Trauma Therapy for Women

A high pressure meter reading as a metaphor for high stress levels requiring trauma therapy for women.

Why Trauma Therapy for Women?

Not everyone loves the word ‘trauma.’  But the fact is, our understanding of what ‘trauma’ is, how it emerges, how it takes hold in the body and how it can be effectively resolved has become very well understood in the past 40 years.  Moreover, both trauma and trauma therapy for women can look different than it does for other genders.  In short, this can be for many reasons including the types of trauma that women are more commonly exposed to, women’s biological and behavioral responses to trauma, society’s expectations of and reactions to women and many others.  (Please note: Nothing here is intended to imply, suggest or declare that men and other genders do not experience trauma of all kinds or to diminish the significance of these experiences.)

So, what is ‘trauma?’  Above all, trauma is what happens when we (and our Nervous System) do not have the chance to fully process or ‘digest’ all the aspects of a distressing event.  Remnants of the distressing event that are not fully processed remain lodged in our Nervous System and are often later activated or ‘triggered’ repeatedly over the course of our lives.  Subsequently, trauma often manifests as intense emotional volatility or dysregulation (fight/flight) or the opposite (freeze/fawn/flop). 

Trauma can be triggered consciously or unconsciously, and a common tell-tale sign that an old source of distress has been re-activated is when a present-day response is highly reactive and/or out of proportion to the present-day circumstance.  Emotional distress, or upset, is often the result of old distress that we haven’t quite finished with.

‘Trauma’ vs. ‘Adverse Event’ vs. ‘I’m Just Upset’

I encourage you not to get too distracted by semantics, whether we’re talking about trauma or any other aspect of living a higher quality, healthier, more meaningful life.  For example, one person’s ‘trauma’ is another person’s ‘adverse event’ is another person’s ‘hurt feelings’ is another person’s ‘no biggie.’  What matters is your personal experience of the event.  Certainly, the big takeaway is that however we describe our lingering distress, trauma therapy for women really works.  Good trauma therapy not only helps us cope better in the moment, it resolves (once and for all) the distress and the impact that distress is having on you mentally, emotionally and physically.  So you can move on.

Why Trauma ‘Resolution?’

Engaging with ‘talk therapy’ can be a good starting point in thoughtfully exploring the origins, patterns and belief systems of our current-day challenges.  However, it is simply that – a thoughtful starting point.  And if your ‘trauma therapy’ stops at the talking phase, it may 1) not help and 2) increase your distress by ‘stirring the pot.’  In other words, the end result of ‘just talk’ therapy can sometimes be re-traumatization.  This happens when we activate our distress with talk, but fail to complete the processing in our body and Nervous System.

You are likely already aware that knowledge, insight and understanding don’t always lead to resolution of our distress, changed behavior or different dynamics in our relationships.  Certainly, understanding can be a great starting point.  But the goal of good trauma therapy and life-changing treatment is distress resolution.  Once and for all.  Offering trauma therapy for women has been the core of my private practice since 2005. 

Good Trauma Therapy is Body-Based

Here are a couple of fascinating tidbits about body-based ‘trauma’ therapy.  We do not need to know the origin of our distress or what is triggering us in order to process it.  Secondly, we don’t have to talk about or relive family dynamics or bad experiences.  Moreover, we don’t even need to ‘understand’ it cognitively.  Finally, and sometimes best of all, we do not have to share any details of a distressing event – unless we choose to.  Fascinating, right?

Good trauma therapy incorporates engaging our body, our Nervous System and completing the processing of our distress somatically.  Trauma therapy for women is unique in that it must take into account societal, gender, sexual, political, family and other sources of distress common to the experience of women across cultures.

More importantly, the trauma therapy approaches that I am trained in and use in my practice are all skills that you can use on your own.  This is very important to me in pursuing any clinical training or adapting new skills into our work together.  Because you should leave therapy – at the end of each session and at the end of our time together – with effective tools to reduce, manage and eliminate your own distress.

We are fortunate to live in a time when we can choose to not be held hostage by our past experiences.  And my joy comes from teaching and facilitating the use of several of these methods to improve your quality of life.

Working Together

Working together means that we will have options to use Meditation and Mindfulness skills, EFT Tapping or Acupressure, Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy, Progressive Counting and other Somatic processing approaches.  We will use the approaches that feel right for you and we will tailor our work to your needs, your pace and your process.  Offering trauma therapy for women is my passion – which means I help women get on with their passions.

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