Trauma Therapy in Berkeley
Persistent feelings that relationships are inauthentic and unsatisfying.
Extreme difficulties making decisions out of fear that you will make the wrong choice.
Nagging feelings that you don’t know who you are or what you want.
Repeated romantic relationships where you feel taken advantage of and under appreciated.
Intense ambivalence about maintaining relationships with caregivers and other family members.
A consistent sense of dread like you always have to keep your “back to the wall” to stay safe.
Frustration at finding yourself surrounded by chaotic and toxic people despite efforts to escape them.
Troubled sleep that is often filled with unpleasant images of tragic events from the past.
Enhanced emotions that you find hard to control that come at inopportune moments.
Intolerable emotional pain when exposed to places, people or things that remind you of childhood.
Unbearable discomfort holding boundaries, especially with family members who often feel pushy and expectant of you.
People insisting that you have to forgive people who have hurt you “because they are family.”
An inner voice that says that if you slow down or aren’t “the best” something bad will happen.
Trauma informed therapy informed by evidence based practices shown to reduce the impact of PTSD and complex trauma.
A non-judgmental and confidential place to develop an internal sense of security.
A therapist who honors your autonomy and won’t insist on reconciliation with others.
Practical suggestions for becoming aware of and stopping behaviors that helped you survive past traumas but are no longer helpful in your present life.
To work with someone who understands the devastation of narcissistic and borderline parenting without having to be convinced.
Help trusting yourself with significant choices from choosing romantic partners to future career plans.
To develop the ability to manage feelings of anxiety and depression that make daily living difficult.
Hold boundaries even when they are repeatedly tested without feeling emotionally drained or dysregulated.
To feel safe and comfortable in your own skin.
As a Trauma Therapist, Here’s What I Want You to Know About Me:
Trauma has not always received the attention it deserves from our society or culture.
Thankfully, there has been significant attention paid to trauma beyond stories brought home from soldiers at war.
I saw these patterns while working in the public school system and as a therapist working in the social welfare system.
The desire to support my clients led me to the research of how trauma is successfully confronted and repaired. But trauma is not a problem for people facing poverty.
Trauma, it turns out, is everywhere; and it tends to pass through families from one generation to the next.
Misguided attempts by adults to deal with the traumas of abuse, poverty, addiction and discrimination lead to behaviors that, in turn, traumatize their children.
Generations later, the descended family members may be financially successful and appear to “have it all” while still being plagued with a deep-seeded feeling that something is wrong.
These maladaptive behaviors often take the form of features or symptoms of Narcissistic, Borderline or other personality disorders.
Growing up with parents with these behaviors often lead to adult children who feel like they cannot be themselves for fear of rejection or criticism from the rest of the family.
Your efforts to get better may have put you at odds with your loved ones because you are not going along with the story that “everything is fine”.
Here’s What I Want You to Know About Our Working Together:
I understand the hard decisions that make trauma therapy so difficult to pursue.
People often feel like they ultimately have to make a choice between themselves and the ones they love.
I cannot help people heal if I am just another voice telling them to just “move on” or “think differently.”
Doing so does not honor the autonomy that you are trying so hard to build.
Rather than just focusing on changing thoughts, my approach is to help clients build skills that traumatic events and environments prevented clients from learning.
These skills, such as emotional regulation, self-trust, and boundary formation, are often taken for granted as things people “just learn” on their own.
But how can you learn them when no one close to you has ever modeled them for you?
In trauma therapy, we can work together to focus on building these skills via the problems you are facing in your everyday life while striking a balance with developing insight and understanding of the impact of previous events.
Through this work, clients can build an internalized sense of self to use as a secure foundation rather than remaining dependent on unreliable external forces.
Combining practical solutions to the concerns of the present combined with an examination of the past can alter our “narrative” (the internal story we use to make sense of our lives), leading to a greater sense of hope for the future.
Trauma therapy is helpful for many reasons, but high on the list is that therapists are independent individuals who are not connected to your personal life who are also bound by confidentiality.
That gives you a safe and objective place to begin forming the sense of identity that has eluded you for so long, free form outside influence.
I hope I can supply that safe place for you and use my training and experience as a trauma informed therapist to help you learn and accept who you are.
I truly look forward to working with you and to being of support to you.
Jonathan Wolfrum, LMFT
Jonathan Wolfrum, LMFT specializes in working with adolescents, young adults, and parents who struggle with:
- Anxiety and Depression
- Life Transitions and Self-Identity
- Child Behavioral Issues
- PTSD and Complex Trauma
He also has a particular interest in working with those who identify as queer or LGBTQIA+.