Good trauma therapy helps reduce the impact of trauma so we have more room for positive feelings, health relationships, and kind self care.

How (Good) Trauma Therapy Works – A Model for Understanding Trauma Recovery

    Even as someone who has studied trauma therapy for years, I often find it difficult to describe just how trauma therapy works and what someone can expect from “good therapy.” Download this resource for personal reference or professional use below. Download includes vertical and horizontal orientations, with printing options with either a yellow…

lindsay braman trauma avocado teaching model

Trauma Recovery Avocado Model

  Trauma and trauma recovery look different for everyone, but generally, there’s a deep hardened core and a bunch of squishy stuff, all held together by a peel juuuust thick enough to keep us composed unless something comes along to smash us. A lot of times, we think the “pit” is in the past, and…

Sketchnote: Genogram Symbol Key + Printable Flashcards

JUMP TO DOWNLOADS When I was first introduced to family therapy in graduate school, I immediately fell in love with the visual language of genograms. Since making this genogram chart at that time, this graphic has become one of my most shared sketchnotes across multiple platforms. Scroll to the bottom of this post to purchase…

How to Journal Therapy Appointments – Journal Template

Writing long-hand about my own experience in therapy helps me continue to develop self-awareness and integrate my emotional/sensory experience with my thinking-brain. Recently I’ve been thinking about how I could help others access the benefits of journalling about therapy if they aren’t the sort of person who enjoys long-format journalling. This article features tips on…

A Flowchart for Getting to Sleep – A Playful take on Sleep Hygiene

A flowchart for getting to sleep. We all know how elusive sleep can be, but quality sleep is essential for physical and mental health. When sleep feels hard to come by, “sleep hygiene” the go-to remedy. While some sleep and insomnia related issues need specific treatments including medication or longer-term psychotherapy, psychoeducation about sleep hygiene…

Routine Matters – Even for Adults, and Especially during the Holidays

  Routine matters – especially in emotionally loaded seasons like the holidays. It’s widely understood that routine is important for children- but its value is often understated for adults. In fact, routine- an internal sense of what to expect and when it expect it- helps humans of all ages get grounded, self-soothe, and reduce anxiety.…

Parenting Children with Anxiety

  When kids are anxious, it’s human nature to want to soothe them. For kids with significant anxiety, however, we may need to monitor ourselves for over-accommodating behaviors.   It’s natural that parents with anxious kids want to soothe them. Watching someone we love struggle can be overwhelming- especially when, at first, it seems so…

Therapy is Hard

Therapy is hard work. It’s ok if a therapy session leaves you sad, shaken up, or exhausted. If, however, you find therapy sessions pushing you into a dark place where you feel like you need to use harmful things to cope, it’s time to re-evaluate. Let your therapist know how your counseling sessions impact you.…

How to Choose a Therapist – Illustrated

When you’re new to therapy and aren’t really sure what therapy is supposed to feel like, it can be really confusing to try and figure out if a first session or initial consult went well. Asking questions about experience, training, specialities, and method can be helpful, but research indicates that these things matter less than…

Jung Sketchnotes: Dreams, Puella Archetype, and The Shadow

On Jung’s “The Shadow” Lots of us work hard to avoid having to stop and look too closely at what one of the fathers of modern psychology, Carl Jung, called our “shadow side.” Even in modern psychology, if people use the term “shadow side” it’s usually negative- but Jung’s work actually teaches that when we…

How to Start Therapy (when you’re Anxious about Starting Therapy)

First, know that we therapists get it. Starting therapy is hard for everyone and if you have specific therapy-related anxieties it’s super hard. If meeting new people is hard for you, it’s normal to feel extra anxiety about meeting someone who you’ll- hopefully- feel safe confiding secrets in. Some of my suggestions for working with…

Emotions Exist in the Body

When the answer to “what am I feeling?” is “I don’t know,” change the question to “what do I notice about my body right now?” Lots of us learned to numb or muffle emotion- and some of us got so good at it that knowing what we feel can be really, really hard. Although our…

Getting to the Root of Attention Seeking Behavior in Kids and Teens

“Doing something for attention” gets a bad rap. Today, I want to talk a little bit about what that actually means. Doing something for attention has a negative value, but what if we consider another viewpoint? Is doing something for attention actually a bad thing? As a therapist, communication through behavior- especially attention-seeking behavior- is…