trauma therapy in san diego

The Perpetrator Next Door

Don’t walk alone at night.  Hold your keys between your fingers for protection.  Stay in well lit areas.  These are just some of the lessons I remember learning at a young age.  Doing these things were supposed to keep us safe from being attacked, from being sexually assaulted, from being raped.  Back then I thought that rapists were scary people that jumped out from bushes at night to attack.  

In reality, the numbers of rapes when the perpetrator is a stranger are the minority. 

8 out of 10 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim

The majority of children and teen victims know the perpetrator.

Of sexual abuse cases reported to law enforcement, 93% of juvenile victims knew the perpetrator:

  • 59% were acquaintances

  • 34% were family members

  • 7%  were strangers to the victim

For these and more statistics see RAINN.

There are terms like “date rape” and “acquaintance rape.”  Part of me thinks that these terms water-down and minimize the crime.  Part of me wonders if the intent of these terms were to illustrate that these crimes could be committed by people we know. But why come up with another term?  Rape is rape.  Rape is a crime.  

Rape and sexual assault impact a person mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, behaviorally, and spiritually.  When this crime is committed by someone known to the survivor there may be additional layers of confusion and struggle.  I’ve heard some say that if it was that stranger in the bushes, it would almost be “easier” (it’s never easy) because you could avoid the person, there wouldn’t be common friends, and more.  It’s almost like we think when the rape or sexual assault is committed by a stranger it’s more “clearcut” (for lack of a better word).

Some of the fears and thoughts of self doubt a survivor may have include:

  • I thought I could trust this person.  Did I do something to mislead them?

  • What does this mean about me and my ability to judge who to be friends with?

  • If I talk about this, am I going to lose friends? Will people believe me?

  • My body reacted like I enjoyed it. Maybe I really wanted it. Maybe I like this person.  

  • There must have been some kind of misunderstanding because this person wouldn’t intentionally hurt me, would they?  

  • And more… 

What if the perpetrator was someone that the survivor was in a relationship with, someone they continue a relationship with, or that they begin a relationship with after the fact?  This happens.  A partner may take things further than what was wanted.  Maybe it was the first time.  Maybe it was the 30th.  When a survivor continues a relationship with the perpetrator, it may leave friends and loved ones confused. 

Why would a survivor continue or begin a relationship with their abuser? Maybe the survivor is invested in the relationship and part of them finds a way to justify or rationalize what happens.  Maybe they fear people won’t believe them. Maybe a part of them is struggling with shame and having victim blaming thoughts. Maybe they fear that the consequences (ie social, financial, family, career…) of ending contact would be great. Maybe they hope new memories will outweigh the traumatic event.  Another reason may be related to the self blaming thoughts that can happen when the physical body reacts to sexual stimulation even when it’s unwanted.  Our body reacts to sexual stimulation and it is beyond our control.  What happened is still sexual assault and rape.  

The survivor should be empowered to make decisions about their healing process and this includes whether they have contact with the perpetrator. The survivor may want to avoid the person. They may want to take legal and/or judicial action (if the crime involved students on a campus). The survivor may want to do nothing or do nothing for now. They may want to have a conversation with the perpetrator in hopes of an apology or an explanation. Every survivor is different. Deciding what to do next is part of survivor taking back their control.

This Ted Talk tells one story.

The first time I watched this I had a wide variety of reactions.  There are some excellent points made.  There are some parts that I struggled with.  These events, these crimes, can be complex.  Maybe we know people on both sides of the story.  Different parts of us may be pulled in different directions at different times.  These crimes happen and they happen between people who know each other.  What happened is still sexual assault and rape.  

It would be nice to think we live in a world where if we did everything “right” we could be sure that nothing terrible would ever happen.  If we avoided that road at night, stuck together, and held those keys we would be safe.  Rape and sexual assault can happen at our friends’ homes, in dorm rooms, at the office, and in our own bedrooms.  They can happen at anytime of day and no matter what we are wearing. The perpetrator may be someone known.  When these crimes happen, the perpetrator takes a person’s control away.  The perpetrator is the one who is responsible.  It is still sexual assault and rape.

