Complex Trauma: Abuse, Dissociation, and Fragmentation
I specialize in working with adults who have experiences of flashbacks, unstable moods, thoughts and/or acts of suicide and self-harm, intrusive visual and body memories, losing time, seeming to be out of their own bodies or in the wrong body, and internal parts or voices who seem to be distinct selves. Often, but not always, these symptoms result from childhood experiences of complex trauma. The goal of treatment when people come in to therapy with these issues is to heal the wounds caused by childhood abuse and other traumas, clarify the distinction between past and present, develop skills to remain in the present moment and in one’s own body, and reduce inner conflict and create relationships among distinct parts of the self so that you can function effectively and easily. While clients struggling with these issues are able to report moments of joy and pleasure in the process, I know that this is hard work– but I want to be clear that it can really be done. I aim to provide the right amount of support for each client so that she or he is able to complete this journey.
Common diagnoses for these issues include Dissociative Identity Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder.
Mood Imbalances: Depression, Anger, and a Sense of Powerlessness
Many people seek therapy because they experience low moods, trouble sleeping, anger and irritability, thoughts/and or acts of self-harm and suicide, a general sense of their lives not being what they want, and difficulty getting/knowing what they want in this world. In these cases the goal in therapy is often to restore your sense of your self as a person who is capable of knowing and meeting your own needs. The work becomes about identifying and removing internal blocks which get in the way of you using your personal power as well as to develop skills to identify, express and meet your own needs and improve functioning in relationships. Becoming powerful and strong can be scary at first, but it’s also a lot of fun.
Gender and Sexual Identity Questions and Conflicts
Some of us feel quite comfortable and clear with our understanding of what it means for us to be a man or woman, or what it means for us to be attracted to men or women. Others have a sense of that they are not a stereotypical man or woman and are working through how to craft their own definition of masculinity or femininity which fits them. And for others, these identities are much less clear. Therapy is helpful for creating a safe space to explore and try on all of the ways you can choose to define your gender and sexuality. The treatment goal is to reduce internal conflict over these questions and help you develop a clear and stable sense of your identity– no matter what. If you have a gender or sexual identity which does not fit so neatly into society then we will work together so you can learn how to navigate your path without undue bumps and bruises.
(Mostly) Complete List of Issues I Work With
If you have a concern that’s bringing you to therapy, but it’s not on this list, please contact me to see how I can help. I may have simply left it off the list because I am using different words than you are. I encourage you to ask me any questions you have about the possibility of us working together.
- borderline personality
- dissociative identity disorder
- emotional abuse
- gender identity questions
- histrionic personality
- identity questions
- high mood
- low mood
- mood instability
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
- sexual identity questions
- suicidal thoughts