Complex Trauma Healing

Remember Who You Are

Your Body Already Knows How To Heal. Let Me Help You Learn to Listen.
~offered by horizon~

I am a queer fat femme who practices at the intersections of oppression, grief, trauma and liberation. I believe healing and liberation are our birthright. And yes, that means I believe that you can heal from complex, developmental and intergenerational trauma. And yes, I believe I can help. But when I say I can help, what I really mean is: I understand that the deep wisdom of your body knows the exact right way to heal. My job as your therapist is to help you learn to connect with this deep somatic knowing, to help you do in your body what you were born to do (heal), so that you can be who you were born to be (free).

I have spent more than 21 years in a deep study of how healing happens, learning to undo oppression while learning to co-create cultures of justice and belonging. Trauma healing is my special interest. My training has included intensive learnings in somatics, trauma healing, anti-oppressive practices, anti-racism, liberatory culture building, ritual and witchcraft. My therapy practice is a blending of liberatory healing practices rooted in the relational neurosciences, somatic wisdom, parts work, ancestral healing, magic and love. I accompany people in the deep work of making real what our souls know is possible.

Trauma healing is not about what we have lived through, it is about the meaning we make of what we have survived. Those of us who have (and whose people have) survived traumatic experiences—particularly when trauma is unmetabolized—have traumatic relivings that are painful to be with. Some people describe this as understandable traumatic activations that are outside our window of tolerance. This unmetabolized trauma is held implicitly in our body, old learnings we re-live through our everyday interpersonal experiences. But as it turns out, as beings who were born to heal (and with the aid of somatic trauma healing) we can in fact create the relational conditions for our healing, making sustainable what has otherwise been unbearable. This is the body of work we achieve in trauma healing.

As a queer person, I will never be someone who believes there is only one way to heal. (This would be far too limiting for something I know to be absolutely expansive). But, if I were to choose the most effective ingredients for my potion, I would be drawing from connection, body intelligence, whole time, ancestral medicines, our deep capacity for love, our birthright access to nervous system regulation and intersectional justice. If I were to translate this into modern day trauma healing modalities (which I am), I would be drawing from IFS & EMDR. And, when I draw from the brilliance of queerness, I am standing in a lineage of queer witches, healers and teachers, offering the folk medicines of QTIFS* & quEerMDR**.

This is how I think about and hold these healing lineages to whom I belong:

My practice is deeply informed by the wisdom of (Queer and Trans) Internal Family Systems which teaches us to compassionately understand our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and feelings as a response to systemic wounding and protection rather than the result of pathology. In this way, we work within your inner world by honoring and collaborating with your body’s protective system (parts) rather than fighting or overriding them. IFS is a beautifully queer healing lineage that invites the practices of deep witnessing, trust-building, nurturing and self-attunement (the relational practices of safety and love) to help us feel whole and free.

~EMDR & quEerMDR~
I practice EMDR/quEerMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) because I know it to be an exquisitely beautiful trauma healing modality that consistently helps my clients to sustainably metabolize past traumas and griefs instead of reliving them.  I blend EMDR with IFS because I understand healing through the lens of parts, because bringing a parts lens to EMDR increases safety and effectiveness, and because both of these lineages—particularly when used together—offer us access to powerful healing.

IFS-Informed EMDR creates a map for us to follow—traumatic learnings we can target, desensitize, unburden and heal. In this work, we draw from the deep regulation of moving both sides of our bodies to help anchor us in the present, which in turn helps us to touch (and bring healing) to the parts of us that are burdened with trauma. Some people call this evidence based, I call it folk medicine—healing pathways that belong to you, are uncovered within the container of our relationship, that tap into your deep embodied knowingness of how to heal. IFS-Informed EMDR works by catalyzing your body’s innate wisdom and deep capacity for healing and transformation. This is both magic and science.

Areas of Practice:
~eating disorders/weight & shape control behaviors
~body shame, body liberation
~attachment & relational wounding
~ancestral wounding & legacy burdens
~complex trauma & dissociation
~recent traumatic events & single-episode trauma
~liberatory, anti-oppressive practice

In addition to ongoing trauma healing work, I offer Personalized Trauma Healing Intensives for folx seeking a more expansive ritual container to do a larger piece of work. Intensives allow for more space and time together (see ‘whole time’ above) so we can stay with and move through trauma healing in the moments we have access to it. This allows for more time together to metabolize and integrate healing and meaning making.

*QTIFS, Queer and Trans Internal Family Systems, is a beautiful, liberatory body of work, co-created and co-held by IFS therapists Sand Chang & Nic Wildes. You can learn more about their offerings here.

**quEerMDR is the way I have come to understand queer healing as it flows through the artistry of EMDR, using the fluidity, authenticity and vastness of queerness to invite healing and transformation. You can learn more about this offering through therapy, consultation and continuing education opportunities with me.

“I am trans as in movement, nonbinary as in free.” -unknown

We are not supposed to heal alone.

Your body has its own story—a story of resistance and resilience—told through memories, sensations, emotions and intuition. It’s a story of survival, and it deserves to be told, heard, and witnessed. By you and for you. -Hilary Kinavey and Dana Sturtevant

© 2023, Village Witch Therapy PLLC