Things don’t have to stay this way. We can change the conversation about sexual assault and rape. We can support survivors when they share their story. Survivors can heal. We can have conversations about sexual consent beginning at a young age. We can provide sexual assault prevention education and bystander intervention trainings. The person next door could be the person that helps you in your time of need.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. If you have been impacted by sexual violence and need support, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673). If you are in San Diego, call the Center for Community Solutions 888-385-4657. For more information, visit the RAINN website. Contact me to consult further on this topic or to schedule a therapy appointment.

Healing Conversations

Too often trauma gets dismissed as just in our head, but the pain is real. We feel it in our muscles, our cells, our hearts, our heads. And while there’s no magic fix, no pill to make it disappear, we can ask for help. And we can tell our truth whenever we are ready.
— Grey's Anatomy

How people respond when we share our stories of trauma can have a tremendous impact on our healing.  Last week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy was titled “Silent All These Years” and it did an amazing job addressing sexual and domestic violence.  It followed 3 main story lines which included providing support immediately after the crime, conversations that happen years later, and talking about consent.

When someone shares their experience of sexual assault, rape, or domestic violence, it may feel like opening up a wound, or it may feel like sharing a chapter from a book that happened long ago.  There can be a whole range of emotions depending on where the person is in their healing journey.  How it feels can also vary based on who they are sharing with and the context.  There is no right or wrong way to feel. 

It is up to a survivor to decide who to tell and when.  Again, there is no right or wrong way.  Some may reach out for help immediately to one, or to a few, or to many.  Some may not speak about it for years.  Some may share at one point and then never talk about it again.  For some, this may be a conversation that they come back to again one day in future relationships.  Some may find that it gets a little easier to share their story as time goes on.  For some, it may feel just as overwhelming as the first time.  There is no right or wrong way to feel.  There is no set timeline.

There is however, a right way to respond.  When someone shares their story, they are being vulnerable both with you and with themself.  When the person is met with compassion and support, it can contribute to greater healing.  When the person is met with doubt or victim blaming, those responses can be internalized.  One of the best responses is “It’s not your fault. I believe you.”

Towards the end of the Grey’s episode, we see a survivor being brought to surgery by her doctors.  When they enter the hallway, it is lined with women.  No words are needed.  The message is powerful.  We are here to support you.  


Scene from Grey’s Anatomy: Silent All These Years

It’s the showing up that matters the most.  It’s the compassion.  It’s the solidarity.  It’s someone saying, “It’s not your fault. I believe you.” It’s knowing that we are not alone. When we are met with those things, our strength grows. It is in those moments and in those conversations that healing is happening.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. If you have been impacted by sexual violence and need support, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673). If you are in San Diego, call the Center for Community Solutions 888-385-4657. For more information, visit the RAINN website. Contact me to consult further on this topic or to schedule a therapy appointment.

You Are Not What Happened To You

“I feel like I’m damaged goods.”  This statement and other similar statements can come from people who have experienced trauma.  The trauma may have been a sexual assault or other crime, it may may have been a toxic relationship, it may have been a near death experience.  Why so often do survivors believe these events leave them forever damaged?

Trauma does change us.  Some of what it can impact includes how we think, the emotions that we feel, our behaviors, our physical response to stimulus, and more.  This is a normal response to an event that has shook our world. In time, many will return to their previous (or similar) way of functioning.  Some may do this naturally on their own and some find their way back with the support of others.  

There are people who hold the belief that what happened to them has left them “damaged.”  Trauma impacts our view of ourself and our place in the world.  It’s not uncommon to have thoughts like “I’m bad”, “This was my fault,” or “I have no control.” 

I think we like to believe that awful things can’t happen.  When something awful does happy we try to figure out why.  We want to know what we can do to make sure something awful never happens again to ourself or to loved ones.  We start to come up with reasons and justifications like “If only I had…” The amount of victim blaming that we hear in society, especially around sexual violence, further compounds the blame that we place on ourselves. 

Through the support of loved ones it is possible to begin changing the way we think about our trauma.  When someone says to us “it’s not your fault” and “I’m here for you” it goes a long way.  We no longer feel alone.  Their statements of support start to counter the self blame statements that are in our head.  The more we hear these statements of support the more we start to believe them.

