My Approach

Understanding the Impacts of Trauma

Shivani believes that trauma often underlies the majority of mental health presentations, including anxiety, panic, depression, and addiction, as well as relationship issues and some physical health problems including digestive issues and chronic pain. 

Many people think they haven't experienced trauma, without realizing that trauma can result from any stressful experience that is inescapable, that overwhelms our resources at our current stage of development, and that leaves us feeling immobilized, trapped, or helpless. Shivani defines a traumatic experience not by the type of event that occurred, but by the lasting impacts those experiences have on a person's overall functioning, including chronic dysregulation of the nervous system.

 

Trauma can present as feeling shut down or numb, an inability for your body to relax and recognize the threat is over, avoidance of reminders, emotional flashbacks, fears of emotional intimacy, fears of loss of connection, self-criticism, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, feelings of unworthiness, and the adoption of negative beliefs and perceptions. 

Areas of Expertise 

  • Childhood Developmental Trauma (Complex Trauma) including physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; neglect; growing up with parents with mental illness or addiction; and insecure attachment. 

  • Shock Traumas, such as concussions, MVAs, physical and sexual assault, accidents, sudden loss of a loved one, medical intervention and surgeries, near-death experiences, and childbirth trauma. 

  • Anxiety and Panic 

  • Depression 

  • Dysfunctional Relationship Patterns 

  • Grief and Loss 

More than Just Talk Therapy

While it is important for Shivani to understand your history and for you to feel seen, heard, and understood in your story, talk-therapy alone is not effective at resolving trauma. Telling and re-telling the details of traumatic experiences is not required for healing and may even be counterproductive. This is why Shivani uses approaches that go beyond talk therapy and work with the body, brain, and nervous system to treat the underlying trauma at its root.

 

In a session with Shivani, you will be invited to be curious about your experience in the present moment by bringing mindful awareness to your sensations, feelings, and breath. You will learn various self-regulation skills to manage stress, anxiety, and big emotions, and a collaborative treatment plan will be developed to address your symptoms and meet your unique goals.

 

Shivani uses Somatic Experiencing and EMDR therapy to treat underlying trauma. Somatic Experiencing is a body-centered therapy that uses mindful awareness to elicit your nervous system's self-healing capacity. EMDR is an empirically supported approach that uses bilateral stimulation through eye movements or kinesthetic sensations to stimulate your brain's innate ability to integrate unresolved traumatic memories and transform negative beliefs. 

Therapeutic Approaches

© 2020 by Shivani Wells