Category Archives: Trauma

Is It A Trauma Response?

Clients who have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder symptoms sometimes have difficulty figuring out whether a current feeling or reaction is a trauma response. How can you tell if you are having a trauma response or just having a typical feeling or reaction to your present day life? Here are some indications that you are having a…

Abuse, Minimization and Self-Blame

“It wasn’t that bad.” “Other people had it much worse.” “It’s not like I was abused or anything.” “I should be over it by now.” “Why am I still thinking about it?” “I wouldn’t call it trauma.” “It really was my fault because….” I have heard statements like these over and over again from clients…

LGBTQ-Friendly Psychotherapy — Part 3

Relationships and Families LGBTQ* people have relationships and families and, like anyone else, may need therapy for relationship and family issues. Beyond the qualifications discussed in Parts 1 and 2, how do you know whether a therapist is qualified to help you and your LGBTQ family? Skilled LGBTQ-friendly therapists for relationships and families are: Comfortable…

Ten Ways to Ground Yourself

Do you get overwhelmed by your emotions and have a hard time calming yourself? Do you feel numb and dissociated? Do you have trauma responses that lead you to get stuck in your memories of the past? If so, here are ten ideas for ways to ground yourself. Sing one of your favorite songs. Pick…

A Handy Guide to Relationships

Estranged relationship: Codependent or enmeshed relationship: Relationship in which there is abuse: Healthy relationship:

Understanding How to Trust

Do you keep trusting people only to have your trust betrayed? Do people take advantage of you? Or do you find it difficult to trust anyone and prefer to rely only on yourself? Do people think you are paranoid or too suspicious? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes”, you probably never…

How to Ground Yourself

For trauma survivors and anyone else who is troubled by anxiety or panic, grounding skills are important. In the midst of feeling panicked or having a flashback or other trauma response, being able to ground yourself and reduce your anxiety can help you feel more in control and less crazy. Grounding is not complicated. Here…

Healing From Trauma

When I work with clients who are survivors of trauma, I often use the metaphor of building a house to explain the three stages of healing from trauma (based on Judith Herman’s Trauma and Recovery). The Foundation: Safety, Stability, Self-Care, and Support. Before you build the rest of the house, you have to have a…

Red Flags In Abusive Relationships

When you are in a relationship with someone you love it can be difficult to figure out whether the conflicts in your relationship are abusive or not. If you notice any of the following “red flags” in your relationship, there is a possibility that your relationship could be controlling or abusive. Extreme jealousy — one…

The Woman, The Bear And The River

There once was a woman who lived in the forest near a large river. She loved to walk in the forest and along the riverbank. Sometimes she enjoyed taking a swim in the cool, clear water. One day, the woman was walking by the river when she heard a loud growl. She turned around and…