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Trauma robs us of our humanity and our potential. Long after the trauma the mind and nervous system continue to operate out of survival mode. Behaviors and beliefs that were once life saving can become a hindrance in the present. My main goal as a PTSD specialist is to help people move from survival mode to thriving mode. What happened was a tragedy. To continue living with the pain and suffering is heart breaking and absolutely needless.
Three things aroused my curiosity as a Master of Social Work graduate student at the College of Social Work at the University of Houston and these three things have continued to inspire me as a trauma psychotherapist. One, humans are resilient: no matter how difficult or unbearable life appears to be, we figure out a way to endure and live another day. This spirit and energy is also what drives us to search for health. Two, the mind and body are connected. Complex PTSD cannot be resolved without working on both fronts; the mind must have insight and understanding and the body must have release. Three: the loss of human potential to humanity is incalculable. When all energies are devoted to survival, there is very little energy left over for cultivating one’s potential.
When I was an intern at the Michael E. DeBakey VA, I was surprised at how resilient the chronic homeless veterans were. Additionally, I noticed how most were not present in their bodies, a state called dissociation. This observation led me to further studies as a Post-graduate Social Work student at the Menninger Clinic. I wanted to better understand how the psyche processed and made sense out of pain and suffering. This education was of great importance, however, the answer of how to treat dissociation and the distress held in the body still eluded me. This quest led me to the work of Peter A. Levine, Ph. D. His explanation that the body needed to be able to complete self-protective motor responses and release thwarted survival energy bound in the body finally explained what I noticed in my patients. I took on the arduous studies of Somatic Experiencing (SE). With this holistic view of the mind/body connection, I feel better equipped and confident to help all those who seek healing.
Born: Laos, 1969
Raised: Kansas City, KS
- Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
- Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Houston, College of Social Work
- Post-graduate fellowship from the Menninger Clinic, Professionals in Crisis (PIC)
- Three years trained as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP)
Primary Language: English
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Childhood sexual abuse
- Childhood neglect
- Childhood emotional abuse
- Chronic health issues
- Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia
- Toxic Relationships
- GLBT issues
- Interracial marriages
- Cultural adjustment
- Cultural assimilation
- Somatic Experiencing (SE)
- Psycho dynamic
- Mindfulness Cognitive Behavior Therapy (MCBT)
Age limit: Adults ages 18 & up