Welcome to Healing Talks Back—a powerful phrase that expresses my passion for trauma-informed coaching, consultation and supervision. I appreciate your interest in the work I’m doing, and I’m excited to tell you all about it!
In this chapter of my career, I am humbled and honored to support both survivors AND fellow service providers who are navigating through the complexities of relational trauma—as it presents in your own life OR in the lives of your clients, colleagues or communities.
For the purposes of my work, I define “relational trauma” as wounds that humans experience in the context of our interpersonal relationships—a categorization that differentiates relational trauma from trauma that occurs in a non-relational context (for example, a mechanical accident or natural disaster).
For most of my clients, the reasons they seek my support (either for themselves or on behalf of others) fall under that umbrella of relational trauma, a cluster of interpersonal experiences that often include (alphabetically) abandonment, abuse, addiction, betrayal, deception, divorce, infidelity and more.
Let’s talk (back).
Talking back to trauma is a powerful process, one that can help you to claim (or to reclaim) your life and your life’s deepest work: to find your voice, to take positive actions, to improve your own personal or professional equilibrium. Talking back to trauma is also a progressive journey, one that seeks clarity as an energizing impetus toward inner joy and peace.
In that spirit of clarity, I’ve designed this website to shed some light on my professional practice:
- By way of INTRODUCTION, I’ll begin by addressing some common questions about my work in general.
- By way of INVITATION, I’ll give you a glimpse into my background specifically—who I am, where I’ve been, why I’m here and the type of support I provide for my clients.
- Finally, by way of INVOCATION, I’ll close with my foundational values statement, Eleven Reasons for Talking Back to Trauma.
As a lover of words, I’ve poured my heart and soul into writing this text for my website; I wrote it to express my passionate convictions on behalf of every human being. I use it to articulate my vision on behalf of every client. And I share it to extend my deepest desire on behalf of one person in particular…
THAT PERSON IS YOU.
In my experience, when something happens to interrupt (or obliterate) our personal or professional lives “as we know it,” we usually CANNOT get through it by ourselves—despite the fact that we (and often everyone else around us) expects that we can, should and will. Feeling disoriented, discouraged or disenfranchised, we often need to lean on someone supportive, objective and empathetic—someone who can help us to clarify reality and engage the truth about our situation, reflecting that reality without dilution or denial. We need reassurance from someone who believes that our experiential overwhelm will not last forever, and that everything is indeed “figureoutable.” Most importantly, we need someone to “hold out hope” on behalf of our best and highest selves—someone who can fast-forward through our current situation, trusting in what is possible for us on the other side.
The reality of what it takes to engage such a “new normal” is what prompted me to name my practice Healing Talks Back. As a trauma-informed practitioner, I believe in the power of post-traumatic growth—the “comeback” story most of us find ourselves longing to read, write and/or realize. We acknowledge that when trauma plays a noisy role in our personal or professional narratives, our stories will simply NEVER be the same; at a very-deep level, we know that our experiential landscape has changed forever, that we cannot return to a former way of doing and being. This reality is sobering, and it sometimes takes awhile to internalize and metabolize. Ultimately, we put this truth to good use—becoming deeper, more grounded and more authentic human beings as the result of refusing to let trauma get the last laugh.
You name it, we’ve got it. In my experience, human beings are brilliantly successful at caring for others—while simultaneously dampening or deferring our own less clamoring needs.
Most of my clients are high-functioning individuals; they love their families, they make a difference, and they expertly manage the outward aspects of their very busy lives. Life plays out as “normal” until one day, when some major change occurs—positive, negative or all over the map.
Sometimes this event (or series of events) is a “first person” trauma, an injury that impacts you firsthand, directly and individually. Other times it’s an event in the life of someone close to you, impacting you secondarily, vicariously and collaterally.
In either case, this event serves to “shake up” a person’s situational reality—and suddenly, as the result of this uninvited shift, a new internal space is created. That space begins to ache for care and comfort and confidence, for overdue attention to a broad spectrum of needs that now feel profoundly undersupported.
From within this new space, something magical begins to happen: in most cases, we don’t let the crappy thing that happened call all the shots. Instead, we rise up with fresh motivation to dust off our deeper resources, rekindle our growing passions and renew an empowered connection to our own lives—all within the context of this “new normal.”
