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therapy for sexual trauma survivors
TRAUMA-INFORMED COUNSELING AND GROUP THERAPY
FOR ADULTS IN CALIFORNIA
Long after the trauma, you're still trying to regain your sense of empowerment and identity
After surviving assault, rape, or an ongoing sexually abusive relationship, you thought that the negative impact it had on you would go away over time. But this hasn't been the case. Perhaps you even had a period of feeling 'normal', but something suddenly triggered strong feelings to emerge. These may be feelings of anxiety, grief, shame, fear, guilt, or a sense of isolation or disconnection from others.
You've been trying your best to cope, but you notice some serious changes in your relationships. Intense emotions or intrusive thoughts are triggered by people closest to you. Physical intimacy feels impossible. You're finding it hard to trust other people, and you're not sure who to talk to. Alternatively, you may find yourself jumping into high-risk relationships or situations.
You notice your relationship with yourself needs healing as well. You experience moments of self-loathing or self-blame, and you don't quite feel whole. You feel like the trauma has taken over your confidence, and your sense of identity.
You can find healing and empowerment
With the right help, you can soothe the fear and anxiety brought on by sexual trauma, and build the self-compassion you need to overcome shame and guilt. You can reclaim your identity and power from the trauma so you no longer feel like it defines you.
I create a safe space for you to practice effective coping skills and tame the inner critic. I offer one-on-one services, and several groups throughout the year for women survivors to connect with each other, giving you a level of support and validation that's unique from what you experience in individual therapy.
Why work with me?
My specialized focus on working with sexual assault survivors started twelve years ago. Since then, I've worked with survivors at all different stages of coping; from crisis support on the same day of an assault, to decades after sexual abuse.
I have an extensive background in trauma-informed mindfulness-based approaches and expressive arts techniques, which I often incorporate into individual and group work, in addition to traditional talk therapy. I take societal and systemic issues seriously when it comes to the role they play in your experience of trauma and shame, and I am passionately driven to empower you to minimize self-blame and rediscover your self-worth.
You deserve to be heard, believed, supported, and empowered
Frequently Asked Questions
ABOUT THERAPY FOR SEXUAL TRAUMA SURVIVORS
What does a typical individual session look like?
For individual therapy, we'll meet for 50 minutes each session. I often see people every one or two weeks. At the start of services, we'll identify what specific goals you'd like to aim for, such as decreasing intrusive thoughts and anxiety attacks or increasing confidence in setting healthy boundaries. Each session after that will be spent discussing issues that will help us get you there. This may include retelling your story in ways that help you re-story the experience with self-compassion and empowerment, or unpacking how the effects of trauma interrupt your daily life so you can make tangible changes in your current relationships. When applicable, we can incorporate mind-body exercises to help you repair your ability to self-soothe, or use expressive arts techniques like therapeutic sketches, collages, or writing exercises to increase self-expression and reconnect with your sense of identity. I can also provide in-session guided mindfulness practices and help you create a manageable out-of-session mindfulness routine.
What does a typical group look like?
For group therapy, we'll meet for 90 minutes each week. Groups consist of no more than 6 members, and are considered "closed" groups, meaning no new members will join over the course of a 10-week group series. This helps to create more meaningful relationships with those in your group cohort. Sessions will include trauma-informed grounding/self-compassion-related exercise, and a general check-in so you and all other group members get a chance to share what stood out from your week. You'll all get the opportunity to identify any specific concerns/questions/topics that you'd like to discuss with the group. I'll often include a specific self-reflective question to help jumpstart and guide meaningful discussions. I lead sessions in a way that avoids simple advice-giving, and instead helps members support and interact with each other in deeper ways. Creating a sense of safety is a top priority in how I lead your group, and I take steps to ensure that all members respect their own, and each other's, own pace. I use a strengths-based approach, so we spend more time identifying and boosting your personal strengths and resources that will help you overcome problems, rather than spending every session/all sessions on talking in depth about the trauma and resulting problems themselves.
How do I get started?
Schedule a free phone consultation by clicking the button below. This will give us a chance to meet, briefly talk about your goals, and allow me to answer any of your questions. If we determine that my counseling services would be a good fit for you, we'll schedule our first appointment. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!
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