Trauma informed care
“Trauma is what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you.” - Dr Gabor Maté
Our trauma informed care includes both single incident traumas (trauma as a result of assaults, accidents, natural disasters, etc), along with relational trauma (trauma that comes from unhealthy, abusive, or painful family, romantic, or other interpersonal relationships). Our trauma informed modalities include Compassionate Inquiry, Internal Family Systems, and EMDR.
When trauma is present, the nervous system has not “gotten the memo” that the trauma- inducing event is over, and is still activated as if the traumatic event is still occurring. This trauma can rear its head in various ways, from a “typical” PTSD-eque experience of hypervigilance and sensitivity around reminders of the trauma, to a whole slew of mental health experiences that are many times seen as clinically distinct from trauma. Anxiety, depression, people pleasing, perfectionism, substance use, low self esteem, relationship challenges and more can have their root in unresolved trauma. However the trauma is showing up symptom wise, trauma therapy helps the nervous system to learn that the traumatic event is over so that the nervous system can settle and let go of a wide range of symptoms.
Whether or not the tough experiences in your past actually “clinically count” as trauma, we can help you to explore how your personal and generational history has shaped you. Healing from trauma or other equally challenging experiences can look like releasing your negative core beliefs, helping you to better access your emotions and feel them safely, reconnecting you with your body and gut instincts, and / or empowering you to assertively navigate your life. We will help you to get to the root of the internal processes that are holding you back so that you can move forward with more clarity and confidence.
To help you explore and heal from your trauma, we utilize three trauma informed modalities between the two of us: Compassionate Inquiry, EMDR, and Internal Family Systems. Here is a brief introduction to each of them:
What is Compassionate Inquiry?
Compassionate Inquiry (CI) is a dynamic somatic approach to therapy based on the work of Dr. Gabor Maté. This approach helps get to the root of mental health concerns by exploring how our current distressing perceptions are connected to unprocessed trauma stored in the body, and how childhood wounding continues to show up in our adult life. CI is influenced by other major therapy modalities and psychological theories, including but not limited to: Somatic Experiencing, Internal Family Systems, Attachment Theory, Polyvagal Theory, and Interpersonal Neurobiology.
Both Angela and Rae offer CI sessions. Angela is certified in CI and Rae is fully trained.
What is EMDR?
EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a type of therapy used to help people heal from trauma and PTSD symptoms by focusing on traumatic memories while using bilateral stimulation (usually through eye movements or tapping). The use of bilateral stimulation accesses a part of the brain that cannot typically be accessed through traditional talk therapy. EMDR can reduce vividness of the traumatic memories being reprocessed.
Rae offers EMDR sessions and is fully trained through the Institute for Creative Mindfulness.
What is Internal Family Systems?
Internal Family Systems (IFS), also known as parts work, is a therapy modality that moves away from the idea of "mono-mind", or the idea that the mind is just one entity. Instead, IFS sees our nervous systems as dynamic systems that hold multiple subpersonalities, or parts, that each have their own unique qualities and needs. Some examples of parts include professional parts, inner children, parts that seek substances for relief, the inner critic, and people pleasing parts. IFS can help reduce internal conflict (such as a conflict between a part that still wants to get high and a part that wants to get sober), release trauma stored by wounded parts, and move towards internal harmony.
Angela offers IFS sessions and is Level 1 trained through the IFS Institute.
All three of these modalities can help you access deeper memories or parts of yourself that you haven’t been able to access consciously. If you have any more questions about these modalities, please feel free to ask us! As a review, Angela offers Compassionate inquiry and IFS, and Rae offers Compassionate Inquiry and EMDR.