Philosophy and Approach
If you think you have symptoms of trauma or abuse, read through the list of symptoms below and see if you identify with any of them. Trauma symptoms occur across a continuum of severity and may or may not be obvious to you or others. Symptoms of childhood trauma (including neglect) can appear as problems with relationships, chronic anxiety, depression, somatic arousal or dissociation. Sometimes there are overt and clearly identifiable instances of abuse or neglect. In other cases, abuse is more chronic and covert, invisible to the outside world. Typically, people can struggle in any of the following areas:
• A sense of aloneness
• Feeling unsafe
• Hyper-vigilance/Negative thought patterns
• Feeling numb or spacey/Dissociation
• Feeling not good-enough (imposter syndrome)
• Problems in relationships or co-dependence
• Habitually over-reacting
• Inability to tolerate strong emotion
• Anxiety/Panic/Feeling overwhelmed
• Depression/No hope for the future
• Compulsive and addictive behaviors (alcohol, drugs, food, sexual acting out)
• Anger issues
• Somatic pain
Philosophy and Approach
Current research shows that negative and traumatic experiences in childhood and adulthood affect us physiologically. Our first experiences of the world occur through our caregivers and community. Ideally, as children we experience a healthy give and take in relationship with parents and guardians. These experiences leave within us a roadmap for how to be in relationships. This roadmap manifests in our bodies as neurological and physiological pathways that affect our reactions and behaviors in many ways.
Problems can arise when we have dysfunctional, neglectful, or abusive experiences, particularly as children when the brain is rapidly developing. Memories of negative or traumatic experiences are “hard-wired” into our unconscious minds and become “super-charged” to allow us to recognize and protect ourselves in similar situations in the future. Evolutionarily, these pathways allow us to rapidly recognize and escape from danger. In today’s modern world, we may find ourselves reacting out of old patterns when the original danger has long past. This may be recognized as repetition of negative patterns in your life and relationships.
By acknowledging the feelings related to past trauma and calming down the associated physiological and neurological symptoms, you can begin to heal from these experiences and generate a new roadmap for a better life.
Move out of the past to live a present-focused life.
"Amy sees the best in people. She brings the understanding and intelligence needed to support people as they achieve new ways of living. She can ask hard questions and support significant change. Amy has worked in her own life to achieve an authentic existence. Her strength and compassion guide her practice and can help those who are stuck."
Doug Baker, L.I.C.S.W.
Click here to view a Video of Amy’s Presentation at the Arlington Chamber's Women’s Networking Breakfast – "Staying Safe and Staying Stuck - How Facing Your Fears Can Help You Achieve Your Dreams".
Click here to view a Video of Amy’s Presentation at the Arlington Chamber's Women’s Networking Breakfast – "Tune In and Tune Up Your Life".
Click here to read about Amy in Psychology Today.
Photo by Lynne Greenberg