Therapy can also help us to heal and to shift those negative thoughts about ourself.  EMDR therapy helps the brain to process an event.  Instead of having a negative thought about ourself we have a positive thought like “I’m good,” “It wasn’t my fault,” and “I have control.”  IFS therapy helps us to release the negative energy, thoughts, and emotions about an event.  Once that unburdening happens it invites us to take in other positive qualities like calm, confidence, connection, and courage. EMDR and IFS are two of the therapeutic approaches that can help individuals to heal from their past trauma.

Through support and therapy a person can reach a different understanding of the event(s) and the meaning can change.  It no longer defines the person.  It is part of their story but it’s a matter of pages and not the whole book. Experiencing trauma does not mean that a person is damaged. The person may change in some ways or their path may change. Life changes us in all sorts of ways.

“Yes I have been through awful things.  It wasn’t my fault though.  I’m strong.  I’m going to do amazing things.”  This type of statement and other similar statements have come from people that have worked through their trauma.  I have heard these statements from clients in my office.

Are you ready to start your healing journey? Contact me to make a therapy appointment.

jordan-donaldson-jordi-d-686908-unsplash.jpg

The Road to Survivor

If someone breaks into your house and you no longer feel safe, you have options. You could install a security system or even move to a new house.  When someone breaks into your body, you don’t have the same options.  Sexual assault and rape is often about power and control. It can leave someone questioning their safety in the world. They also may question their worth and have fears of being “damaged.” 

How can a person who has been through this type of trauma begin to heal? Two important factors in healing are support and choice. This includes taking care of physical health, connecting to support, and making a decision of what to do next.  Reporting and taking legal action is a very personal choice.  When this type of a crime is committed the person doesn't have control.  Being empowered to make this personal choice is an important step in recovery. 

After a Sexual Assault or Rape - These are options. The first two I encourage all survivors to do. 

1. Seek medical care as soon as you can.  A physical exam will help determine if there are injuries that need to be treated. Even if there are no visible injuries, there may be internal injuries.  A medical professional can discuss with you the possible risk of sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy.  Preventative measures can be taken.  You have the option of having a rape kit done.  This kit makes it possible to collect physical evidence, which may be helpful if you make the choice to pursue legal action.  I encourage calling the medical facility in advance to make sure there is someone there who is trained to do the kit. They may also be able to arrange for an advocate to meet you there who can help explain your options.  Ideally, seek medical care immediately, however, a rape kit can be collected for up to 5 days after the event.  If possible bring the clothes you were wearing at the time of the incident with you in a paper bag.

2. Get support.  Find someone you are comfortable talking to about what happened.  It could be a friend or family member.  It could be a professional like a rape crisis counselor, an advocate, or a therapist.  Maybe it’s a mentor, a coach, a teacher, or a spiritual/religious leader.  Have multiple sources of support.

3. Take steps to pursue criminal charges.  Report what happened to the police.  Share as many details as you remember about the incident and the perpetrator.

4. If you are in school, you can take steps judicially.  Report what happened to your school’s Title IX Coordinator, Campus Police, or Dean of Students Office.  Different campuses may have different resources and procedures.  If you aren’t sure what you want to do yet, you may want to speak confidentially to your school’s counseling or health services staff so that they can help outline your options. 

5. Take steps to pursue civil charges against the perpetrator.  The burden of proof and the role of the victim are different in a civil case than in a criminal case.  For more information, see the websites for Victims of Crime and Victims Right Law Center.

6. Do nothing or do nothing for now.  You get to choose what’s right for you

What helps someone get to the place where they view themself as a survivor?  Being empowered to make the best personal choice of what to do is one thing.  The other key factor is having support.  Having people who are there whether you want to talk, cry, yell, or sit in silence.  To anyone who has ever or who may in the future support someone after an assault or rape, I want you to know that to support someone you just need to A. be there and B. believe the person. 

Friends are amazing.  Sometimes we can support someone without saying a word.  It might be a small gesture like reaching out to hold someone’s hand when you notice her mind is elsewhere while everyone else is chatting away.  Some friends are there with a box of tissues and comfort food for a good talk or cry.  Some friends call every year on an anniversary to check and see how you’re doing.  There are many different ways to be a friend to someone who is healing.  Whatever type of support you offer, remember that being there is making a difference in your friend’s recovery. Thank you. 

