GENDER & SEXUALITY

There are SO many ways to express and present gender. And so many ways to relate to sexuality. I approach each person's experience with gender and sexuality as more than a binary or even a spectrum, but as a constellation. Markers of identity, desire, community-affiliation, power, relationship, felt sense, performativity, and presentation collectively tracing the outline of a unique and often evolving experience.

You may be struggling to with the impacts of social pressures. Seeking expression for  that parts of your self don't fit. You might feel comfortable with your gender and sexuality and just want to focus on other things in therapy, simply knowing that there is space for you to be accepted as you are.

Gender and sexuality can sometimes be one of those things where the more you try to understand it the more difficult it can be to simply define. Innate and performative. Fluid and constant. Highly individual. Socially embedded. Located at intersection of identity, desire, and power.

 

 

 
 

TRAUMA & PTSD

The body's response to traumatic experiences can be overwhelming and confusing in itself. You might find yourself experiencing a number of symptoms, some direct such as flashbacks, over-activiation, and limiting fears and others less understandable such as increased muscle tension, changes in, sleep, digestion, though process and impacts to relationships. 

Traumatic experience significantly threaten and/or overwhelm physical and emotional safety setting an innate protective response into motion. This response activates our nervous systems and bodies in a way that will help us best survive the overwhelming experience, whether that is getting away, fighting to protect ourselves, or immobilizing and numbing ourselves to be able to endure. Very often the echoes of these survival responses live on long after the danger has passed, disorganizing our natural equilibrium. Or if the danger is present over a span of time, such as it may be with abuse, neglect and oppression then our self protective response may become difficult to separate out. Our bodies way of releasing the self protective response can also feel confusing and overwhelming, leaving us stuck.

Sometimes trauma is caused by a specific and easily identified overwhelming experience. However, very often trauma is the cumulative and multi-layered effect of ongoing experiences of violation, oppression, abuse, and neglect. These experiences may span generations and political histories.

 
 

ANXIETY & PANIC

Sometimes, always being able to find a problem becomes the problem. Reflecting on past experience and preparing and planning for the future are very important and useful skills, but sometimes it can feel like they turn into hamster wheel with no available exit. It may start in your mind and then gets your body activated or it may start in your body and then get your mind racing.

Anxiety can find its way into almost anything: social relationships, performance, concerns about physical and mental health, identity, basic needs for shelter and food and connection, finances, new experiences and places. The list could go on.

 
 

DEPRESSION

Constricted. small. empty. alone. It may not be clear where it came from. Or how it got to be so bad. Sometimes it seems all encompassing. Other times there is space for energy and possibility to kindle. 

Life has ups and downs, but depression is not just another down phase. It may begin that way, but it when things don't get better it comes to have a unique signature of its own. It is a condition of isolation and hopelessness. 

 
 

LOSS & GRIEF

Loss is one of the few constants of life. And yet it can also tear at the very fabric of life. Loss can eave you feeling shaken, unsure of what to trust or how to move on. It may feel impossible to imagine continuing with a life so changed. Loss can taste bitter. But there is also a sweetness. It extends an invitation to return to an enriched connection with life and an expanded appreciation of love and vulnerability.

Loss and grief hold the possibility to re-engage us with the process of life and love.