Specialties and Expertise
There are several areas where I have significant additional expertise and experience, including training and consulting.
Trauma can mean so many different things. It can refer to the experiences and impacts of one specific event, a relationship or series of relationships, a complex family situation, or former or ongoing oppression.
I have extensive experience in working with individuals with recent, ongoing, or historical experience with traumatic events, relationships, family histories and stories, and community histories and stories. This includes PTSD and C-PTSD, other trauma related diagnosis, and the many ways you might be and feel impacted in the world and in yourself. Trauma can show up in many ways, impacting bodies, emotions, task completion, organization, relationships, your sense of purpose, your ability to create and relate, and so much more. I incorporate a holistic trauma-aware approach that includes your body, your communities and relationships, and our own relationship together as we move through surviving, functioning, thriving, and connecting to yourself and others more comfortably.
I also work with people who grew up in or were involved in settings different from their mainstream communities, cultures, or environments. This could mean communes, isolated communities, boarding schools or group environments, religious groups, ritual family environments, and other groups that leave people feeling different than "the norm" and often making significant adjustments when a separation occurs. They could be safe or unsafe, and welcome/needed/unexpected exits. Together, we can explore and address connecting to both others and yourself before, during, and after these transitions or changes.
Sexuality, Gender, and Relationship Diversity
Along with supporting sexual expressions of all kinds in therapy, I am a sex educator and long time advocate for sexual expression and exploration. We can navigate your relationships with sexuality, acknowledge and examine your own diverse sexual world, and address internal and external stigma and expectations. I welcome folks from all corners of the rainbows and umbrellas, including people in the LGBQ+ spectrum, trans and non-binary gender, polyamory and non-monogamy, sex work, BDSM, and kink (furries, littles, pets, edge play, etc). Some identities and activities have more stigma, worries, and judgments than others, and we can address needs for safety along with any challenges and judgments from the outside world as well as any of your own.
I also focus on providing non-BDSM and non-sexuality related psychotherapy to folks in these communities. I believe it is important to be able to acknowledge and communicate about who we are, when it is relevant, and when it is less so.
Support Around Mental Health Needs of Others
I work with friends and family of individuals with ongoing mental health needs. Sometimes our parents, families, partners, friends, and important people in our communities have mental health needs that can be really big, or can interact with our own. I can assist with support, coping skills, managing guilt and shame, and helping you to create or maintain relationships with the people in your life with complex mental health needs. I can also offer appropriate referrals and resources when possible.
Navigating Substances and Other Outlets
I assist with helping to understand, identify, and address outlets you have and the ways they show up in your life. This can include a substance like alcohol or drugs, or other things that become important to you and take special space in your life, like video games, sexual communities, and creative practices.
Sometimes these things are welcome and contribute to your world, and we can explore opportunities to deepen your relationship with them. Have fun with what you love! This can include working through stigma, talking to friends and family, and addressing cultural histories and challenges like the appropriation of many medicine journeys, gender and race in gaming, and other access and privilege barriers.
Sometimes our outlets can start to feel like they aren't contributing the same way. You might worry you are losing control, or feel judged by others, or find that your practices aren't working for you the way they used to. Maybe alcohol doesn't feel relaxing any more, drug trips leave you feeling depleted, or video game campaigns lead to anxiety and exhaustion. These shifts can relate to and impact how we manage stress, relationships, and other tasks. I apply harm reduction techniques to help you reconnect to yourself and rebuild your personal and coping outlets to fit your current world. I am also familiar with 12-step models and can follow those practices if you have found they work for you.