How I Work
Counseling for Relief from Stress, Anxiety, Trauma, and PTSD
The Cause of Deep Pain and Struggle
Therapy sometimes is the only way to heal from ongoing problems of stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and repeated relationship pain.
One or more highly stressful or traumatic events are likely responsible for the troublesome symptoms you’re experiencing, and why you haven’t been able to get relief from them.
Trauma can be due to one or more of the following:
- Childhood abuse (emotional, physical and sexual), neglect and abandonment
- Physical or sexual assault
- Debilitating medical conditions or medical trauma
- Poverty, racism, sexism, as well as gender and sexual orientation discrimination
- Experiencing or witnessing domestic violence
- Death of a loved one or a relationship ending
- Automobile or another type of accident
- Military and combat trauma
- Natural disaster
- Refugee trauma
- Any other event or series of events that is causing you emotional or psychological turmoil
Even if you didn’t think of the event as being traumatic at the time it occurred, it can have a profoundly negative impact on your life.
Chronic, severe stress can also result in symptoms typically associated with PTSD.
If you’ve experienced multiple traumatic or stressful events, particularly if they occurred at an early age, they can cause life-long struggles.
Very stressful and traumatic events create not only psychological pain; they hijack your nervous system on a biological level.
Until you heal the source of your pain in your nervous system, the symptoms usually persist.
This is why the type of specialized therapy approaches that I practice are often the only way you can get relief from severe problems that persist.
The Process of Healing in Therapy
As your therapist, I work with you to help heal your mind, body and spirit. I want you to be free of the past and able to live your life with more enjoyment and fulfillment.
Using powerful and well-researched therapy approaches, we work together in a collaborative partnership to design the most effective, efficient path toward healing.
I bring my 40 years of experience and vast training in treating people who have complex and intensely stressful and troubling problems.
Your role is to bring your experience of your problems and your goals for treatment.
To heal, you need to be motivated and commit yourself to the therapy sessions, as well as to practice the skills and exercises that I teach you.
Step 1: Creating Safety and Trust
We start therapy by you telling me about the problems that are getting in the way in your life. We then discuss your goals for treatment and the therapy process that will help you reach your goals.
It is of utmost importance that you feel as safe as possible in the therapy room. For this reason, I am highly empathic and compassionate and work to build trust with you early in our relationship.
I promise to treat you with respect and authenticity and honor your needs and desires to the best of my abilities.
Step 2: Strengthening Your Internal and External Resources
I teach you how trauma and chronic, severe stress affects you on a physical, emotional and spiritual level, and then help you develop skills to manage day to day stressors.
I show you how to track your nervous system and intervene when you become “triggered” by events, places, or people (triggers could also be sounds, smells, or a particular way you are touched).
The wellness skills that I teach you will help make you stronger and enable you to be more in control of your problematic symptoms.
Once you are feeling a bit stronger, it will be easier in the next step, where we begin to work on the deeper layers of healing.
Step 3: Treatment Approaches that Lead to Deep Healing
When you’ve built some resiliency meaning the wellness skills are well anchored in your nervous system, and we both feel you’re ready, we’ll address your deeper troublesome emotions so we can heal the root cause of your struggles and pain.
To do this, we use highly effective and well-researched counseling approaches that I’m trained in and have used effectively with my clients for close to 2 decades.
These powerful methods are described below.
Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is an evidence-based treatment for trauma and many other difficulties. It has been shown to be effective in dozens of research studies.
We know from the research that stressful and traumatic memories are stored in your brain in a different way than explicit memories.
Explicit memories of events can be called up with intention and have a beginning, middle and end. There is no confusion about when these events occurred.
Traumatic or very stressful memories, by contrast, can get stuck or frozen in time and are stored in the implicit memory system of your brain.
These implicit memories are timeless, and when something happens that reminds you of the events, the symptoms can re-emerge with the same level of intensity as when the original events occurred.
The events from the past can feel like they are happening in the present moment, even when you intellectually know that is not possible.
EMDR helps to release the implicit stressful and traumatic memories from their frozen state and “reprocesses” them.
The emotional charge is reduced or eliminated. The events feel more distant, and you’ll have a more adaptive and rational perspective on them.
You can be free of any guilt, shame, and belief that the events, such as what happened to you in childhood, were your fault.
The Trauma Resiliency Model® (TRM)
In addition to EMDR, I utilize 2 other highly effective approaches for treating trauma – The Community Resiliency Model® (CRM) and The Trauma Resiliency Model® (TRM).
These approaches are considered research-informed, based in part on the abundance of research on the brain and trauma. There are also clinical research trials currently being conducted on these models.
Both of these are skills-based biological approaches that help you learn to track your nervous systems and bring your mind and body back into balance after experiencing traumatic and stressful events.
CRM utilizes a set of wellness skills that anyone can learn and benefit from. TRM incorporates the wellness skills and includes trauma reprocessing skills that need to be utilized by a trained therapist like myself.
In addition, I have taught both the TRM and CRM models to laypeople and mental health professionals, and facilitated trainings all over the country since 2008.
The Daring Way Methodology™
The Daring Way™ is a highly experiential methodology based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown.
The Daring Way™ addresses issues such as vulnerability, courage, shame, and worthiness.
As a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator (CDWF), I help people identify thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are holding them back and identify the new choices and practices that will move them toward more authentic and wholehearted living.
The Daring Way Methodology™ can be utilized either with individual clients or in a group setting.
Whatever struggles you’re having, as your therapist, my advanced skills, and over 40 years of experience can help.
You can overcome your troublesome symptoms, even if you feel skeptical right now.
You can feel calmer, happier, and more in control of your life.
You can have more loving and rewarding relationships.
Ready to take the next step? If so…
Contact me in my Valencia therapy office in the Santa Clarita Valley.
We’ll spend 15-20 minutes on the phone discussing your concerns, and you can ask any questions you have about how we can work together.
I offer in-person, telephone, and video conference sessions.