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Traumatic events are experienced on both a psychological and physiological level. Knowing this means careful assessment of a person being in a place where exposing oneself to traumatic material is beneficial or not. Despite this, working through the manifestations of trauma symptoms, as they exist in the present, can still be done. My expertise as a Trauma Therapist means that I don’t waver when it comes to the first step of trauma recovery, which is: assessing and meeting a person where they are at in terms of safety and stabilization. Sometimes stabilization is the whole individualized treatment plan, and at other times, what is most required, is empowering a new sense of self and meaning from the pain. Regardless of the trajectory of treatment—be it stabilization tools, a cognitive-behavioral model, etc.—the focus of trauma therapy is not on the trauma, per say, but on the individual finding sanctuary from its effects.
The triad of self—mind, body, spirit—is an experiential way of relating to the world or universe. How each person understands their own triad, however, is different for everyone. For some the experience is religious, others it is Humanism, and still yet, there are those whose experience is best left undefined in a quest for what it means to be alive. Spiritual integration in therapy means consideration of how the ‘whole’ of you is growing and/or being affected by the ‘whole’ of your life. And it also means consideration that there is a higher actualization of consciousness—something bigger than just you. In setting out to become a psychotherapist, I purposefully undertook an educational path that integrated a holistic approach into counseling theory. In order to sit in your belief system though, it means: one, helping me become aware of what it is; two, discovering how these beliefs impact and define your daily life, and then three, sometimes, allowing for a spiritual connection to develop within the therapeutic hour..
Often these presentations have a life-time prevalence, and require wrap-around care within a psychiatric, medical, community, and social support model for ethical practice and best outcomes. Due to this, my work in this area is done so via referral from an already established behavioral health care team, and then continues by working closely with the team on behalf of the client. My service in the community sector has afforded me with ample training and experience in providing supportive counseling for: psychoeducation around the illness, teaching life skills for illness management, a focus for family integration into a client’s care, as well as knowing when various situations require re-direction and/or collaboration with other community supports.
Using the evidence-based framework of CAMS (Collaborative Assessment & Management of Suicidality), clients receive weekly therapy focusing on the conscious and unconscious drivers of suicidality, weekly treatment planning for addressing the resolution/management of these drivers, as well as in-depth safety and stabilization planning. The very act of seeking help is the biggest difference I’ve found in the outcome of life and death, and there is no lack of reverence for that fact in terms of collaborating, together, a desire to live. Given the acuity of the presentation though, working with a behavioral healthcare team provides the safety-net for therapy to professionally ensue. For those struggling with suicidality, I urge you to reach out to crisis lines, a trusted friend, healthcare organizations, a medical provider, or a hospital Emergency Department, as these are all places and persons that hold the truth—the truth that there is hope.
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