Family Separation, Adoption & Foster Care, DNA Discoveries
Family separation can happen for all kinds of reasons - adoption, foster care, immigration, addiction, mental illness, incarceration, and more. For some, the separation and what came after is seen as a blessing. For others, it may have been a deeply painful life experience. It’s always there, in the background, and affects people throughout the lifespan. We can help you sort out how much is the ‘adoption/etc experience’ and how much is the other stuff of life. There is no blueprint for the relationships we often develop after a family separation experience. It’s less about ‘nature vs. nurture’, and more about figuring out who you want to be moving forward. Issues include, but are not limited to: adult adoptees (domestic, international, transracial) | foster care | DNA Discoveries | birth/first parents, expectant parents | obtaining original records | search and reunion | genetic sexual attraction | recovery from narcissistic abuse in adoptive family systems
Depression & Anxiety
Depression has been described by many people in many different ways. ‘Walking through a fog’; ‘trapped in a dark tunnel, with no end in sight’; ‘trying to escape quicksand’ are just a few examples. And it doesn’t always look like what you see on TV and in movies. You can be up and around, working, clawing your way through the day – all while suffering from depression. Anxiety is most often a symptom of depression and it doesn’t have to hold you back or lock you up. Let’s talk about how to find some light at the end of the tunnel, and making sure it isn’t a freight train.
Adulthood Trauma: Intimate Partner Violence (Domestic Violence) Recovery
You might be wondering, “Is what’s happening to me abuse?” or thinking “It could be a lot worse, it’s not really that bad”. Whether you’re just trying to survive, in the process of leaving, or looking to break free from traumatic memories, we can help you figure out your next steps. Areas of focus include: Identifying and understanding abusive behavior and situations | Recognizing patterns of power and control | Exploring your options | Safety planning | Learn about how trauma affects the brain | Long-term healing and growth. ***NOTE: In some cases, we may refer to shelters/DV service providers for more comprehensive services if we determine threat level to be critical.
Oppression & Discrimination, and Identity Stress
The personal is political. Always has been, always will be. Many folks face emotional violence every day: hostile relatives/work places/communities, micro aggressions, and outright violence. Racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia/heterosexism, ableism, transphobia, sizeism…are all real. The discrimination and oppression you face has a direct impact on your daily life and mental health. There isn't always a "solution". Therapy will not resolve, for example, racism, but for some it allows a place to vent, share, and process aggressions and oppression openly without gaslighting or immediate problem solving, solution focused interventions, or mindfulness tricks. Because you can’t just meditate or mindfulness your way out of it. Mental health care that doesn’t acknowledge the experiences and realities of oppression is not healthcare rooted in justice.
Trauma experienced during childhood often follows people into adulthood. Folks often tell us they don’t understand why they can’t stop thinking about it, or why they have such a hard time setting boundaries with others, or feel like old memories are following them around. It’s not about what’s “wrong” with you, it’s about what happened to you. Issues include, but are not limited to: Neglect | Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse| Psychological abuse| Witnessing domestic violence | Incarcerated parents or other family members Addiction in household | Hoarding household | Spiritual trauma and abuse, recovery from high demand groups (this practice is secular) | Bullying | Mental illness in family members
Adulthood Trauma: Sexual Violence Recovery
You might not call what happened to you abuse, sexual assault, harassment, or rape, but it still had an impact. You might not have ever talked about it before, or been afraid to report it. You have a right to be believed and supported. It wasn’t your fault. You’re a survivor. Areas of focus include: Identifying and understanding sexual violence and harrassment | Recognizing patterns of grooming | Exploring your options about reporting to law enforcement and/or going to the hospital for a SANE exam ("rape kit") | Learn about how trauma affects the brain | Long-term healing and growth