Having devoted much of my career to working with clients facing traumatic stress and the effects of myriad painful life experiences, I have a clear understanding and appreciation for how trauma is healed. Studies show that the impact of trauma is related to multiple factors, including a person's internal and external resources; genetics; temperament; and preexisting conditions (e.g. depression or anxiety onset before the trauma).
In therapy, we will focus on gathering a comprehensive history of the trauma and loss you have been through. We will "target" the memories that have the most significant impact on your life today so they are more fully integrated and inactive. Traumatic stress involves a complex interplay of neurobiological and psychosocial processes. Effective treatment requires that traumatic stress experiences are momentarily reactivated (or opened up) with healing resources that allow the trauma to be fully processed so that it is no longer "charged" or interfering with present functioning. There are a number of resources and methods used in trauma focused therapy. These resources include the therapist/client relationship, relaxation training, cognitive modification (e.g. development of empowering and safety focused beliefs in relationship to triggers), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (targeting the most traumatic memories and using bilateral stimulation such as tapping while the trauma memory is activated); and mindfulness based methods (e.g. staying grounded and centered in the present even when the memories are activated).
I look forward to helping you to achieve your treatment goals and support your recovery from the painful experiences you have faced. With courage and conviction, these wounds will heal and you will begin living more fully and peacefully.
Justin Less, LICSW