Trauma Therapy Intensives
What happened to you doesn’t have to be your life story.
You can’t change your past, but you can change your relationship with it.
This is the power that Trauma Therapy Intensives can have.
You can shift your relationship with your past in the matter of days, even if you’ve been struggling with it for decades, so that it no longer holds you back from living the life you desire.
Here’s What You Need To Know About
Trauma Therapy Intensives
What is a Trauma Therapy Intensive?
During a Trauma Therapy Intensive Experience the therapist and client typically meet for 6 hours each day over 2 to 5 days . During this time the client has the opportunity to develop/strengthen resources (coping skills) and to reprocess traumatic experiences from the past.
The therapist guides the client through the process using EMDR therapy, Brainspotting, and Somatic Experiencing, targeting specific traumatic memories or events to process and integrate into the individual’s overall understanding of their experiences.
Why Choose a Trauma Therapy Intensive?
There are several reasons why you would choose a trauma therapy intensive over weekly therapy.
1 – Perhaps you have felt that something profound has yet to change, but you’re not quite sure how to shift into a new experience of yourself with your current therapist. Maybe you now cognitively understand new things, yet your body is still confused.
2 – If you’ve been meaning to get into weekly therapy for a while now however your schedule has been so hectic and demanding that a weekly therapy appointment feels more overwhelming than supportive.
3 – You don’t want to spend months in the traditional weekly therapy treatment model to feel better.
Whether you’re a busy parent with kids, a working professional with a lot on your plate, or you just want faster results, a Trauma Therapy Intensive can help you break free from your past so that it no longer stops you from living the life you really want.
What is Trauma?
The word trauma finds its origins in the Greek word meaning “wound.” As Dr. Gabor Maté explained, “It’s a psychic wound that leaves a scar. It leaves an imprint in your nervous system, in your body, in your psyche, and then shows up in multiple ways that are not helpful to you later on.”
Trauma occurs when our body’s capacity to handle an experience is overwhelmed. Trauma is often experienced as a current imprint of the pain or the experience living inside of the person as if the event is still occurring now.
We have all experienced some kind of trauma in our lives. Trauma can come from many regular childhood experiences including someone making fun of you, bullying, moving a lot, or a parents divorce. Trauma can also come from neglect, rejection, and abuse, as well events like war or violent crimes.
No matter WHY/HOW you have trauma it is valid and you can heal it. Trauma therapy Intensives are designed to be more specialized to your needs.
Examples of Traumatic Events:
Recent Traumatic Events
- Birth and medical experiences
- Sports Injuries
- Violent crime
- School shootings, terrorism
- Natural disasters
- Violence or rejection due to identity (racism, sex or gender discrimination, xenophobia, etc)
- Unresolved childhood issues
- Developmental/attachment wounding
- Emotional or physical neglect
- Intimate Partner Violence or Domestic Violence
- Sexual assault or molestation
- Rejection or bullying
- Relationship endings
No Specific “trauma”, but you are struggling
- Feeling not good enough
- Imposter Syndrome
- Avoidance of triggers
- Relationship issues/agitation or frustration with others
Who Are Trauma Therapy Intensives Best For?
Intensives are best for people who are ready to move past their trauma now and don’t want to wait months or years in weekly therapy. Intensives are also helpful if you feel like your weekly or bi-weekly therapy is not getting you very far. Intensives are also best for individuals who have a limited amount of time such as busy professionals, parents, athletes, or those who might find it difficult to attend weekly therapy sessions.
Whether you have a specific traumatic event you would like to focus on in therapy, or you have a complex trauma history and may need intense and focused processing, a Trauma Therapy Intensive is a great fit for you. Clients find that weekly gaps between therapy sessions can sometimes be a barrier to healing. Ultimately, an Intensive Therapy Experience can provide accelerated healing and growth.
What are the Benefits of Intensive Trauma Therapy?
1) The economy is compelling: An intensive therapy format is more cost-effective and may decrease overall treatment time because we are not spending time:
- Checking in about the week at the beginning of each session.
- Time does not need to be given to crises/concerns coming up week to week.
