Trauma Therapy

Pasadena-Trauma-EMDR-TherapistAt the root of anxiety, depression, and addiction often lies unresolved trauma. My Pasadena-based trauma treatment approach is rooted in mindfulness, EMDR, EFT, Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM), and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. It is possible to release habitual patterns that keep you in the past. You can heal and overcome trauma’s paralyzing grip on your life and live with greater ease and trust…

Trauma-Therapist-PasadenaTrauma stems from real or perceived life-threatening experiences that leave you feeling out of control, overwhelmed and powerless. The degree to which you register the trauma is determined by your subjective experience of the threat. The more helpless, vulnerable and unprepared you felt during the time it occurred, the more likely you will be traumatized.  Unresolved trauma, whether it is acute trauma (shock) or chronic trauma (relational/attachment), damages our view of the self, the body, others, and the world.

Trauma is registered in the mind and body. Negative fixed beliefs are formed during a traumatic experience and become frozen in time until they are reprocessed. On the physical level our body’s nervous system creates an enormous surge of energy to either fight or take flight. When our body is not able to carry out its desired action plan, unresolved physical and emotional tension from the event become stuck in the body. Muscular tension sits in the body, stagnates and wears on the nervous system. When the desired action plan at the time of the trauma (like fight or flight) is not processed through the body, we continue to unconsciously experience the terror as if the trauma were still occurring in present time.

When working to heal trauma, whether utilizing EMDR or Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, I take a collaborative and compassionate approach. Initially we seek to establish safety, grounding and greater body awareness. My goal is to assist clients in the process of restoring intrinsic healing resources, and ultimately release and transform traumatic energy trapped in the nervous system. I am a certified EMDR therapist in Pasadena trained by Laurel Parnell, PhD (author of Attachment Focused EMDR: Healing Relational Trauma). I completed advanced training in specialty EMDR protocols to heal addiction trauma and birth trauma (prenatal and perinatal). My understanding of and treatment approach for healing developmental-relational trauma is deeply informed by Hakomi and the work of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. I am also trained in Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM) – a trauma recovery model that is rooted in the methodology of Somatic Experiencing (SE).


Acute Trauma is single incident and time-limited traumas, such as:

physical and sexual assault
betrayal and abandonment
death of a loved one
medical trauma
natural disasters
witnessing violence

Chronic Trauma is multiple incident traumas, such as:

verbal/emotional/physical/sexual abuse
ongoing life-threatening illness
domestic violence
vicarious trauma

Some symptoms of trauma may include:

panic attacks
painful memories/flashbacks
feeling helpless
compulsive behaviors/addiction
anxiety and depression
irritability/mood swings
inability to eat
difficulty sleeping

Some signs in the body may include:

dry mouth
rapid heartbeating
shallow breathing
tense or weak muscles
exaggerated startle response
narrow attention span
extreme sensitivity to light or noises