Robyn E. Brickel, MA, LMFT

6 ways to calm your nervous system right now and understand it.

Do you always feel like you’re on high alert? Or do you just feel numb? Perhaps you bounce back and forth between the two? Have you wondered how to feel calm or peaceful? 

If you find the state of the world today especially triggering, you are not alone! Fortunately, by understanding our nervous systems and trauma responses, we can also understand and adopt new ways of calming our nervous systems to achieve enhanced wellbeing.

6 ways to calm your nervous system right now and understand it. Read More »

How to be trauma-informed given today’s important issues?

One of the hard things we talked about in the last article, strategies for coping with the hard parts of life, was watching the news or dealing with current events. There is certainly a lot going on in the world — and at times, feeling powerless, as it feels more polarized than ever.

In the last several years, when the world has felt so tough, I have dreamed of a world led by someone on a trauma-informed platform. I have even joked with my family and friends that I wanted to run for president on the platform of safety, kindness, and compassion.  And as I’m unable to do that, at least I can do this: Help encourage people to view the world through a more trauma-informed lens. This is the way to bring us closer to safety together, instead of further apart.

How to be trauma-informed given today’s important issues? Read More »

6 signs of trauma after COVID: Finding your path to healing

the trauma of covid

As we approach two long years experiencing the global trauma of COVID, we are hoping things are winding down to allow more manageable challenges. Yet many are experiencing symptoms familiar to those experienced by survivors of any long-term or chronic developmental relational trauma (CPTSD).

6 signs of trauma after COVID: Finding your path to healing Read More »

You deserve love and harmony no matter your scars from trauma

Trauma survivor love

CDC research shows more than 60 percent of American adults have as children experienced at least one ACE (adverse childhood experience), and almost a quarter of adults have experienced 3 or more ACEs — and this is likely an underestimate. [Source: CDC]

Because emotional trauma is so prevalent, you are likely a trauma survivor; you are in a relationship with a trauma survivor — or both.

You deserve love and harmony no matter your scars from trauma Read More »

Heartfelt wishes for healing, compassion and safety in the new year

New year new hope Robyn Brickel

You and I have endured yet another year experiencing the impact of a global trauma. We all need healing, hope and compassion more than ever! In everything we do at Brickel and Associates, our goal is to allow for and aid in healing for our clients. We strive to empower more people to live life using a trauma-informed lens. And we continue to invite you to join us in decreasing the stigma toward mental illness and those in therapy for mental health.

Heartfelt wishes for healing, compassion and safety in the new year Read More »

This Missing Love Language Is the One Trauma Survivors Need Most — Safety

the love language of safety

So many relationship experts have embraced the idea of love languages. They became popular with Gary Chapman’s 1992 book, The 5 Love Languages, for the ways partners show love and care: acts of service, physical touch, words, gifts, quality time. Yet none of these can exist in a meaningful, enriching way without one basic element — safety.

Safety is the foundation for all of the love languages.

Safety is the prerequisite for everything else in a healthy relationship.

This Missing Love Language Is the One Trauma Survivors Need Most — Safety Read More »

Calming the Nervous System: Another Talk on the Therapy Chat Podcast

calming the nervous system: therapy chat podcast

It was an honor to join Laura Reagan LCSW-C for another talk on her Therapy Chat podcast

In this conversation, Laura and Robyn described what the terms “top-down” and “bottom-up” mean in reference to trauma therapy and how to help survivors heal.

“Bottom-up” therapy always begins with finding and exploring safety and stability for our clients. 

Once there is an established safer foundation, including calmer nervous system, clients can begin to notice what happens for them on the inside or in their body as they are present in current day safety while they process the past.   

Noticing both what you’re thinking and feeling — with support, in small steps — can help trauma survivors manage the sensations without becoming overwhelmed. Check out the podcast episode here.

More Resources

Why a Bottom-Up Approach to Trauma Therapy is So Powerful

Calming the Nervous System: Another Talk on the Therapy Chat Podcast Read More »

5 tips for making decisions when everything feels risky

tips for making decisions

What if nothing feels “right”?

When it comes to making choices, sometimes there’s a clear winner. The decision is easy. But it seems like these days especially, every choice is harder. There are so many shades of grey. Confusion and uncertainty persist. Information is constantly changing, and we don’t know what’s accurate or what’s going to happen next.

With access to COVID vaccines, it seemed like we were coming to a light at the end of the tunnel. Now as the delta variant continues to spread, the uncertainty that we felt for so long is again looming heavily in the air.

And as we try to regain some sense of “normal” living, the choices we have to make may feel particularly difficult. Should I wear a mask? Should I go there? Is interacting with family safe? Should I send the kids back to their activities?

Decision-making for trauma survivors

5 tips for making decisions when everything feels risky Read More »

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