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…

Therapy: Expectation vs Reality – A Graph

Even if you’ve never been to therapy or studied psychology, you’ve probably heard of “breakthroughs” in therapy. It’s a word that Hollywood loves – but doesn’t really exist in real life. In media depictions of psychotherapy– where therapy is often used as a gimmick to advance plot rather than a realistic representation- a breakthrough is shown…

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…

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 Find a Therapist: Infographic

Sometimes finding a therapist can be the hardest part of deciding to start therapy. It can be hard to know where to begin, especially when we’ve all heard stories about not-so-great therapists. Although online directories like P.T. make it easy to search and sort, it’s worth considering that many of the more experienced, more in-demand…

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…

No one Gets to Decide for Us What a Good Life Is

There are lots of voices shaping our idea of a “Good Life,” but freedom comes when we take ownership of that narrative and choose- with mindfulness, integrity, and the wisdom of voices that have *earned* our trust- what the life we actually want to live looks like. Listening to our deep desires can be terrifying…

Childhood Emotional Neglect and Chronic Shame

Kids who grow up in families where emotional needs are not validated and met often develop a deep sense of internal shame for having needs at all. Over time, in order to cope, many of these kids become adults with little or no capacity to experience their emotions  (a symptom associated with alexithymia). Hilary Jacobs…

Desire is Not Pathology

Pop-culture “wellness” often pathologizes desire. We are promised that if we can ignore physical hunger, meet our own needs emotionally, and keep our sexual desire confined, we’ll be okay and we won’t have to suffer the affliction of desire. This marketing-tactic is so ingrained that most of us (particularly women) have swallowed it whole. However,…

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…

Family Therapy / Parenting Sketch notes

There’s a ton of pressure on parents and caregivers to meet every need. Sometimes shame around not being able to do so prevents families from reaching out for the support they need. But here’s the thing- parents aren’t meant to meet every need. You can’t soften every blow or soothe every disappointment- but you can…

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…

Alexithymia – Origins and Treatment

Most of us learn early- before we even learn language- how to express and tell the difference between emotions. Babies learn this when they see their emotions amplified on the face of a caring parent or caregiver. Most caregiver’s intuitively sense and mirror back an infant’s emotional state, this mirroring-in-the-face-of-a-parent helps a child’s brain begin…