“Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated, the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. When someone enters the pain and hears the screams, healing can begin.”

~Danielle Bernock, Emerging With Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, And The LOVE that Heals

Gentle therapy for trauma. I specialize in post trauma growth, helping people move forward in their lives.

I’ve experienced painful words and I’m sure you have too. We might forget some words, but others stick with us for months, years, and even decades. Those words, images, and events which stick with us and make us uncomfortable, sad, angry, or overwhelmed are different forms of trauma.

What is trauma?

Trauma is the emotional and physiological response to an event or series of events that overwhelm the person’s ability to cope. Events that can cause trauma include accidents, abuse, neglect, violence, loss of a loved one, natural disasters, wars, or other events where you might feel you will be harmed or you might die.

Types of trauma

Trauma can occur as a single event or as a prolonged or repeated series of events. A car accident is an example of a single event which can cause trauma. An example of a prolonged or repeated series of events is a person fighting in a war lasting months or years, witnessing or personally experiencing violence. Neglect and abuse as a child is another long series of events causing trauma.

Trauma occurs from events where there is a fear for your own safety or the safety of someone else. Here are some of the events which can cause trauma:

  • Childhood sexual, emotional, physical, and/or psychological abuse and neglect. This includes bullying at home, school, or by a religion.
  • Sexual, emotional, financial, physical, and/or psychological abuse as an adult
  • Religion which is judgmental, shaming, and threatens damnation based on their beliefs.
  • Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and floods.
  • Accidents, violence, terrorism, and war experiences
  • Loss of loved ones with reflection on fear for one’s own life
  • Medical experiences
  • Cultural oppression, colonialism, and social injustice


Trauma is subjective

People experience events from their own perspective so what may be traumatic for one person may not be traumatic for another person. Each person will react differently to the same event.

Response in the moment

People have different responses as the event is unfolding: fight, flight, freeze, fawn, or faint. Fight and flight represents survival responses to either stay and fight the danger or to run from the danger to safety. A person freezes when confronted with danger. and becomes paralyzed with fear, unable to move. Fawn indicates fight or flight did not work so the person complies or submits to the danger. Fawning often shows up as people pleasing. Fainting means the person may collapse or lose consciousness.

Stuck in a trauma response

No matter what the response, after the danger is over, the body tries to return to a sense of control. Many people are able to return to feeling normal within 30 minutes to an hour. Trauma can affect a person’s ability to function in daily life. This is a trauma response. After a person experiences or witnesses an event, they may have a variety of symptoms including: flashbacks to the event, panic attacks, anxiety, nightmares, anger, hypervigilance, and depression. I work with clients to identify how they are holding their trauma. Each person will have different responses which may require different approaches. I tailor trauma treatment to the person’s unique needs.

Tools to help cope and resolve trauma

People use various techniques to release stress from trauma held in the body. I specialize in post traumatic growth, helping clients process and release emotions held from trauma. This results in healing and the opportunity for growth. We will talk, and you will have the opportunity to share your feelings about your experiences. Often, you only need the feelings experienced, not the details. Somatic tapping helps release the emotional charge attached to trauma allowing the client to feel like a weight has been lifted from them. In addition to this, I also use the following with clients: meditation, deep breathing, visualization, and brainspotting.

Somatic Tapping

Somatic Tapping is a simple technique which uses the fingertips to tap on points on the body, while breathing deeply and making verbal statements. I have been using tapping with clients since 2009. Tapping helps clients reduce distressing symptoms, resolve core traumatic beliefs, and enhance emotional resilience. Sessions include tapping. Clients are encouraged to use tapping on their own outside of sessions. Brainspotting has similar results to tapping and is also often used in sessions with clients.