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What is Trauma?

Trauma is anything  that was less than ideal

Neglect, abuse of any kind, being bullied,

being separated from a loved one,

loss of a loved one, and faith-based traumas

are just a few experiences that

can impact our ability to function well in the world. 

Trauma fragments our soul into multiple survivor parts while hiding wounded parts.

Signs of Trauma:

  • Constantly replaying the event in their minds

  • Nightmares

  • Beliefs that the world is generally unsafe

  • Irritability, anger and moodiness

  • Poor concentration

  • Appetite or sleep issues

  • Behavior problems

  • Nervousness about people getting too close

  • Jumpiness from loud noises

  • Regression to earlier behavior in young children, such as: clinging, bed-wetting or thumb-sucking

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Detachment or withdrawal from others

  • Use of alcohol or drugs in teens

  • Functional impairment: Inability to go to school, learn, play with friends, etc.

Am I depressed, anxious, and/or stressed?

Many individuals are living with depression, anxiety, and/or high levels of stress but they don't realize it. 

Symptoms of depression, anxiety,

and stress show up in a variety of ways. 

Take this test for yourself

to see where you stand:

Substance Use and Addictive Behaviors:

Many individuals who have lived through traumatic experiences can go on to develop a struggle with drug use or engage in addictive behaviors such as porn or sexual acting out.

 

  We tend to focus on

'Any Positive Change'

and harm reduction approaches to supporting individuals who are still using. 

Painful wounds come in all shapes and sizes--so does recovery 

and it has to start somewhere.

We believe that medically assisted treatment and harm reduction strategies keep people safe until they are ready to take the next step .

We bring years of experience treating behavior and process addictions such as sexual acting out, cutting or self-harm, gambling, codependency,

and toxic relationship patterns.

The New Monogamy

The concept of 'The New Monogamy' or 'Flexible Monogamy' represents a paradigm shift in how we understand and approach relationships, particularly in therapeutic contexts. This framework acknowledges that relationships exist on a continuum, from traditional monogamy to more open forms such as polyamory or ethical non-monogamy. Instead of viewing these relationships as deviations from the norm, therapists embracing 'The New Monogamy' empower clients to explore and define their own relationship agreements based on mutual consent, trust, and respect. This approach aims to normalize diverse relationship structures and empower individuals to create relationships that align with their values and desires.

In therapy, approaches rooted in attachment theory, such as Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) by Sue Johnson, play a crucial role in supporting clients within 'The New Monogamy' framework. These modalities focus on enhancing communication, fostering emotional intimacy, and strengthening relational bonds. By understanding attachment styles and working through underlying emotions, therapists help clients navigate the complexities of non-traditional relationships with empathy and insight.

Additionally, Tammy Nelson's Sex Therapy approaches are instrumental in exploring and negotiating sexual relationship agreements within 'The New Monogamy'. These approaches provide a safe space for clients to discuss desires, boundaries, and sexual health within the context of non-monogamous relationships. By integrating these therapeutic modalities, therapists can empower clients to cultivate fulfilling and sustainable relationships that honor both emotional and sexual intimacy, thereby promoting overall relationship satisfaction and personal growth.

ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)

 

ADHD significantly affects dopamine levels in the brain, leading to a higher inclination towards risky behaviors, stimulation-seeking, and novelty-seeking activities. Dopamine dysregulation contributes to the impulsivity and difficulty in regulating attention and emotions commonly seen in individuals with ADHD.  This can manifest as challenges in staying focused on tasks, fidgeting / restlessness, avoiding tasks perceived as boring or difficult, and seeking out activities that provide immediate gratification or excitement (Gaming, Porn/Sexual Acting out, etc).  Many individuals also struggle with Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria in which they internalize shame around rejection or perceived failure. 

Moreover, ADHD impacts relationships both with oneself and with others. Internally, individuals may struggle with self-esteem and self-image due to repeated experiences of underachievement or failure to meet expectations. Externally, impulsivity and difficulty in maintaining attention can strain interpersonal relationships, leading to misunderstandings, frustration, infidelity, and conflict.

The inconsistency in attention and focus may also affect the ability to listen actively, remember commitments, and follow through on responsibilities, impacting trust and communication within relationships.

 

Overall, ADHD not only affects cognitive and behavioral aspects but also profoundly influences emotional regulation and social interactions, posing significant challenges in daily functioning and relationship dynamics.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition characterized by intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that lead to intense anxiety and distress, often followed by repetitive behaviors or mental acts aimed at reducing that anxiety. These intrusive thoughts, known as obsessions, can manifest in various forms, such as fears of contamination, doubts about safety or morality, and concerns about orderliness or symmetry. For instance, someone with contamination obsessions might fear touching objects or surfaces they perceive as dirty, while those with moral obsessions might excessively worry about committing unethical acts that don't align with their values.

Common obsessions reported by individuals with OCD include fears of harming oneself or others, worries about losing control, and preoccupations with religious or sexual themes. These obsessions are intrusive and unwanted, causing significant disruption to daily life and functioning. To alleviate the distress caused by these obsessions, individuals often engage in compulsive behaviors or mental rituals.

 

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts performed in response to obsessions, aimed at reducing anxiety or preventing a feared outcome. Examples include excessive hand washing, checking locks or appliances repeatedly, counting, praying excessively, or silently repeating phrases.

Effective treatment for OCD typically involves a combination of Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) and Inference-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (I-CBT). ERP exposes individuals to feared situations or thoughts gradually, without engaging in compulsive behaviors. This process helps individuals confront their fears and learn that anxiety decreases over time without performing rituals. I-CBT focuses on challenging and changing the underlying beliefs and interpretations that fuel obsessions and compulsions, helping individuals develop more adaptive coping strategies. Together, ERP and I-CBT provide a comprehensive approach to managing OCD symptoms, empowering individuals to regain control over their lives and reduce the impact of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.

At Noble Path Counseling, we embrace neurodiversity and provide affirming therapy for individuals living with ADHD and Autism. Neurodiversity recognizes that neurological differences, such as those seen in ADHD and Autism, are natural variations in the human experience rather than disorders.

Individuals with ADHD may experience challenges in maintaining focus, impulsivity, and difficulty with organization, which can impact their daily functioning and relationships. Similarly, individuals with Autism may face difficulties with social communication, sensory sensitivities, and repetitive behaviors, influencing their interactions and perceptions of the world.

 

These symptoms can present obstacles in forming and maintaining relationships, leading to misunderstandings, frustration, and feelings of isolation for neurodivergent individuals.  Therapy at Noble Path Counseling aims to empower clients by providing a supportive and understanding environment where their unique strengths and challenges are acknowledged and addressed.

 

Through tailored therapeutic approaches, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness techniques, clients can learn coping strategies, improve communication skills, and enhance emotional regulation. By focusing on strengths and fostering self-acceptance, therapy helps clients navigate relationships more effectively and cultivate a sense of empowerment in managing their neurodivergent traits including masking behaviors.

 

At Noble Path Counseling, we are dedicated to promoting neurodiversity acceptance and supporting clients in living fulfilling and connected lives.

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