There is no right or wrong way to react after experiencing a sexual assault or rape.  There may be changes in behavior, emotions, thought process, and more.  There may not be.  Everyone is different.  People choose to cope or to not cope in all sorts of ways. There’s no set timeline for the healing process.  What that healing looks like may change at different points in a person’s life.  But it is possible to heal.  It is possible to find your way back to yourself. Though who that person is may change a bit. 

Some people find their way to healing by taking steps towards bringing their perpetrator to justice.  Some find it through exercise and self-defense classes.  Some people become involved in educating others or become advocates for other survivors.  Some may speak at events to bring awareness to this topic.  Some people become really amazing friends to others who go through similar experiences.  There are many possibilities.

You get to choose what it means to you to be a survivor.  Only you really know where you are on your healing journey.  But know that you don’t have to be in it alone.  After a sexual assault or a rape it may feel that way at first.  It may feel like there was an invasion to your home and you may feel vulnerable.  Your house isn’t the only one on the street though.  You are part of a community and you have neighbors (i.e. friends, law enforcement, counselors) who can help make your home feel safe again. 

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Student Development & Counseling Center Staff at Take Back the Night 2010

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Student Development & Counseling Center Staff at Take Back the Night 2010

I’m not a stranger to the dark
hide away, they say
‘cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are…
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh
This is me
and I know that I deserve your love
‘cause there’s nothing I’m not worthy of
— This Is Me, The Greatest Showman

This is the third in my series of blogs for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month 2018. If you have been impacted by sexual violence and need support call the National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673). If you are in San Diego, call the Center for Community Solutions 888-385-4657. These three blogs were meant to be an introduction and an overview. There will be more blogs on this topic in the future. There's a lot I could write about. If there are specific things you want to learn more about please let me know in the comments.

Wanna Make Out?

I remember my first time.  There was a look exchanged, a smile… In my head I’m excitedly thinking, “Is this really going to happen?” Then there’s a kiss, a touch…and then IT’S HAPPENING. As I type this, Meatloaf’s song Paradise by the Dashboard Light is going through my head.  

What is consent? How do we know we have consent for sex?  It could look something like this….

That’s one of my favorite clips that we showed when teaching college students about consent back when I worked in higher education.  It’s hilarious and memorable.  That’s the point!  In reality consent doesn’t exactly happen like that.  I’ve never had a lawyer show up in the bedroom. But what stops us from having these conversations to be clear about what we are hoping to do and make sure that is also what our partner wants to do?  Maybe it’s because the sex education we had in school looked something like this… 

For some of us this may not be too far from the truth.  Why was it so often that the gym teacher also taught health?  What I remember the most from that class was the gym teacher showing us how to put a condom on a banana and learning about STDs.  As Coach Carr said if you have sex “you will get Chlamydia and die”.  To say that sex education was lacking a lot of key information is an understatement. 

Fast forward to college… I miss college.  The freedom. Living with your closest friends.  Studying things you are excited about.  The concerts, sports, activities, and the parties… My roommates and I had what we called “morning reflection.” We would gather in our living room and discuss what happened the previous night.  Sometimes those conversations would include who hooked up with whom.  Sometimes the stories were shared with excitement, but sometimes there was a different feeling, a yucky feeling.  I’m not talking about regret or instances of “beer goggles.”  We began to identify who was “shady” and who you had to be careful of because they might try to give you lots of alcohol and make a move. 

When I was in college (and it wasn’t THAT long ago), we didn’t have the language to talk about sexual assault.  It wasn’t until years later when I became a therapist and an educator that it clicked. That person wasn’t just “shady” they were a sexual predator.  That yucky feeling was because what happened was sexual assault or rape. 

These events, these crimes, don’t just happen on our school campuses or when we are a certain age.  They happen at social events or when we are out with friends or even in our own homes.  It’s usually not a creepy stranger that suddenly jumps out of the bushes or an ally to attack us.  That’s what I thought a rapist was when I was younger.  The reality is that often times it’s someone we know. 

Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.

1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.

Women ages 18-24 who are college students are 3 times more likely than women in general to experience sexual violence.  Females of the same age who are not enrolled in college are 4 times more likely

About 3% of American men – 1 in 33 – have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

21% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students have been sexually assaulted.

