Wendy Hawkins, LCSW

Empower! Educate! Evolve!

Trauma Therapy

Are You Stuck in a Loop of Painful Memories and Distressing Sensations?

  • Do you struggle with ongoing anxiety and depression?
  • Are you haunted by intrusive flashbacks and disturbing nightmares?
  • Do you struggle to manage a roller coaster of emotions, form trusting relationships and feel present in your life, but you don’t know why?
  • Are you experiencing chronic health issues, such as high blood pressure, insomnia, pain or autoimmune disorders, with symptoms that continue to flare up despite various forms of treatment?
  • Are you struggling with an eating disorder, substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, self-harm or unhealthy relationships?
  • Do your moods swing from hypersensitivity to numbness, with no balance or calm in between?
  • Do you wish you could feel empowered to release the pain of the past, make thoughtful choices, form healthy relationships and develop a greater sense of inner peace?

Whether you are a teenager or an adult, living with the aftereffects of trauma can be a confusing, all-consuming experience, even and especially if you’re unsure what has triggered your trauma symptoms. You may feel wary of sounds, smells, sights, people, places or events that could trigger a distressing memory, which leads you to self-isolate and avoid social opportunities. Perhaps you simply don’t feel equipped to make positive decisions although you wish you could gain a sense of control over your life.

No Matter What Your Experience of Trauma Looks Like, You Are Not Alone
Trauma can take many forms, and what one person experiences as traumatic is not necessarily traumatic to someone else. No matter what you went through—and whether or not you remember exactly what happened—you are not alone or broken if you can’t “get over it.” In fact, the very nature of trauma makes it difficult for people to forget and release the past on their own.

To better understand how trauma functions, imagine your brain as a room full of filing cabinets. While you sleep, your brain goes through that day’s memories and selects what to discard and what to file away. However, when you experience a trauma, it’s as though the brain takes all the files holding the distressing event and scatters them all over the floor. Because the files aren’t stored correctly, the brain revisits them over and over again, leaving you stuck in an exhausting loop. Trauma therapy can help you clean those files up off the floor and file them appropriately so they no longer flood your senses and interrupt your sense of personal safety. By working with a qualified trauma therapist, you can appropriately process the past, more effectively manage difficult emotions and feel empowered to create positive change in your life.

Trauma Therapy Can Help You Find Balance and Healing
Whether you’re searching for relief from painful memories or the words to describe what you’ve gone through, there is hope. I know from both personal and professional experience that healing from trauma is possible. I take an innovative and collaborative approach to therapy and offer you a safe and nonjudgmental space to express anything and everything in ways that feel most natural and productive for you. You are the expert in your own life, and with compassionate guidance and support, you can gain the insight and tools you need to move forward with renewed confidence, resiliency and peace.

Depending on your interests, personality, needs and particular therapy goals, we may incorporate specific therapies, such as narrative therapy, expressive arts or EMDR therapy. Supplemental therapies, such as yoga, aroma therapy and meditation, are also great ways to gain perspective on emotions and behaviors that are holding you back. We may also make use of therapeutic apps and other forms of technology that allow you to reflect and evolve at your own pace on your own time.

No matter what approach we utilize during our sessions, you are in control, and you can share as little or much about yourself as you are ready to. You will always have some sort of action available to you, allowing you to access different parts of your brain and unlock insights that may otherwise stayed buried. I will always offer acceptance, validation and understanding and serve as a guide, helping you recognize and listen to your own internal compass and make decisions that serve your highest values. Trauma can make us feel deeply out-of-control, but, in truth, you are in control of your mental health journey! Therapy can empower you to achieve it.

With education and empathetic, active support, you can become mindfully aware of how you relate to people. You can better understand the decisions you make and stop feeling controlled by compulsions and behaviors that are not serving you. And, you can begin to move through the world feeling less triggered and more balanced, peaceful and present. No evolution happens overnight, but if you begin your journey with a willingness to learn and grow, you can move forward as your best self.

You may have concerns about trauma treatment…
I’m afraid of reliving my trauma or facing judgment.
I utilize trauma counseling techniques that are specifically designed to help you process and release trauma without reliving the distress of the traumatic experience. You are in control of your therapy sessions, and you can share as little or as much as you want. If you want to share more but feel unable to find the worlds, we can utilize sculpting, painting and other forms of art therapy to help you express yourself without language.

You can also rest assured that I will never judge you for anything you share in sessions. Unresolved trauma can lead to years of pain, and many people do whatever they can to find temporary peace to survive. For some people, those attempts at self-soothing look like eating disorders, addiction, self-harm and more. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. But, if you are looking for a way to change your life and develop new habits, I can support that process.
I’ve been to trauma therapy before, and it didn’t help me.
There is no one-size-fits all solution for healing from trauma. Therapy approaches that work for one person may not work for another. And, the therapeutic relationship is a key part of short-term and long-term healing progress. Whether you have only tried talk therapy or you worked with a therapist who didn’t “click” with you, I urge you not to give up. I am a trained trauma therapist with a unique perspective and approach, and I believe the modalities I use can truly help. If we work together for a while and you don’t see the growth you expect, you can always end therapy whenever you wish. But, you have nothing to lose by trying.
It’s difficult for me to find the time, money or transportation necessary to attend sessions.
I encourage clients to meet with me in person at least a few times, and I am happy to figure out a therapy schedule that will meet your needs. If necessary, we can also meet through online video sessions. Know that you have a voice in your trauma treatment plan—I am here to support you as you need.

You’re in control of your mental health journey. I invite you to come in for a free, 30-minute in-person consultation, but if scheduling or transportation is an obstacle, please reach out to discuss the possibility of a phone consultation. You can ask any questions you have about my practice, trauma therapy and teen therapy in Kansas City, MO. I am an LGBTQIA competent therapist and I welcome everyone to my practice.

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