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"From surviving to thriving, breaking free from complex trauma."

Survivors of moderate-to-severe experiences of trauma throughout childhood and adolescence suffer with chronic psycho-social-biological effects as a result of what they had to endure. In adulthood, these lasting effects can pervasively affect an individual's ability to confidently, flexibly, and authentically navigate the world around them. The ways in which survivors had to adapt to stay safe and attached in childhood can become quite limiting, even debilitating as an adult! Intensive psychotherapy provides an opportunity to safely process overwhelming experiences from the past while reinforcing inherent strengths and glimmers of resilience that can actively be tapped into while navigating present-day situations.

What is Complex Trauma or C-PTSD?

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) develops as a result of prolonged, repetitive trauma, beginning in childhood often at the hand of one's caregiver(s) and/or figures close to them (i.e. relatives, community figures, religious leaders, etc.). This can include, but is not limited to: childhood abuse/neglect, pervasive family dysfunction, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and other forms of exploitation. It is often characterized by pervasive feelings of fear, helplessness, overwhelm, shame, and abandonment/rejection/isolation. The residual effects of the traumatic experiences continue to have an impact on survivors into their present day lives.

What is Disorganized Attachment?

Disorganized attachment typically results from early relationships with caregiver(s) where a child is simultaneously seeking connection and affection from a caregiver(s) who is also a source of fear, harm, shame, and rejection.

 

In adulthood an individual with a disorganized attachment style has a genuine desire for close, intimate, and vulnerable relationships, and is also intensely afraid of being in such relationships. This can lead to conflicting emotions and behaviors that can feel quite overwhelming, frustrating, and disheartening for the individual. For more information on attachment styles click here.

Present-Day Symptoms of C-PTSD & Disorganized Attachment:

Body Responses 

Digestive issues, stomach pains, chest pains, feeling on edge or overly alert, low libido, high libido.

Dissociation

Numbing out, zoning out, fading away, lost moments of time or reality, mental fuzziness, fawning, freezing

 

Anxiety and/or Depression

Anger, Irritation, Impulsivity

Sleep Troubles

Difficulties with Interpersonal Relationships

Low Self-Esteem & Harsh Inner Criticism

Suicidality or Self-Harm

Compartmentalization

Compartmentalizing of aspects of the self including: thoughts, feelings, memories, personality traits. 

What Makes Intensive Attachment-Informed Psychotherapy Different?

Twice (2x) weekly intensive attachment-informed psychotherapy looks to attachment theory, relational neuroscience, and trauma-informed best practices as models for healing. It recognizes that growth, healing, and internal security have the opportunity to emerge in the presence of healthy relational consistency, emotional attunement, and physical and emotional safety. With the reliable support of a trauma-informed, dissociation-informed therapist and co-creation of a safe therapeutic space, an individual can begin to relate to themselves (i.e. their thoughts, emotions, body/nervous system), their past, the relationships, and the world around them in ways that promote confidence, flexibility, nervous system regulation, and self-compassion. This ultimately leads to a greater sense of self-agency, inner security, and authenticity.

I interweave facets of AEDP, relational neuroscience, and IFS parts work into the therapeutic process leading to an experience that is collaborative, experiential, respectful of adaptive coping strategies and their inherent roots in survival, mindful of nervous system regulation and window of tolerance, and honoring of a client's "inner knowing" and innate striving toward growth, healing, and authenticity. 

Tools fostered throughout our sessions include: self-advocacy, self-compassion, enhancing flexible thinking, expanding window of tolerance (increasing ability to safely tolerate certain emotions, physiological sensations, memories, etc.), resiliency strengthening, and somatic-affective awareness and regulation (increase in awareness of emotions, their body-based felt sense, and nervous system regulation), boundary-setting skills. 

Frequency:

Twice (2x) weekly for 60-70 minutes

* sessions can be shortened to 45-50 minutes if needed to remain safely within a client's presenting window of tolerance.

Structure: 

  • Intention Setting: Identifying what we would like to explore/process in session. 

  • Mindful Exploration & Processing: Slowly dipping our toe into the material while collaboratively remaining mindful of and tending to dissociation, nervous system dysregulation, and your window of tolerance. Our goal is not to flood you, but to slowly and respectfully expand your capacity to sit with heavy feelings and bodily sensations so that together we can support the parts of you that are still carrying the weight of the past.  

  • Reflection & Integration: We begin to zoom out the lens, and reflect on the session as a whole. We identify aspects of the session that felt important, good, right, true and process what made them feel so. 

  • Grounding Transition: We relationally ground back into present day helping you leave session in a regulated state. 

Between Session Resourcing:

Identification of between session resources (i.e. social and family supports, local crisis resources, self-help groups) that can be utilized for support between sessions. 

Journaling & Homework Recommendations:

In an effort to promote self-agency and mindful reflection, clients are encouraged to journal and engage in recovery oriented homework recommendations between sessions. Journal entries can serve as a means of regulating emotions, reflecting on struggles, and identifying points for exploration in future sessions. 

*  Please note that prospective clients must not have had a suicide attempt or psychiatric hospitalization in the last year. Prospective clients must not have engaged in non-suicidal self-harming behavior within the last 90 days. 

What Makes You Different from Other Trauma Therapists in Bergen County, New Jersey? 

As an attachment-informed trauma therapist, I bring a wealth of expertise shaped by extensive post-graduate training in attachment theory, childhood and adolescent development, human sexuality, developmental trauma, complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), trauma-related dissociation, and relational neuroscience.

My qualifications extend to specific certifications, notably as an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist specializing in childhood sexual abuse and incest. I also hold the designation of WIEBGE Certified Clinical Narcissistic Abuse Therapist.

In practice, I employ a range of attachment-informed trauma modalities, including Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy, Emotionally Focused Individual Psychotherapy, and Internal Family Systems Therapy. My dedication to staying at the forefront of trauma treatment is evident through ongoing advanced study and clinical consultation with experts such as Kathy Steele, MS, CN, APRN, co-author of Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation.

Continuing my professional development, I am currently immersed in a 6-Month Complex Trauma & Dissociation Informed Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) Master Class with Certified IFS Therapist and Approved Consultant Colleen West, LMFT. 

In addition, I have delved deeply into the complexities of narcissistic abuse and parental narcissism. Mentorship from esteemed authority Dr. Karyl McBride, author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers, has been instrumental in my advanced understanding, culminating in WIEBGE Level 2 Clinical Certification.

Importantly, my journey as a therapist is deeply personal, informed by my own experiences as a survivor of childhood developmental trauma and parental narcissism. This lived experience fuels my empathy and understanding as I navigate both my clients' healing paths and my own ongoing journey toward wholeness.

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