Category: Trauma / PTSD

The Lady In The Waiting Room

I was sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office one day and overheard a woman talking about addiction…how it “impacts everyone” and how the addict “just keeps on using”.  How she wanted to go to “those meetings” and tell “those addicts” just how badly they hurt others; how they need to listen to their family and friends and just stop it.  As a therapist in the field of... Read More

Go Ahead and Celebrate: Overpowering Imposter Syndrome

In a recent interview with ABC News Viola Davis made a comment that took the world by surprise and hit all to close to home for so many of us. Davis, who has won an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony for her work said “I still feel like I’m going to wake up and everybody’s going to see me for the hack I am.” This nagging doubt that we... Read More

In Defense of Lying

Guest Blogger: Monica O’Connell, MA LMFT As a trauma therapist, I spend a lot of time educating people about how we got ourselves into the pickle of using a specific behavior to solve life problems.  All the while now knowing that those behaviors aren’t working for us any more and counting to do them. It might have worked brilliantly to get drunk in college; c’mon, all our friends did it.... Read More

Healing Through Experiential Therapy

When an individual experiences a traumatic event it can impact the emotional, physical and spiritual state of that person. As a survival mechanism, the body and mind tend to disconnect to allow the person to cope with the unwanted experience. While traditional talk therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can be helpful, experiential therapies allow the individual to access various parts of the brain not traditionally accessed by talk therapy.... Read More

The Healing Ability of Gratitude

By: Brennon Moore, MS, CTT, CADC-II   An addict can come to The Refuge and spend months, maybe  even years,  and do every assignment, attend every group and  process their past trauma  until their lips fall off, but they will  still need to work hard at their recovery  every day, starting the  moment they leave our property. In my experience, it  seems  that once a person changes the wiring of their... Read More

A trip home: A Lesson in Transgenerational Trauma

I recently had the opportunity to train an amazing group of professionals at a hospital in eastern Oregon, and it had me driving right through the town where I grew up! I decided to take a little detour through the main drag (about a 5-minute endeavor) to enjoy a little nostalgia. When you drive through my hometown in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon, you will see murals of the local... Read More

Healing Trauma Through Somatic Experiencing

By: Kelly Benedict I have chosen the topic of Somatic Experiencing because I am a trauma survivor myself and this was the most effective method with which I healed. When I first started working at the Refuge as a house manager I was overwhelmed with the extent of pain I heard on a daily basis.  I was overcome with a sense of love, and wanting to help all these wounded... Read More

Healing Our Inner Child

By: Angela Smith Therapist, The Refuge – a Healing Place Inner Child therapy is vital in understanding how we have become who we are. The first thing I tell anyone approaching inner child work, is that it is NOT about blaming, it is about understanding. Our experiences in childhood have an impact on who we become as adults and how we learn to approach relationships.  Our own security is tied... Read More

Finding A New Tribe

“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves  I have years of education, months of additional and specialized training and my own personal experiences in recovery from addiction and childhood trauma, but to some clients, I’m just another person with a position of power, and trusting me can be far... Read More

Grieving at Warp Speed

By: Cheryl Bailey Therapist, The Refuge – A Healing Place In this western culture we live in there seems to be more and more pressure to get more and more done faster and ever more efficiently.  More and more, faster and faster.  To just do a job well is no longer enough.  If you met your goals this year, there will be an expectation that you accomplish even more next... Read More

Music’s Play on Fantasy: Are Lyrics Just Lyrics?

By: Sarah E.S. Watt, LMHC, CSAT Candidate Therapist, The Refuge – A Healing Place As a soon-to-be certified sex addiction therapist and a mother to a 2 and a half year old, I have begun to look at the culture of modern music a bit differently.   See what was once simply fun and catchy pop music becomes a bit more concerning.  Songs like “Blank Space” (2014) by Taylor Swift or... Read More

When the Phoenix Falls

There is one thing the media and sports fans love: A comeback story. We’ve all seen the pieces: dramatic music, flashes of childhood pictures, a high school coach or two talking about “raw talent!” Fast forward to times of trouble, flashes of news clippings reporting an athlete’s DUI, public misconduct, violent behavior or all-around misbehaving. Then, redemption! A year off, a secret trip to some treatment center on the beach... Read More

When Medical Trauma Becomes More Than A Broken Leg

By: Kristen Smith, LMHC Therapist, The Refuge – A Healing Place I have worked in the field of trauma therapy since the mid 1990’s. As a survivor of spiritual, emotional, mental, physical and sexual abuse, I did not become fully aware of also having a medical trauma history until Friday January 9, 2015.   I was aware of my medical injuries as a child, yet not aware of their impacts.  As... Read More

A Circle A Day

By Annie Kaja Reed Stress is a common factor that exacerbates all of the mental disorders. Learning ways to physically, emotionally, and mentally cope with and reframe stress is a common element to the work we as therapists do. Let’s make sure that art making is in the stress resiliency tool box! Here’s why: Art therapy has been increasingly shown to be an evidence-based intervention in the  treatment of and... Read More

Trauma Bonding, Codependency & Toxic Relationships

By: Janina Sola, Therapist One of the most challenging aspects of life is forming healthy bonds and relationships with others.  When mixed with a history of trauma, it can become even more complicated.  Often times, a person who has experienced trauma, forms an unhealthy loyalty to others which is termed as trauma bonding.  Trauma bonding means that the “victims have a certain dysfunctional attachments that occurs in the presence of... Read More