The research has shown that the type of counseling only accounts for a small percentage of the possible growth that can be the result of entering into a counseling relationship. We would like to give you the frame of reference which we use so you can start to develop an idea of the difference seen with Rising Phoenix Counseling Services, LLC. These modalities are the tools or lenses that we can use to explore your unique situation, but which tool we use will depend on your own comfort level and individual preference.
THE FACET OF RESPECT, EQUALITY & EMPOWERMENT
During times in our life, we can have instances when we were trying to get our needs met only to feel like we were not seen and discounted. These times are incredibly isolating and damaging to our sense of self. Therapy should be a different experience. The most important driving force of change is feeling respected, seen, and honored for the individual person we are. We all have a unique story, experiences, beliefs, and aspects that make us who we are. In the therapeutic journey, we work to empower individuals to honor the parts of themselves that are important to them and learn how to take up more space in those parts. Through empowerment, we can take control of the hurts of our past and learn how to overcome them in a way that feels good for us. Our providers are committed to creating an equal relationship, where you are the expert in you. We will work to guide you towards the goals that you have that represent your best life.
UNDERSTANDING & WORKING FROM THE FACET OF TRAUMA INFORMED CARE
We believe that your medical care should always come from a place of trauma informed care. We will never ask what is wrong with you, instead we want to understand what has happened to you. This allows us to see you as a person instead of a set of symptoms and aids us in your healing journey. Many ways that we show up in the world after a traumatic experience can make little sense and can leave us feeling confused about who we are. We are committed to creating a safe environment where you can explore conflicting feelings, the ways you are showing up in your life, and create the conditions for you to transform our previous experiences into something new.
Working without this lens can feel like this: Imagine that you have an experience that feels too big to handle, like a new wound was created, and you open up about that experience. Imagine the person you were sharing this with started to ask for each detail of that experience and the details start bringing up more feelings that are even more unbearable. What if you were asked why you did that? Or you did it wrong? This can deepen our trauma experience and leaves us feeling worse.
What you will experience in choosing us: You have complete control over your experience, what stories you tell, and the speed of change that works for you. During our work together, you are always allowed to tell us you are not ready to go that direction and guide us in what you are needing. Our bodies have a natural ability to heal from previous traumas and trusting your body in the process has been found to be the most effective. We work to understand how the trauma of your past is currently impacting you and the ways that we can help.
Language is such an embedded part of this process and can truly change our thought process. We will carefully choose the language that we use during the counseling process to ensure that we can develop a new dialogue for the way in which you see the world. Together, we will create the most comfortable way possible to help you understand what has happened in the past while creating a new story for you as you rise from the ashes.
THE BACKBONE TO OUR LENS: THOUGHTS, FEELINGS & ACTIONS
Yes, we will ask you “How does that make you feel?” Our emotional response is directly connected to what is feeling off in your life and gives you the language to acknowledge what is wrong. Imagine you were trying to go to the doctor, but you couldn’t explain what was hurting or how it happened?
We have all been raised by a family that taught us to use certain skills in order to handle the stressors of life or to make sense of how the world works. Some of these skills were directly communicated or were created in response to the experiences we had. These skills become our default way of handling stressful situations because it is most familiar. Those skills that were once needed as aspects of survival start to create challenges later in life that create life situations that can feel unmanageable. Even our most automatic reactions have a cause and effect dynamic which can be explored and in turn altered with increased awareness. We help to create an opportunity to learn new ways of operating during those times and together explore ways to make changes that allow you to get more of what you are wanting from your life. We will help you to gain more clarity of how you are wanting to operate in the world, leading to increased control over our life and happiness in the life you lead.
BEING THOUGHTFULLY AWARE OF THE WHOLE YOU: THE BODY, EMOTION, SPIRIT & BRAIN CONNECTION
During our work, we will be mindful of including your whole person in order to provide you with a sense of integrity as we work towards your goals. We will include many different types of techniques in order to allow you to become more aware of your body’s response to what has happened to you. When we go through something traumatic, we can develop a disconnection with the person that we used to be or could be in the future. Our body stops feeling like “our body” and we can show up in a way that is in conflict with our true authentic self. In this process, we don’t fully understand what is happening, we just know it feels different and uncomfortable. Throughout our work, we will work to teach you about the ways that trauma can show up in your body along with ways that we can regain the connection that you have with your body.
Along with the increased understanding of how your body works when it is experiencing trauma, we can explore how the past hurts that you are experiencing could be manifesting in physical ways. Our body sees psychological trauma as being more harmful to our survival than physical ailments/pain, so it often can show up in ways that don’t seem connected. In the process of healing from trauma, we will work with you in finding ways to increase the integration of self/mind/spirit to help you come back to yourself in a way that feels congruent.
GETTING RID OF THE MONSTERS IN THE CLOSETS: ALLOWING THE BRAIN TO PROCESS WHAT HAS HAPPENED NATURALLY
Once we have created a new sense of stability, we can embark on a way to allow the brain to naturally process the past traumas with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy or EMDR. EMDR therapy uses the brain’s natural way of processing through REM sleep by mimicking the eye movements found in sleep. As we sleep, the rapid movement of our eyes allows for our brain to process and consolidate events from the previous day. Traumatic memories don’t always process and can be consolidated in a way that creates the situation where they can be activated with information that looks similar to the original trauma. The types of events can be seen as major traumas ("Big T’s") or a sequence of little traumas ("Little T’s").
When we experience trauma, the memories become frozen in our mind as our body shuts down unnecessary functions in the body via the fight/flight/freeze response. We can look at this process as our body’s way of channeling our energy in ways to keep us safe in order to survive. These memories become fragmented, are not able to be processed through the brain’s natural processing system, and eventually become improperly stored. Many of these memories may not be able to be recalled and can come out in other forms. Some examples of unprocessed memories may include: body sensations, intrusive memories, triggers, nightmares, overall sense of not feeling good about ourselves, negative view of self, feeling like we are always in danger, or physical pain.
These frozen memories can trigger certain events feeling dangerous to our physical or emotional safety, even when we are not in a dangerous situation. EMDR therapy can help in unthawing these memories and allows the brain to reprocess and consolidate these memories in a more adaptive way. The goal is to reduce residual negative associations with the past traumas and instill a more resourceful thought pattern. For more information surrounding EMDR, please check the EMDR National Institute website at EMDR.com.
CREATION OF NEW STRATEGIES: SHOWING UP IN THE WORLD IN A MORE INTENTIONAL WAY
We all want to live a happy and healthy life where we feel in control of how we are showing up in our life. Trauma impacts the ways that we show up and can lead to times that we don’t recognize who we are based on the automatic reactions that are trying to protect us. We can feel out of control and unable to find a way to get out of that cycle. Almost as though the space between something happening and our reactions is not present. Change can happen in the process of increasing the awareness of this dynamic and developing skills that increases the time between our reactions, resulting in more intentional ways of showing up in the world. We are excited to get the chance to work with you on your journey towards healing. Imagine that one day you can wake up with complete control of the ways that you show up in your life.
FINALLY IN SYNTHESIS AND INCLUSION OF YOU
Although these facets are the different tools that we bring to the counseling room, you get the chance to show us what works best for you. Each of our providers are trained in various trauma informed and evidenced based therapies to help guide you on your mental health journey. We value your autonomy in creating a personalized experience for you in a way that speaks to the life that you are wanting to live. We will always strive to see the world through your eyes and never assume that we know what that means to you in your life. We hope that together we can create the best possible counseling experience for you as we explore your past hurts on the road to healing.