Healing Trauma

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”.
– Joseph Campbell

Definition of Trauma

Trauma can be defined as an overwhelming experience that threatens or is perceived to threaten a person’s survival or well being. It often involves an experience that is out of the ordinary. It usually evokes intense fear, helplessness or horror. Trauma is a huge and complex field. There are varying degrees of trauma from the low grade, constantly-in-the-background kind to the life-crippling kind. Most people have some degree of trauma in their background that they have learned to live with, sometimes at a significant cost to their health and well being.


How Does Past Trauma Effect Me Now?

The answer to this question will be unique to you and your particular trauma. For instance, someone who grew up with an abusive, overly critical parent might have very poor self esteem and find themself using addictions to numb out. Although numbing out might have been a useful strategy growing up, because it lessened the pain of the constant abuse, later in life this person might find their life seriously compromised as a result.

Another person might have been chased and bitten by a dog as a child and consequently developed an intense fear of dogs. Every time they see a dog they experience a fight, flight or freeze response which will make it hard for them to respond in an appropriate manner to the situation.


Healing Trauma

Many clients come to me who have had therapy for years but are still plagued by trauma. This is because trauma cannot be healed through verbal therapy alone. Traumas are locked and stored in our muscular and cellular memory and cannot simply be reasoned away by the conscious, logical mind. I use somatic (body-mind based) therapies, which do not involve touch, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing,) hypnotherapy to help a person start to release long held traumas and move towards the life they want.

Just like weeding a garden if you pull up a problem from the root it won’t keep coming back up again and again. Until this happens the surface dramas can keep playing out again and again because the underlying dysfunction has not been addressed. EMDR and Depth Hypnosis allow you to get to the root of your problems. It is from this place that you can do the work of rewiring or transforming them so they don’t keep repeating.


What Is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. EMDR is one of the most researched methods for working with trauma and is very popular, particularly with insurance companies because of its high and rapid effectiveness rate. People report improvement in as few as 1-3 sessions.
For more about what an EMDR session might look like read my article: https://ondinawellness.com/using-emdr-to-address-eating-disorders/


What is Brainspotting?

Another powerful modality for working with trauma, Brainspotting locates points in the client’s visual field that helps them access unprocessed trauma. This is because the subcortical brain (where trauma is stored) will organize itself around a certain eye position. Brainspotting was discovered by Dr David Grand in 2003. He took EMDR to the next level by discovering that “Where you look affects how you feel.” It is now practiced worldwide as a highly effective way to work with trauma.

For more about who Brainspotting can help, watch this short video –


How Hypnosis Can Help

Hypnosis is another powerful vehicle for accessing the emotional body where trauma is often held. For some people it is more effective than EMDR.

I have been trained in a particular style of hypnosis called ‘Depth Hypnosis.’ Here is a description of what Depth Hypnosis is from the www.SacredStream.org site where I received my certification:

“Depth Hypnosis is a highly effective model for self-transformation that combines elements of Buddhism, hypnotherapy, shamanism, and transpersonal psychology to accelerate and support the individual’s growth and healing process. It provides an opportunity to achieve profound and long-lasting results on a spiritual, emotional, and physical level for conditions of imbalance such as depression, anxiety, autoimmune dysfunction, addiction, and relationship dysfunction.”

I would add ‘trauma’ to this list of conditions that hypnosis can help with. I have had a lot of success in treating trauma or emotionally stuck places using depth hypnosis. For more about what a hypnosis session might look like read my article: Does Hypnosis Work?


Do You Suffer from Trauma?

Directions: Answer Yes or No

  • Do you frequently have a hard time sleeping?
  • Do you often have a hard time focusing?
  • Do you find yourself suddenly intensely irritable or angry for something that in the past wouldn’t have bothered you?
  • Do you find that your lifestyle is constricted by efforts to avoid certain people, places, things that remind you of past bad experiences?
  • Do you feel numb or detached much of the time?
  • Do you have recurrent dreams or disturbing and intrusive images, thoughts or flashbacks?
  • Do you feel like you overreact to things that wouldn’t bother others?

If you answered yes to 4 or more of these questions, chances are that you suffer from trauma. You do not have to live with these symptoms. Call Ondina at (415) 381-1065 for an assessment.


Getting Help

Getting help is as easy as making a phone call. Call Ondina at (415) 381-1065 now for a FREE initial phone consultation or to discuss any concerns or questions you might have, or e-mail: ondinah@gmail.com

I offer confidential individual and relationship/partner therapy at reasonable rates (sliding scale available) in Mill Valley.

  • EMDR trained
  • Certified Hypnotherapist
  • LGBTQIA (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual/ Allied) friendly
  • Partner/relationship (traditional, alternative and queer) therapy offered