- We do not need to spend time at the end of each session to help you stabilize and regain composure so you can go about the rest of your day.
- Learn more here.
2) Intensive application of trauma-focused therapy seems to be well tolerated in individuals with PTSD, enabling faster symptom reduction with similar, or even better, results, while reducing the risk that patients drop out of therapy prematurely. Learn more here and here.
3) Intensive EMDR treatment is feasible and is indicative of reliable improvement in PTSD symptoms in a very short time frame. Learn more here.
4) An intensive program using EMDR therapy is a potentially safe and effective treatment alternative for complex PTSD. Learn more here.
What Should I Expect?
You can first expect a 20 minute consultation video or phone consultation to determine if a Trauma Therapy Intensive is right for you. We will briefly discuss what is bringing you to therapy and how it’s impacting your life and I will share information about Intensive treatment, how it’s different from other therapy you may have done before, and how it can help with the issues you want to work on.
The next step is to schedule an intake appointment; this appointment begins with you gaining access to your online private client portal where you are asked to fill out paperwork prior to our meeting. This paperwork consists of assessments and for you to tell me a little more about your history. When we meet for the intake appointment, I will use the paperwork you filled out to ask you follow-up questions and we will have the opportunity to get to know each other more so I can understand your needs and treatment goals better.
The next step is to meet for the Trauma Therapy Intensive. During the intensive session, You can expect to meet for 6 hours/day with a 1 hour lunch break and other breaks as needed. You can expect to have a treatment plan designed to meet your needs. You can expect to first work on developing resources and coping skills and then we will move into multiple rounds of trauma processing using therapy modalities including EMDR, Brainspotting, Somatic Experiencing, and Deep Brain Reorienting with breaks in between. I will guide you through bilateral stimulation (such as moving your eyes from side to side, tapping, or auditory listening), to help you desensitize traumatic memories. I may also incorporate ego state therapies (i.e. parts work) as well as guide you through relaxation and grounding techniques to help cope with any intense emotions during the session.
After the intensive session, it is normal to feel a sense of emotional release or exhaustion as your brain continues to process and integrate the experiences targeted during the session. It is important to prioritize self-care following an intensive session and to discuss any concerns you may have with me. Trauma Therapy Intensives can lead to lasting changes in how you think about, feel about, and respond to past traumatic events, and also improve your present day life.
What Do I Need To Do To Prepare?
During the Trauma Therapy Intensive you only need to bring yourself. I encourage my clients to wear what they feel is most comfortable and to bring with them anything they might feel is resourcing/helpful to them. This might be a warm cup of tea, a blanket or a stuffed animal they find comforting, a picture they enjoy looking at, or a lotion or scented oil that feels calming. Some of these things will be provided to you as well.
What If We’ve Never Worked Together Before?
You can read more about my story here.
Between my experience as a client and my experience as a therapist in this field for about 14 years I know that healing is possible and healing happens in relationship. We don’t heal in isolation. The ability for us to trust another and to be open and vulnerable gives us that space to allow us to release our trauma. I am committed to providing a safe and compassionate space for your healing journey. Your story is safe here, and you will be seen and heard.
You want to make sure you choose someone who you trust. Schedule a free consultation here.
Will I Need Therapy Afterward?
I like to say that when we do this work we are going to “re-decorate” your nervous system, aka: interior design for your nervous system. This means you will move from a state of either fight, flight, freeze, collapse/shutdown, and/or people pleasing, to a more regulated state of being, thinking and feeling differently. After a Trauma Therapy Intensive you will have started re-wiring your brain and your nervous system (re-decorating), and be much farther along in your healing journey; you will also have new tools to help yourself. We will have a follow up session after your therapy intensive to assess your needs moving forward.
Is An Intensive Right for Me?
Some symptoms of trauma can include:
- heightened anxiety/fear
- intense distress
- nightmares or other sleep disturbance
- negative sense of self
- pain/unexplained somatic (body) symptoms
- stuck in fight/flight/freeze/fawn
If you are experiencing any of these a Trauma Therapy Intensive can help you find the relief you are looking for.