TRAUMA | PTSD
Having a trauma informed coach to walk with you through the dovetailing landscapes of a trauma and/or PTSD can be a potent and healing support during what can feel like an endless and trying time.
TRAUMA | PTSD COACHING
Do you often avoid social situations or find yourself preparing for the worst? Are you frequently assessing for danger? Easily triggered?
Do you notice that sometimes you have a large reaction to events or setbacks? Have people in your life told you that the way you respond to things seems out of proportion, or that your reactions don’t make sense. Perhaps you have a “short fuse” are quick to anger, or are easily startled or frightened, maybe you have a panic attack at the smallest provocation (or for no obvious reason).
Maybe you are easily distracted and find it challenging to maintain presence and focus. Perhaps you feel ‘outside of yourself,’ numb, and dissociated from your body.
The ability to feel safe might be an inaccessible experience, whether in general or specific contexts—or just being around people.
If some of this sounds familiar to you, it’s possible you are experiencing the effects of trauma.
Trauma is simultaneously common and yet unique to each individual’s experience. Trauma can occur when someone survives an intense, potentially life-threatening event—for example, a car accident, sexual violence or other acts of violence, an environmental disaster, or serious illness. Even the death of a loved one or witnessing a traumatic event second-hand can cause trauma.
Additionally, there is a category of trauma known as complex trauma. This develops over time as multiple traumatic incidents, big or small, accumulate over time. This can appear in more insidious ways such as the chronic experience of emotional abuse, neglect, verbal abuse, financial insecurity and the lack of having your basic needs met—food, shelter, belonging. Usually, this type of trauma occurs within romantic, family or broader social relationships. Which can make it more challenging to recognize for some people.
Most people have some form of trauma. Unfortunate and awful things happen. Life is unpredictable, chaotic and painful. No one is immune from life’s events.
In a certain light, currently and over the past few years we have all been living through a collective, or shared, trauma in the form of Covid-19 and its subsequent impacts. Additionally, there are increasing numbers of catastrophic natural disasters impacting our communities.
In the face of all this, people show amazing resilience and adaptability. Even individuals experiencing PTSD, show the wisdom, strength and resilience of nervous systems—its activation is a deeply rooted survival response.
The challenge with trauma and PTSD is that when the nervous system response has become stuck, or is no longer congruent with current events. When this is happening, it could cause you to feel guarded, disconnected from people mentally, physically, and emotionally. You might be feeling you are living a small life, always on edge.
Fortunately, treatment is available. It is possible to heal from things that have happened to you. Trauma coaching and PTSD treatment are effective ways to work through what you’ve been through, and you can learn to feel more alive, connected, embodied and resilient as you stand more fully in the fullness of your life.
What does PTSD treatment and trauma coaching look like?
Trauma coaching and PTSD treatment can vary from person to person. And there are some foundational elements that are similar. My approach is to first create an environment of trust, safety and acceptance. Whatever you are experiencing, whatever you have been through, I invite all of you into a space where every aspect of you is welcome.
Beyond that, I take an individual approach. Somatic, body-based, and mindfulness approaches to working with trauma are proven beneficial and can be a gateway for some people. While others find the body is not quite the safe place to be—in which case, there are many options. It could be that an approach to your healing through direct verbal processing of the event(s), where you can share your story and feel your feelings with the support of a compassionate professional is needed. It is also an option to asses and examine how the effects of trauma are currently showing up in your daily life. From there we can look at increasing coping skills, resiliency, and strengths based approaches. Wherever you are, I will meet you with an approach that works with and for you.
I don’t want to give any more thought or energy to what happened. What’s the point of dwelling on the past?
Valid point! From a somatic trauma-lens perspective, “the issues are in the tissues.” Which means that while we might not consciously want to give any attention to what’s happened in the past, our bodies and our nervous systems contain the accumulated information of what’s happened to us in our lives. What we resist persists. And avoiding tending to our traumas, leads to one being perpetually vigilant for danger, reactive to any imagined threat, and living a partial life. So, while it is not necessary to dwell in the past and fixate on what happened, it can be helpful to acknowledge the traumatic experience, while exploring ways of healing the stored conscious and unconscious information. And you can move forward with a life less burdened by the painful weight of parts of your biography.
Bessel Van Der Kolk, an expert and pioneer in treatment of trauma and PTSD says this, “…we have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body. This imprint has ongoing consequences for how the human organism manages to survive in the present. Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way mind and brain manage perceptions. It changes not only how we think and what we think about, but also our very capacity to think.”
The good news is that there is help. Neuroscience shows how our neuroplasticity gets rewired in safe relationship, and working through your traumatic experience(s) with a trusted trained professional can have transformational results.
I am a seasoned coach utilizing a client-centered and eclectic approach to working with trauma and PTSD. My work is informed by embodied relational gestalt, mindfulness traditions and practices, neuroscience, attachment theory, Jungian dream work, somatic therapy, indigenous practices, undergirded by feminism and social-justice.
Paramount to my education is my experience as a human, who has to navigate various traumas and PTSD. I have learned that the most effective way to support my clients is to be fully myself, as a coach—which is cushioned by all the personal and professional work I have done. In bringing my whole self to the seat of a coach, I offer an active ear for listening, heart for empathizing, and humility to honor your embodied wisdom, inherent strength and deep knowing. The profound gift of coaching is the human relational aspect. I am here to be with what is, accept you just as you are, while the weaving of your inner sources of strength, clarity, and health reveal.
If you’re challenged with the effects of traumatic events, and would like to explore ways to bloom into a version of yourself and your life that is more creative, nourishing, empowered and playful, get in touch!