Therapy for Trauma & Traumatic Grief

from the comfort of your home

Let’s be honest.  Experiencing trauma really sucks.

A traumatic experience can shatter our entire sense of self and we often feel like the world is spiraling around us.  We have trouble managing our emotions – out of nowhere, we’re anxious, afraid, sad, heartbroken, angry.  We think we’re losing our mind.  Thoughts, memories, and images can intrude into your mind whether you are asleep or awake.  Our relationships begin to suffer.

Trauma doesn’t even have to be a huge and debilitating experience to completely disrupt our sense of self and where we fit into the world.  We call these ‘little t’ traumas, and can still have a major impact on your life.  These traumas can sometimes fly way under the radar until we shine a flashlight on them and realize just how much they’ve influenced us.

People in your life may not understand your trauma or loss has affected you and aren’t able to give you the emotional support you so desperately want and need.  They might look like they have it all together and you’re over here feeling like you’re falling apart.  Or maybe they are traumatized too, and you can’t talk with them without feeling like you have to “be strong” or “hold it together” for them.  We know we’re tough people in Alaska, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need the support of others.

Whatever your trauma is, you probably feel alone and like your feelings are too big, too small, or somehow wrong.

I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone and you will survive, even if that doesn’t feel true right now.  I’m here to give you the space to share the thoughts and feelings that you aren’t able to share with anyone else.  You can learn how to calm and soothe your body and mind despite what you’ve experienced.

Together, we’ll find hope and purpose for your life.  All from the comfort of your home.

Schedule your complimentary 15 minute consultation!

Get all of your questions answered and see if I’m the right therapist for you

Therapy can help with many types of trauma

Childhood Traumas

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Our experiences as children teach us who we are and how we fit into the world.  When we are abused or neglected, we learn to adapt to a dysfunctional world.  That adaptation may not be so useful anymore once we’re adults, but we haven’t been able to figure out how to change it yet.  Therapy helps us rewrite that story and find a new way of being that is full of meaning.

Violence & Disasters

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Whether we have made it to adulthood relatively safe from trauma or not, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t exposed to violence, natural disasters, or other traumas as adults.  These traumas can reinforce our unhealthy coping mechanisms or completely overwhelm our healthy ways of managing emotional pain.  Often the pain becomes most evidence once the dust has settled.

Traumatic Grief & Loss

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Losing someone to suicide, overdoses, or violence can be especially isolating.  Grieving these losses is full of really complicated feelings and too often we aren’t able to talk about these losses in the same way as natural deaths.  Depression and PTSD often result from traumatic losses and our grieving process may need extra support so we can heal.

Relationship Trauma

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Trauma can occur in relationships – betrayal, divorce, a partner’s substance use, or a shared trauma like the death of a child or exposure to violence.  Therapy can help you to explore your own responses to trauma, and couples counseling can help both you and your partner provide love, support, and compassion for each other while one or both of you are on a healing journey.

Discrimination & Stigma

Heterosexism, cissexism, sexism, racism, and any other form of discrimination based on who you are is a complex form of trauma.  Hopeful Path Counseling accepts and embraces everyone for who they are without prejudice or judgment.  This is a safe space to process how a hurtful world has made it hard to live fully and confidently as yourself.

Your experience is unique to you and cannot be compared to anyone else’s.

We’re going to work together in a way that is 100% individualized to you and your experiences.  We’ll use whatever tools and strategies we need to so we can start moving forward.  Whatever you bring to therapy, we can find a way to heal.

We can process trauma to reduce the intensity of what you experience in the present.

If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, or substance use, we can address that too.

Something else making your life even more unbearable?  We’ll figure it out.

photo of Sarah, a white woman with brown curly hair and glasses

I’m here to help you make space for your story.

That’s right.  We’re going to make space for it. 

Your traumas and losses are part of who you are, but they do not define you.  If you’ve tried to forget what you’ve experienced, you probably realized that it just doesn’t seem to work.  We will instead find a way to respect how those experiences have affected you and find meaning and purpose for your future.   

What makes me the counselor for you?  I have spent years working with people that have experienced many different types of trauma and loss and I have had my own experiences that shaped the course of my life.  

I believe that all healing occurs in the context of a relationship, so creating a space that you feel comfortable, validated, and supported is my #1 priority.  I am also trained in a variety of treatments, so we can adapt our work together based on your needs.  I would be honored to walk alongside you on your healing journey.

We can do amazing work together.

Recent Articles by Sarah about Trauma, Grief, and Counseling

What is Trauma-Informed Care?

Trauma-informed; rather, it simply acknowledges that many of us have experienced trauma care (or TIC) is a way of creating an environment that leads to relationships that are validating, supportive, and healing.

Medical Care for Mental Health Care

Have you gotten a check up lately?   When our mental and emotional health has taken a hit, it’s incredibly important to check in on our physical health.  Medical care is an important part of mental health care.  Grief, anxiety, trauma, and depression have all been...

Overcoming Loneliness

Loneliness is such a natural and expected part of being human. A two-year pandemic sure didn’t make the battle against loneliness any easier.

Losing a Loved One to Suicide

Heartbreak.  Anger.  Confusion.  Betrayal.  Sadness.  These feelings, and more, are so common (and valid) when we lose someone we love to suicide.  And remember, there’s no timeline on grief, so you may have these feelings hours, days, months, or years after a loss, and there’s nothing wrong with you.

What is telehealth and is it right for me?

Have you been thinking about starting counseling and have wondered how telehealth works? You’ve come to the right place!

Schedule your complimentary 15 minute consultation!

Get to know Sarah Blanning, LCSW and get your questions answered

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

-Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy

“One day he told me that he’d spent his adulthood trying to let go of his past, and he remarked how ironic it was that he had to get closer to it in order to let it go.”

-Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

“It is the power of being with others that shapes our brains.”

― Louis Cozolino, The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Social Brain

“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.”

― Fred Rogers

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you’ll learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”

-Elizabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler

“Grieving doesn’t make you imperfect. It makes you human.”

-Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

“You can’t truly heal from a loss until you allow yourself to really feel the loss.”

-Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

“The healing power of even the most microscopic exchange with someone who knows in a flash precisely what you’re talking about because she experienced that thing too cannot be overestimated.”

-Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.”

-Helen Keller

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”

-Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith