My Approach | Kathleen Joseph & Associates

My Approach

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
–Maya Angelou

The value of deep listening…

I’ve learned this time and time again as I listen to my clients’ stories.

This is how we’ll begin: You’ll get to share your story with me.

Why have you decided to take this journey?

What changes do you want to make?

Why are these changes important to you?

I won’t jump to conclusions about why you’ve had the experiences you’ve had or how they’ve affected you.

I also won’t jump to provide you with advice.

I’ll listen… deeply… because I know that’s the best way to understand and honor your story.

Sharing your story is the start of your healing…

When you share, you will notice feelings of relief as you vent feelings of frustration, worry, and sadness. There’s something about sharing your story in a nonjudgmental space, where your identity as a Person of Color is celebrated and welcomed.

You will feel contained – like your frustrations make sense.

We will discuss the problems and burdens you face. I will support you as you courageously discuss difficult experiences for the first time.

We will work together as a team, unpacking old stories in each session. You will begin to see where you have the power to change parts of your story, identifying the parts you want to continue and letting go of what won’t help you reach your goals.

You’ll also heal by creating meaning…

As we work together, you will improve at making sense of even the most challenging parts of your story.

We humans need to make sense of what happened to us – even the things that harmed us. Healing comes from the meaning that comes from making sense of our lives.

In time, you will create deeper meanings for even the most challenging parts of your story.

We’ll pay attention to what’s happening in your body…

It is also important to recognize that sharing our stories can bring up intense emotions, particularly when remembering a traumatic event. We can be in the middle of recounting what happened to us, and before we know it, we are as angry or hurt as we were when it happened!

This is a normal response to telling a story, especially if we felt hurt when the situation occurred.

Unfortunately, it makes it harder for us to share those parts of our story.

We also might feel worried that we will be judged… or someone will tell us that we are to blame for what happened to us.

We don’t want to feel hurt again, so we keep things inside.

I use various therapy approaches to help you release trauma and heal.

These approaches are proven to aid clients in addressing their trauma and gain a more satisfying quality of life.

Here are the approaches that I use to heal trauma.

Trauma Healing with Somatic Experiencing

Developed by Dr. Peter Levine, Somatic Experiencing is a body-focused intervention to heal trauma. With Somatic Experiencing, I don’t force you to “face” the trauma memory.

Instead, I guide you to remain curious about the sensations and feelings that come up for you in your body. I am trained to monitor your bodily reactions as you share.

When I notice your body getting stressed, I will invite us to pause and pay attention to what is happening to your body. When we pause, we get to tune into what your body might need at that moment and take care of your body by providing that need. This part, known as resourcing, is used through the process of Somatic Experiencing therapy.

No longer are you straining to come up with “solutions” to your mental health struggles and then feeling ashamed when you are not healed. Many of us do not know this, but it is impossible to think your way out of trauma. Real trauma healing happens when you include the body in the healing process, with its sensations and feelings.

By guiding you and letting you tell your story slowly, we’ll avoid deepening the trauma and honor your body’s needs as you heal.

Trauma Healing with Written Exposure Therapy

Written Exposure Therapy was developed by Dr. Denise Sloan and Dr. Brian Marx in response to a growing demand for effective Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treatment.

For some of us, talking about the trauma just feels impossible.

Some clients have shared that talking about the trauma brings an overwhelming sense of shame and isolation. The words just don’t come, and they feel silenced by the harm all over again. They wonder if healing is out of reach for them.

Others have dropped out of previous trauma treatment, stating that treatment was too long and required that they be exposed to the same trauma repeatedly. These clients tell me that the idea of being in therapy and working on the same trauma across many sessions fills them with dread. Healing feels out of reach for them, too.

With Written Exposure Therapy, treatment takes only five sessions and is complete in 5-6 weeks. That is because Written Exposure therapy is a brief form of therapy, and it is as effective as longer, exposure-based treatments to resolve trauma.

In session, you write about the trauma and gain treatment benefits that way. You learn about reactions to trauma and PTSD. I will guide you through the process, so you don’t feel lost. Finally, you will spend 30 minutes writing about the traumatic event.

You will write about the traumatic event during each subsequent session. After each session, I will collect the narrative, and you will receive instructions on how to proceed at the start of each session.

Not a good writer? It doesn’t matter. Written Exposure Therapy is even effective with some of the worst writers. Your writing skills don’t matter here, just that you write about what happened to you.

Now, you don’t have to live with trauma. You don’t have to spend months or years talking about what happened to feel relief.

Break free of the old stories that keep you locked in a life you don’t want.

When you reach out to me, I will get you scheduled for a free phone consultation where we will discuss your needs in therapy. Then, we will get you scheduled for your initial session.

Living with trauma does not have to be a life sentence. Call me today at (352) 642-6755, and let’s get started on your journey to healing.