support in the format that feels best to you.
I offer the latest, most cutting-edge treatment for those who live with:
Healing from trauma requires multiple treatment modalities that help to heal the effects of the trauma on not only your mind, but also your body. I utilize evidenced-based techniques and treatments may that include:
My philosophy regarding medication is that it is one of many tools we can utilize to help you reach your goals. Often people view taking medications to help with depression and anxiety as a failure on their parts to manage life well, but just as someone with an infection may need medication to control a fever, sometimes someone with mental health struggles may need medication to make the symptoms more tolerable. If medication is needed to help you, I will work closely with you to determine the best medication and dosing for your individual situation.
With that being said, research has shown that only path to true healing of past trauma and stressful events is to heal the trauma. Just as treating a fever does not heal the underlying infection, simply treating the symptoms of trauma (such as anxiety and depression) will not help you heal and move forward in your life. My mission is to help you no longer have to deal with the daily symptoms you live with, and while you may not be able to pinpoint the exact cause right now, most cases of severe anxiety and depression are rooted in the past. You may believe that you are just broken, but the truth is, when we discover together the roots of your symptoms, we can work towards healing the root cause, which in turn heals your symptoms. You, my friend, are NOT broken and can be rebuilt into the woman you hope to be.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences or traumatic events. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much like the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, underlying traumatic events are healed, leading to healing the symptoms of the trauma, such as anxiety and depression.
When you’ve experienced extremely stressful situations or trauma, your body can get stuck causing your nervous system to constantly be in a state of flight or flight (which can result in anxiety) or freeze (which can result in depression and withdrawal/isolation). This is your body’s natural defense reaction to intense experiences, but this reaction can get trapped in your body. When this happens, you body tries to tell your trauma story through physical (or somatic) responses. These responses may show up as headaches, gastrointestinal problems, auto-immune disorders and other physical ailments.
Somatic Trauma Therapy expands the focus of therapy to include the bodily energy created by trauma. It seeks to repair and allow the body to release the trauma it holds. This body-centered approach to treating trauma helps you build awareness of your body’s reactions and learn to self-regulate. This results in a deep understanding of the mind/body connection with improved skills for releasing and regulating emotions. It also helps to build resilience, empowering you to better handle stressful situations.
If you’ve lived through many traumatic and wounding experiences over your lifetime, especially if they were during childhood, part of your brain can get stuck reliving the details of the trauma. In addition, not only can the things that happened to you stay stuck, the things that didn’t happen that should have can leave you with wounds as a result of unmet developmental needs (such as needing to be protected and valued). These unmet need, along with negative messages related to the trauma, can stay locked in your mind, affecting your life today. Often when this part of the brain is activated or triggered, you can almost feel the age you were when the trauma/emotional wound occurred or even feel like a part of yourself is separate from your most adult self. Ego state therapy is a way to engage these parts of self to help them express their viewpoint and needs. The primary focus of Ego State therapy is to validate and meet the needs that were not met at the time of the wounding event. As these young wounded parts of you heal, they become triggered less often and intense emotional reactions/behaviors decrease. In addition to these results, negative messages attached to the wounding experience subside and are replaced with positive and more realistic messages that will improve your life and relationships.