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…

Intrusive Thought Flow Chart

Intrusive Thought Flowchart – Illustrated Mental Health Resource

It’s not always this simple, but *sometimes* it is: shifts in how we respond to intrusive thoughts from PTSD or anxiety can shape our internal response and the strength of future intrusive thoughts. Sometimes just shifting from “OMG NO! The intrusive thought is here! 😱 Run away! 🏃‍♀️🏃🏻” to “Oh, hello. 👋You are back, huh?…

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…

Things Trauma Survivors May Need: A Messy Visual

. Messy. Accurate. People are often surprised to learn that most of trauma therapy isn’t actually talking directly about trauma- it involves getting to know ourselves and our needs without judgment, learning to extend genuine kindness and care inward, and growing skills to advocate for what we need to thrive. The concept behind this doodle…

Trigger-Tracker Worksheet for Mental Health Journaling and Self-Advocacy

  Dismantling mental health triggers often involves a little detective work. Although awareness of “being triggered” can be very obvious, for many people, figuring out specific triggers can be a puzzle. Solving the puzzle requires developing a capacity to seek to know ourselves better, then noticing and tracking backward chronologically to begin to locate exact…

Disclosing Trauma in New Relationships 101

In a culture where “vulnerability” can sometimes feel like relational currency, it’s easy to fall into a trap of sharing trauma stories before a new relationship has the roots to support it. Especially when we’ve had trauma in past relationships, it can be tempting to “test” new relationships in order to justify leaving or to…

Triggers vs “Triggered”: Trauma Triggers and Modern Language Shifts

It’s normal to feel upset, anxious, or extremely uncomfortable when we encounter difficult content. Having a strong reaction to information that is generally considered troubling or difficult information is normal. Learning how to self-regulate (aka “calm down”) after being exposed to difficult content is part of normal emotional development. Trauma triggers are different. Trauma triggers…

How we Give Language to Traumatic Events Changes how we Heal

  For a while now, the terminology of both “victim” and “survivor” has sat uneasily with me. Both terms center the traumatic experience as part of a person’s identity. Although (and please hear me on this) we can do real harm by minimizing someone’s trauma, one way we can support people in maintaining or building…

Trigger warnings: helpful or harmful for trauma survivors?

This research study presents compelling evidence that trigger warnings may do more harm than good. While this study’s methods may overlook that a trigger warning along with the choice to opt-out has the potential for self-care (in abstaining) and empowerment (in feeling free to abstain or choose exposure), the results are notable, particularly given that…

Normal Trauma Response vs PTSD: Interpreting the Research for Survivors

When brains experience trauma, they struggle to cope with it. It’s normal- and part of the healing process- to have flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive thoughts immediately following a traumatic experience. Knowing this and normalizing this matters! Recent research found that kids who believed their response to trauma was bad, wrong, or a sign something was…