About Me

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  • BA in Psychology from DePaul University, 1995, MS in Human Services Counseling, National Louis University, 1999.
     

  • Trained in Somatic Experiencing, Transforming Touch Therapy for Developmental Trauma, Internal Family Systems and Treating Dissociative Disorders.
     

  • Active in roundtable discussions of treatment of Complex Trauma and Dissociation through the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD).
     

  • Present in the community on The Impact of Sexual Trauma for both Male and Female Survivors and Somatic Sexual Healing.
     

  • Train and Educate parents and therapist community on Issues of Developmental Trauma and Loss in Adoption.

I am a biracial, cisgender, transracially adopted female. My ancestors are West African and Sicilian. I have two black adopted children.

 

I am a trauma therapist with 20+ years experience in helping both women and men heal the wounds of relational trauma that occur in-utero and beyond.  I am trained in both Somatic Experiencing and Transformative Touch Therapy.

 

I strive to create a space where clients can understand, through a new lens, the impact of trauma, stress and pain on their whole being.  I enjoy the process of nurturing resilience in clients and supporting the regulation of the nervous system.

 

I work with adults and teens and have special expertise with repairing complex trauma, dissociation and sexual abuse. I have a special dedication to supporting adoptees and their families.

I also facilitate groups for both male and female survivors of sexual trauma; creating a safe and collaborative process for oppressed, shamed and vulnerable clients to be witnessed and to find their voice.

I write often about my work whether through blogging or poetry.

I am a therapist at Family Resilience Group in Arlington Heights, IL.

www.familyresilience.org

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Specializing in Somatic Experiencing and Trauma Therapy

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Somatic  Experiencing

Somatic experiencing is a form of somatic therapy and a “body-centered” therapeutic approach. It’s most often used to help people overcome symptoms tied to trauma, since it may allow someone to become “unstuck” in the fight, flight or freeze response.  The Somatic Experiencing® approach facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. This is approached by gently guiding clients to develop increasing tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions.

 
Transformative Touch Therapy

Transforming Touch creates a milieu of safety where a client experiences attachment focused touch protocols focused on healing early ruptures and supporting survival that helped us navigate the world from the time of conception and before through inherited trauma.  Transforming Touch Therapist speak the language of these survival parts and can support them in repairing the early disconnects.  Some of these early survival parts are being heard for the first time. 

 
Racial Trauma

Racial Trauma refers to the developmental and complex trauma associated with the chronic and sustained experience of systemic racism and oppression.  The impact is embodied and results in an ongoing threat response that impacts sense of safety and trust. Racial trauma can result in a heightened sense of shame and vulnerability. 

 
Developmental Trauma

Developmental trauma occurs between the moment of conception, and before the onset of conscious verbal thought at age two or three.  It is pre-cognitive, pre-verbal and  floods the in utero brain and body with stress chemicals and at birth, stress on baby and mother, and makes attachment difficult or impossible.  Traumatic dysregulation of cells harms development of the brain, nervous system, and body itself creating chronic stress conditions.

 
Sexual Trauma

The impact of sexual trauma can result in struggles with emotions, relationships, values, sense of self, intimacy, and lead to stress and dysregulation of the nervous system. Healing the wounds of sexual trauma requires mindfulness and attunement so that all survivors can find their voice and become more embodied after sexual trauma. Men unique barriers to naming, disclosing, reporting and getting support after sexual trauma.  Processing feelings of isolation, shame, betrayal, humiliation, anger, and confusion about sexuality for  male survivors is complicated a by a larger society that often suppresses men’s capacity to express feelings and develop body awareness.  

 
Dissociation

Dissociation is a word that is used to describe the disconnection or lack of connection between things usually associated with each other. Dissociated experiences are not integrated into the usual sense of self, resulting in discontinuities in conscious awareness. In severe forms of dissociation, disconnection occurs in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception.