Robyn E. Brickel, MA, LMFT

A Compassionate Look at “Borderline Personality Disorder” From a Trauma-Informed Lens

DSM 5 terminology for Borderline Personality Disorder

When someone has a mental health issue or illness, therapists look to a diagnosis, so we can better understand it, gather information about it and treat it precisely as mental health professionals. However, sometimes the terms themselves may add to the challenges in working with the patient. I admit, I’m troubled by the diagnostic term […]

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7 Powerful Trauma-Informed Lessons from Rocketman

trauma-informed-rocketman

*Spoiler warning: This article reveals the general storylines of Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody* Have you seen the film Rocketman yet? I hope you do! Here’s why I think it’s a beautiful movie that everyone should see. Like the film Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman provides a powerful example of how attachment trauma in childhood can fuel a […]

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Feelings: The Other F-Word for Trauma Survivors

Fear of emotions

Some of my clients have called feelings “the other f-word.” Can feelings be scary? Yes, they can, especially if the emotions you experienced early in life felt overwhelming or were ignored. You may have a fear of emotions if no one helped you learn to regulate, comfort or understand them. You probably tried to do […]

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This Is Why You Can’t Be In a Rush to Heal Trauma

how long to heal trauma

A question new clients often ask is, “How long is therapy going to take?” They are eager to feel better, heal and move forward. They want to pour out all the details of their story during the first session because they think it might help them heal trauma faster. But, because we are dealing with […]

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

Bottom-up Top-Down

There are numerous approaches to psychotherapy. I’ve studied many. Because there is never a one-size-fits-all approach, I integrate many therapeutic approaches into my work with clients. One thing I can say for sure is that, in my experience, a bottom-up approach to therapy works better in trauma-informed care. In my experience, it is the best […]

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Using ‘Big T’ and ‘Little T’ for Trauma Can Be a Big Mistake

false types of trauma

Some people seem to believe that when it comes to trauma, size matters. We even have terminology that allows us to talk as if some types of trauma are less damaging, less serious, or matter less than others. Sometimes people will describe someone’s trauma as “Big T (Big Trauma)” or “Little T (Little Trauma)”—and today, […]

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What You Need to Know About EMDR and Trauma

EMDR and Trauma: What You Need to Know

Have you ever struggled to get past a vague sense of hurt, or a gut-wrenching life experience? People sometimes feel stuck with the same old job, the same pain or fear, or the same daily grind. Maybe, deep down, you feel you’re not good enough, worthy, or capable of a better life. Such self-limiting behaviors […]

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How To Feel Attractive and Worthy—Just the Way You Are!

woman feels worth for sex after trauma

Feeling confident and attractive in today’s world is a huge challenge for all of us. Images, voices and messages from mainstream media can get in our heads, holding us up to impossible standards. Self-acceptance and healthy sex after trauma can be even more challenging for those with a history of sexual abuse. Add those unrealistic ideals […]

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How to Have a Healthy Sex Life After Sexual Abuse

healthy love and sex after abuse

Sexual trauma, abuse and violence affects a huge number of people — maybe even you or someone you know. Nearly 1/2 of women and 1 in 4 men report having endured sexual violence at some time in their lives (reports the National Sexual Violence Resource Center). One in 2 trans-identifying people report experiencing sexual violence, says […]

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