As with all things trauma-related, this space becomes a make-or-break moment to activate our impressive human capacity for intentional, intuitive and courageous power of choice.
Consider that my prelude to this (eternally incomplete) list of “motivating factors,” issues that often prompt my clients to pursue trauma-informed coaching, consultation and/or supervision (alphabetical): abuse, abandonment, addiction, aging, assault, bereavement, betrayal, breakup, career change, childbirth, conflict, death, deconstruction, deception, discrimination, divorce, empty-nesting, family dynamics, financial gain or loss, gaslighting, graduation, grandchildren, harassment, health issues, illness, infidelity, loss, marriage, menopause, mid-life crisis, moving, new job, pet loss, parenthood, physical injury, poverty, prejudice, promotion, relocation, retirement, romance, self-doubt, self-identity crises, separation, sexual health challenges, suicide loss, widowhood… and the list goes on.
When it comes to trauma-informed care, I believe that safe, positive and productive environments are absolutely essential for humans to heal and grow. Because that principle is critically important to me, I’ve echoed it into the very framework of my professional values statement, “Eleven Reasons for Talking Back to Trauma.” I’ve learned these eleven practices from many truly remarkable humans: my own coaches, therapists, mentors, sponsors, instructors, supervisors, colleagues and (especially) my kick-ass clients. I’m now honored to extend these practices to you, hoping that you will “pay them forward”—first toward yourself (because YOU matter), then elsewhere within your sphere of interaction and influence.
Eleven Reasons for Talking Back to Trauma:
- All human beings deserve honesty. We deserve to be honest with ourselves, first and foremost. We deserve to experience the internal reward of speaking truth about our own reality. We also deserve to hear truth from others, establishing environments of authenticity within our own lives.
- All human beings deserve to be heard. We deserve to express our unique voice to others, within environments where our words are valued and validated. We deserve to receive acknowledgment from others, to know that our words are genuinely absorbed, accurately understood and meaningfully addressed.
- All human beings deserve comfort. We deserve a break from being “the strong ones”—honoring moments, opportunities and environments that tend to our weariness, our worries and our wounds.
- All human beings deserve empowerment—along with inherent rights and responsibilities that authenticate such a gift. We deserve to access our internal sources of strength, inspiration, passion and conviction, exercising that capacity progressively and imperfectly, within environments of trial-and-error, exploration and evolution.
- All human beings deserve choices. We deserve the autonomy to navigate our internal and external realities, making intentional choices to “live with,” “leave behind” or “lobby for change” within those realities. We deserve to make decisions within pressure-free environments, spaces that allow us to choose differently, making “course corrections” along the way.
- All human beings deserve healing. We deserve to pursue healing that is motivated independently, separate from the needs of our significant others, nuclear families or families of origin. We deserve to receive healing that isn’t self-sacrificial, within environments that invite our questions, honor our goals and inspire us toward tender wellbeing.
- All human beings deserve healthy relationships. We deserve to integrate with loved ones on an elective and consensual basis, connecting in ways that are neither isolated nor enmeshed. We deserve to make informed decisions about relationship roles and protocols, practicing relational skills within environments that honor the entirety and complexity of human experience.
- All human beings deserve self-love. We deserve to love ourselves passionately and proactively, especially when external love feels absent or inaccessible. We deserve to seek environments that humanize the work of self-love, holding space for its practice and progress and promise—especially when we struggle to fully and forever love ourselves.
- All human beings deserve to nurture ourselves. We deserve to invest time, energy and money into things that enliven and amplify our souls. We deserve to enjoy this endeavor without guilt, within environments that empower our happiness and wholeness.
- All human beings deserve healthy boundaries. We deserve to establish thresholds that protect and support ourselves, providing environments of safety and personal space. We deserve to adapt and redefine our boundaries when needed, adjusting them to improve our lives as they unfold and evolve.
- All human beings deserve fresh starts. We deserve to renew, reclaim and reorient our stories, without judgment or presupposition. We deserve to discover our purpose and our promise, within environments that fully support our vision for a life beyond trauma.