If you've been feeling stuck dealing with anxiety that seems to come out of nowhere, struggling to get a full night of sleep, and you're finding it hard to stay present and get close to others... you might doubt that it's possible you'll ever truly get better.
Unfortunately, talk therapy doesn't help. That's because it doesn't deal with the root of the trauma. Talk therapy may help you understand why you aren't getting better, but it doesn't provide any practical tools to change what's happening. So you can be in talk therapy for years and feel like nothing is changing.
Even when you are meeting with a trauma therapist, the traditional, insurance-dictated model of one-hour-per-week sessions doesn't always help either. It takes a long time. That's because most of the session is spent checking in on what has happened over the week at the start of the session, and then ending with helping you transition safely back into your day. When all is said and done, you're getting 20, maybe 30 minutes max of actual therapy work each week. That's not a lot of time! It's no wonder that people often feel like they're stuck in the same place, even after years of therapy.
Imagine being able to do months of therapy in a single week.
Imagine having focused time to work on your trauma with a therapist who is working only with you for that whole week. Imagine having the time to learn and practice tools to deal with panic attacks and to stay present. Imagine having the space to actually work through - not just talk about - past hurts so they no longer control your body, mind, and life. Imagine having hope that things will change.
Trauma Intensive Therapy is a way of doing therapy that is about helping you heal more efficiently while still working at a safe pace. It's more than just "a bunch of therapy at once". It's focused therapy, without the distractions of having to get back to a work meeting in a few minutes. It's tailored, so you do only the work that actually helps you heal. And it's concentrated, so you're able to make progress without as many of the week-to-week setbacks that can make it hard to sustain your healing.
An Intensive Therapy week typically consists of six 2 1/2hour therapy sessions over three days (MWF). During those sessions we might:
- Set goals together on what you hope you gain out of the week
- Take and review a few assessments so we can tailor our time together
- Learn about trauma to gain clarity on what's been happening
- Practice grounding skills that keep panic attacks and dissociation at bay
- Work through attachment trauma through Parts Work therapy
- Process through hurtful experiences trough Brainspotting
- Set up a plan for ongoing healing once you return to your day-to-day
- Suggest a plan with your ongoing therapist on how to support your healing
The sessions are tailored to where you are in your healing, your pace, and what you've done up until this point.
But the three days aren't all. On the off-days (T/TH), we'll surround you with other types of healing, to help your body adjust to the new information, give you time to practice skills, rest, and give you space to process. That might include connecting you with one or more of the following:
- Trauma-informed Yoga
- Journaling exercises
- Massage therapy
- A spa treatment
Trauma Intensive Therapy might be great for you if :
- You want to jump-start your healing
- You've been doing therapy for a while and haven't been getting far
- You aren't able to commit an hour each week for the next few years
- You don't like feeling rushed each week
- You don't like the idea of insurance companies dictating how often you get to meet with a therapist
Here's how the Trauma Intensive Therapy process works:
- Sign up
- Meet for a 60-min assessment to determine an intensive is the best fit for you and where you are in your healing
- Schedule your week
- Work through your pre-intensive workbook
- Meet for your intensive
- Discuss your after-intensive plan
An intensive may not be the best fit right now if:
- You are actively dependent on alcohol or drugs to numb pain
- You are unable to manage suicidal thoughts on a daily or weekly basis
- You are unable to take a week off from work - we don't want you to squeeze this time into your work week
What I want for you during your intensive:
I want for you to feel hope that things can change. I want you to feel cared for, and not rushed through. I want you to have the freedom to go at a pace that feels restorative for you.
Common Questions about Intensive Trauma Therapy
The goal of an intensive is to have the dedicated space to do the work of healing without too many distractions. As such, you are potentially getting months of therapy within a week. But it is NOT about bulldozing through therapy or trying to "get to the end". It will still happen at a pace that makes the most sense for you.
While you may have accelerated progress compared to week-to-week therapy, depending on the nature of your trauma history you may still have work to do to continue to heal after the intensive week. We'll work on a detailed post-intensive plan so you have clear direction on how to keep your healing going.
If you're working with an ongoing therapist, I'm also happy to provide suggestions for your therapist to support your healing.