Specialties: Trauma & PTSD

Trauma and PTSD have largely defined my early professional career at the Veterans Administration. I have done extensive clinical work with PTSD primarily with male veterans who served in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. I have also worked with both men and women who experienced sexual trauma in the military.

This work has created a depth of experience and perspective in working with unimaginable trauma narratives and intense symptoms from emotional numbness and detachment to often overwhelming emotions, from anger and rage, to profound sadness and despair, including suicidal thoughts and feelings.

I have come to view PTSD, less as a diagnostic category, more as a dynamic framework to understand the ways in which traumatic stress affects the mind and body, the dialectic of trauma. My approach to trauma treatment draws from a full spectrum of theories, treatment models and forms of intervention, including empirically validated treatments. Drawing from these perspectives and my own clinical experience, I find that what moves and deepens trauma work and recovery is the quality and safety of the therapeutic relationship, one characterized by empathy, collaboration, consistency, and compassion.

Treatment and recovery works toward establishing safety and a healing relationship where the patient can work toward the cultivation of trust in self and others; psychoeducation and support; reconstructing the trauma narrative completely, in depth and detail; and, restoring and enlivening the patient’s connection with themselves, their relationships, and the world of every day life.

I believe in the therapeutic value of trauma-focused work, working directly with the often feared and avoided traumatic memories and associated thoughts and feelings. There are a variety of ways to engage in this type of clinical work, but the decision, timing, and pacing is largely determined by the patient. At its best trauma treatment creates the space for the patient to remember in a personally meaningful way, to be more connected, engaged, embodied, integrated, inspired, and poetic.

In addition to working with persons suffering from traumatic stress, I also welcome working with family members as I am well aware of the effects PTSD can have on loved ones, especially partners and family members. I would also welcome requests for consultation from other professionals or organizations.

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