55% of sexual assaults occur at or near the victim’s home and 12% at or near a relative’s home.

7 out of 10 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim.

Of sexual abuse cases reported to law enforcement, 93% of juvenile victims knew the perpetrator – 59% were acquaintances, 34% were family members, 7% were strangers to the victim.

For these and more statistics see www.rainn.org

When I finally had the language to talk about sexual violence, I talked a lot.  Events from the past suddenly became clear and there was some relief in being able to clearly identify what had happen.  I loved working on a college campus that was taking a stance to prevent sexual violence on campus by having discussions about consent, bystander intervention, and how to support someone if they experience a sexual assault or rape.  When speaking with friends, I was shocked at how many others had experienced similar situations.  I would think to myself, “why don’t we talk about this more.” The answer is often because of the shame and victim blaming that can happen. 

We have all heard statements like – if you weren’t wearing that, if you didn’t drink, if you didn’t go to his apartment…. I think we try to make sense of events that don’t make sense.  We try to think of what could be done to prevent ourselves from ever being the victim of sexual violence.  We want to be in control.  The reality of sexual violence is that someone has taken away our control and our power.  We should be able to run around stark naked with a drink in hand and not have to worry about being sexually violated.  We would probably get arrested for public nudity and public intoxication.  BUT we should not have to worry about being raped.  

After the sexual misconduct story involving Aziz Ansari appeared in the news, one of my college roommates sent me a text asking what I thought.  She said she liked him as an actor/comedian and wasn’t sure what to think.  My response started with that I wasn’t there so I don’t know all the facts of what happened.  The articles that I read made it sound like Aziz thought his date was interested in sex because of non-verbal cues.  When he reached out to her later, he learned that was not what she wanted. Her experience of the night was very different than his.  He had no idea that was her experience and he expressed feeling awful.  I have compassion for Aziz.  It’s hard to read non-verbals.  This is why we need to have the conversation.  There needs to be verbal consent. 

Why don’t we always have these conversations?  I have heard some say that it will ruin the mood.  Please (insert eye roll emoji).  I remember instances of having the conversation with potential partners.  They went something like “Do you want to have sex?  I think we should maybe have sex. Do you want to?” Then when the answer was yes, hallelujah was there excitement and those clothes could not come off fast enough.  If anything knowing with certainty that a partner does want to have sex increases the thrill because we KNOW it’s going to happen.  See, we don’t want to operate on assumptions. To quote a former colleague, we want “an Enthusiastic HELL YES!!!” If you want to take your sexual experience to the next level, ask what exactly what your partner wants to do sexually.  You never know unless you ask AND you could be pleasantly surprised to know something is on the table that you wouldn’t have thought of.

Finally, we are having conversations about consent.  Thank you Joe Biden for champion the Obama administration’s “It’s on us” campaign to end sexual assault on campus and in the workplace.  Bystander intervention and consent is often a part of new student orientation at college campuses.  I hope more high schools and middle schools are having similar dialogues.  I hope more parents are having conversation with their children about sex and respect.  Abstinence only education does not work.  Yes teach your children about values whether they are influenced by your spiritual beliefs or family morals.  But also, teach them the facts, how to stay safe, and what consent is.  Let them make their own informed decisions and let them know that whatever happens they can come talk to you. 

A lot has happened since my first time.  I’m no longer meeting guys at parties or at the bar for one.  My typical Friday night includes pizza and a movie at home on the couch with my husband and our dogs.  There may be a look exchanged or a smile.  Then, I’ll say to my husband “wanna make out?” He’ll scoot over and I’ll giggle.  Then suddenly Marvin Gaye’s song Let’s Get It On will start playing in my head…. 

This is the second in my series of blogs for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. If you have been impacted by sexual violence and need support call the National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673). If you are in San Diego, call the Center for Community Solutions 888-385-4657.

Healing from Trauma

What is trauma? When people hear the word trauma they may think of PTSD. That can then make them think of “Big T” traumas including combat, rape, natural disasters, and near death experience. There are also “Small T” traumas. These are smaller “everyday” or less pronounced events and may include bullying, neglect, difficult relationships, and loss. Now I need to say using terms like “big” and “little” in reference to the type of trauma gives me mixed feelings.  Depending on the individual circumstances, any of the “Small Ts” I mentioned could be a “Big T.” I do like that describing trauma this way opens the door for people to recognize a multitude of events as traumatic – because they can be. However, I don’t like that it inadvertently has us quantify these events.  This is something that we may do automatically. “What I went through wasn’t ‘bad enough’ to be considered trauma.” “Other people have experienced worse.” Trauma is trauma. It leaves a mark. Sometimes it impacts us immediately and sometimes we don’t even realize its impact until later in life. 

Experiencing a trauma also does not automatically mean we have PTSD.

The mark left by events that we have experienced doesn’t mean that we are “damaged” or “broken”. It is possible to heal. It is possible to turn that experience into something that makes us even stronger. Things may get harder while we are doing the work. It can be similar to when we clean a cut or a scrapped knee.  It stings while we clean the wound. I often use this metaphor to explain what therapy can be like for clients. 

How do we heal? The specifics of how to start may depend on the event. It’s important for the person to re-establish safety.  When a person has been impacted by trauma they may feel unsafe in their body and in relationships.  A person may need medical care. They may need to physically get to a safer place and in contact with supportive people. 

To heal we need to reconnect to our body.  See, our system has this fabulous coping skill of disassociation. We all do it. Have you ever zoned out? Have you ever been driving somewhere then poof you’re there and barely realize the time went by?  These are just a couple every day examples.  There are many ways we dissociate. Another example is when a person feels like they are outside of their body watching themself.  Also, sometimes when someone is experiencing trauma their system checks them out  (it’s almost like they aren’t even there) in efforts to protect them from feeling and thinking everything associated with what’s happening.  Sometimes our system gets so good at doing this that it happens all the time…. Sometimes when we don’t want or need it to.  That’s why we need to find a way to get back in our bodies.  Some of the ways we can do this are through meditation, grounding exercises, and physical exercises like yoga or cardio. 

To heal from trauma we need to find a way to make sense of it and process what happened. Two amazing therapeutic approaches that I use with my clients are EMDR and IFS.  These are both evidence-based practices.  Research has shown that they work.  But for me it’s more than just the research that makes me believe in them.  I’ve seen it work with clients that I’ve supported in therapy.  Additionally, I experienced my own healing through EMDR and IFS when I was the client on the couch.  Next, I’m going to share a bit about these approaches to explain how they help individuals heal from trauma.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a form of psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of trauma.  When a traumatic event happens that memory can get stuck.  All the emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations we had got stuck in time.  When that memory is triggered we can get flooded with emotions and get overwhelmed.  It’s almost like it’s happening again. EMDR helps an individual to process what has happened so that the person is in a more balanced state and grounded in the present.  When the person thinks of the event, it’s a memory that doesn’t overwhelm them.  There isn’t the same charge. 

IFS (Internal Family Systems) is a form of therapy that uses the language of “parts” as a working metaphor for our internal experiences.  We use this language every day.  After a stressful day, part of me wants to go workout and part of me really just wants to go to DQ and get a soft serve.  We all have parts.  Our different parts are trying to help us out.  Sometimes they are helpful and sometimes they get stuck in roles that aren’t helpful.  Maybe we have a people pleaser part that is often sacrificing our own needs to make sure people around us are happy.  Maybe we have a part that believes the quickest way to deal with feeling overwhelmed is to drink a bottle of wine or get high.  These parts are doing what they think is best to help protect a part that feels vulnerable. This part may feel unworthy of love.  Once we get to know our parts we can work creatively to help them find new healthy ways of helping us out.  We can help transform that vulnerable part. 

What I love about both EMDR and IFS is that they help us get to a place of deeper healing.  There are many types of therapy that can help us learn about ourselves and gain helpful skills.  Some tools only take us so far though.  We don’t just want to put a Band-Aid on a wound so that it doesn’t get dirty or infected.  We want to no longer NEED the Band-Aid because the wound has HEALED. 

Scars and stitches always fade
and only strengthen me.
— Guster

Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog.  Please feel free to leave a comment.  Let me know if you relate or if you have questions.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month.  This is a topic that I’m passionate about.  It’s why I’ve decided to start blogging at this specific time.  My intention is to do a series of blogs this month related to the topic of Sexual Assault.