EDNA HEALY · MFT              

Compassion  Kindness Clarity           

Therapy Support for Survivors

Is It Hard For You To Imagine Talking To A Therapist - Reaching Out For Support?

For some survivors it may take a leap of faith to show up at a therapist’s office.  One of a trauma survivors' ways of coping, which may have been very wise as a young vulnerable child was to learn to not trust people.  Some survivors were specifically told not to trust people or told to never talk about what happened outside the family (or even to other members of the family).  Survivors may find it difficult to openly talk to a therapist, or believe another person has their best interest at heart. 

As a therapist I support survivors in developing trust over time.  Coming to therapy you may initially feel anxiety or you may feel relief finally having someone to talk to after holding in so much over the years.  I suggest checking in with your “gut feeling” that many survivors have to see if the therapist is a good fit for you – it may take a few sessions to do this.  It is natural to feel some anxiety or discomfort at first when opening up to a therapist especially if  you grew up in a family that did not facilitate a trusting atmosphere where you could talk openly about your feelings and experiences.  Therapists can have different approaches when it comes to healing trauma.  You may want to ask the therapist if they have specific experience and training in working with trauma which includes some of the latest information on the neurobiological impact of trauma on survivors. 

Research has indicated that healing occurs in a relationship with a therapist where there is empathy, compassion and non-judgment.  These values are primary in my approach.  I have significant experience working with individuals who have experienced trauma.  My approach incorporates an understanding of the latest information on how trauma effects us as adults. 

Sometimes the ways in which we learned to cope and adapt to situations we experienced growing up become our strengths as adults.  At other times the ways we learned to cope may also not be helpful to us today.  They may impact the quality of our personal and work relationships.  Our experience growing up in a dysfunctional family may leave us at times feeling anxious, depressed, lonely, hopeless, angry, sad, fearful.  We may feel 'young' at times, emotionally reacting to situations in ways we later realize is dispropertionate to the immediate situation.  When we're in this place we may feel like we don't have friends, that noone cares about us (no matter how many caring friendships/people we have in our lives).  We may struggle with perfectionism, have a harsh inner critical voice, have difficulty with intimate relationships or struggle with finding a relationship that works for us.  It is to these places we can bring healing and change.  My approach is holistic and non-pathologizing.



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