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  • Trauma Therapy

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    Surviving hardship is part of life.  We all experience loss, hurt, and pain—big and small.

    And while pain does not define us, it can bruise our hearts without us even knowing it, affecting how we think, feel, and interact with the world.

    You may have faced disturbing events like the loss of a child, an accident, or an act of criminal violence.  Or you may have endured long-term suffering, such as physical or emotional abuse, bullying, and discrimination.

    These traumatic experiences may linger and affect your whole person, constantly bringing back the fear, anger, and heartache.  They may prevent you from resting, enjoying, and even breathing well.  But they can also hide under harmful thoughts and behaviors, like yelling at your kids for no reason or being on edge, challenging your ability to recognize the trauma.

    Whether you are aware of it or not, trauma can have lasting effects on your life and those around you.

    I understand speaking about what hurts you is not easy.  But I also know the weight of unaddressed trauma can be too heavy to carry on your own.

    You do not have to keep holding on to this pain.

    If you or your partner are struggling with trauma, I’m here to support you.

    My name is Sarah Lauterbach, and I’m a family therapist dedicated to the well-being of adults, couples, and families.  Let’s work together to heal your wounds so you can have a joyful and loving life.

    If you have any questions about trauma therapy or would like to get started, let’s chat.


    Trauma is the human response to a shocking, dangerous, or upsetting experience.  It is classified as big T trauma and little T trauma.

    Big T trauma includes catastrophic and disturbing events that threaten your life or the life of someone you love, such as:

    • Motor vehicle accidents
    • Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
    • Natural disasters
    • Violent crimes or attacks
    • Military combat
    • Death of a loved one

    Little T trauma refers to distressing everyday events of less magnitude:

    • Not being responded to by parents in the way you needed most of the time
    • Being born sensitive and navigating a harsh world

    Regardless of how “big” or “little” your wound is, unresolved trauma can severely impact your life.


    Trauma therapy is a form of treatment focused on addressing and healing from traumatic experiences.

    During trauma therapy sessions, a licensed therapist will help you unpack and reprocess trauma as wounds you have suffered instead of scars that determine who you are.

    Trauma therapy may involve psychotherapy along with body-based practices to complement treatment, such as Breathwork and Emotional Freedom Technique (or EFT) Tapping.

    Trauma therapy can support you to:

    • Explore and understand the root of trauma
    • Become aware of your triggers
    • Let go of painful memories
    • Shift harmful thought and behavior patterns
    • Learn coping techniques to calm down the nervous system
    • Rest and sleep better


    We all react to traumatic experiences in different ways.  Even after going through the same incident, some people may be able to process trauma and recover.  Yet, others may exhibit long-term symptoms that interfere with their daily activities.

    If you or your teen are battling with the lasting effects of a major event, you may have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD).  Post-traumatic stress is not a sign of weakness but a mind-body reaction to something painful or terrifying.

    Common symptoms of PTSD include:

    • Flashbacks about the traumatic experience
    • Nightmares or night terrors
    • Intrusive thoughts or memories
    • Fear of talking or thinking about trauma
    • Staying away from people, places, or situations that remind you of the traumatic event
    • Being constantly alert or worried
    • Difficulty resting or sleeping
    • Irritability or mood swings
    • Hopelessness, low motivation, and shame
    • Trouble remembering the incident


    When we face situations of great danger, our sympathetic nervous system activates our fight, flight, or freeze response to keep us safe.  For example, if you are out camping and encounter a grizzly bear, your sympathetic system may prompt you to freeze and then slowly back away.  If the bear attacks you, your body may spark the fight or flight response allowing you to defend yourself and make it out of there alive.

    Those reactions could save you, but the distressing thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations may stay with you for a long time.

    Later on, if something triggers these distressing memories (e.g., going out hiking or camping), you may have the same reaction and relive the upsetting experience.

    Trauma therapy can help you engage the parasympathetic system to activate your rest and digest response and calm your body.  Through talk therapy and other body practices, you can gain insight into your trauma, learn skills to balance that energy, and move forward.


    You don’t have to do this alone.

    As a therapist, my highest priority is to give you the healing and support you deserve.  My approach is multifaceted and individually tailored to help you gain rapid relief and lasting results.  I offer teletherapy to couples and adults across California.

    I draw from different approaches such as Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Compassionate Inquiry, Relational Life Therapy, and other body-based techniques to help you heal from traumatic experiences.

    During our first teletherapy session, I will ask you questions to get to know you, your concerns, and your family history, and make an assessment.  Future sessions will vary, as I will let you lead the conversation.  We will meet once a week for 50 minutes per session.

    We can shift to bimonthly or monthly sessions as you progress and prepare to complete treatment.


    There is a path to recovery.  Let’s work together to explore your inner world and find the balance and resilience you deserve.

    If you have any questions about how I can help or are ready to book a trauma therapy appointment, contact me.