Our Specializations

Our multiple areas of specialization share common traits: They all center on experiences we have that disconnect us from our bodies and the inner wisdom it carries. Many of the clients we work with have underlying experiences of trauma or PTSD that further fuel issues with sex and intimacy, disordered eating, and substance use. We bring our extensive expertise in these areas to our integrative approach to therapy for individuals and couples.

What is Trauma?

Trauma isn't what happened to you, it's what’s happening within you. Another word to talk about trauma is as a “stressor.” Whether or not we perceive a stressor as something traumatic depends on our genetics, past experiences, and the meaning we give something. But often, a stressful thing becomes traumatic when we feel overwhelmed, hopeless, or powerless.

Stress and trauma responses aren’t inherently bad or wrong. In fact, they’re necessary, adaptive responses to things that threaten our survival or our most important relationships. This adaptive response can be damaging if we stay in it too frequently or for too long without the help or support we need. Our brains and bodies adapt, making our survival responses our default, which then become hard to break free from.

The good news: Your brain and body want to heal. And it's never too late. Whether you've been trapped in a survival state for 40 years or four days, our approach to therapy offers relief backed by neuroscience.

Your brain and body want to heal.
And it’s never too late.

Trauma and PTSD

The impact of your past experiences may be very clear to you. Or maybe you sense there’s something unresolved that’s impeding your ability to move forward. You may notice a disconnect: What you know rationally (I’m safe, it’s not my fault, I am okay as I am) doesn’t seem to change how you feel emotionally or how you act day to day. The effects from trauma and chronic stress can leave you feeling fragmented and locked into unhelpful patterns and cycles that keep you from fully living your life.

Even if we have a lot of insight about our trauma, it’s often not enough for us to move past it. At Inner Atlas, we help you process your experiences from the past, starting at the root and using a mind-body-spirit approach. Through trauma therapy, we can help you feel safe with others and yourself – to find wholeness and feel at home again in your body.
Related Areas of Expertise: Vicarious Trauma and Chronic Stress

Sex, Pleasure, and Intimacy

Sexuality is an essential part of being human. But that doesn’t always mean that we have thriving intimate lives. Sexual problems can occur for a number of reasons, including your biology, past trauma, stress, relationship issues, body shame, or factors related to your mental health. You might be thinking you’d be just as happy if you never had sex again. Or you feel anxious that you can’t perform in the bedroom the way you think you should. Your body might be changing and you’re wondering how and if you can still be sexual. Perhaps you find that even talking about sex feels uncomfortable and embarrasing.

Sex therapy is a safe, affirming place to discover your sexuality and follow it to greater connection with yourself and others. It can help you unlearn misinformation about sex and pleasure, and instead apply reliable, science-backed information. It can support you in identifying your needs and desires, and help you learn how to communicate them confidently and effectively. Through sex therapy, we can navigate differences and discrepancies with partners, and negotiate trust and emotional vulnerability. We can build awareness of what brings you pleasure and joy for a more embodied sexual experience. We can deconstruct your shame around feeling good so that you can have permission to experience pleasure.

Sex therapy is a highly specialized form of talk therapy, and it never involves nudity or sexual contact between therapist and clients, or between clients.
Related Areas of Expertise: Relationship Concerns, Body Shame, Body Liberation, Sex After Trauma

Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders

Disordered eating involves a complicated relationship with food and your body that dominates your thoughts and behaviors. You might feel out of control around certain foods, obsessed with meal planning or tracking, anxious about food rules, or numb out while eating. You may be driven to compensate for the foods you’ve eaten. It may be that so much of your energy is spent focused on anxieties about food or your body that it leaves little space and time for other things and people that are important to you.

At Inner Atlas, we know that disordered eating behaviors are often hiding something much deeper. We understand the valid functions these behaviors can have in helping you survive environments and circumstances when there aren’t many other good options. We meet you in true compassion with a safe container to discover what healing and recovery can look like for you.

Our vision is to help you establish a grounded, trusting relationship with food and your body again by healing from the root and building new strategies to cope. Our holistic approach empowers you to reconnect with your body’s inner wisdom, experience food with pleasure, and get back to living with joy and peace. As anti-diet therapists, we practice the principles of intuitive eating and Health at Every Size®. We’re unapologetically committed to challenging anti-fat bias, and supporting people of all shapes and sizes to pursue healing and wholeness.
Related Areas of Expertise: Body Shame, Body Liberation

Substance Use and Addiction

When you feel physical or emotional pain, it’s natural to want to numb from it, or find something more pleasurable to experience instead. If you’re experiencing a high level of anxiety, depression, or reminders from the past, you may find some temporary relief in drinking or using. But if you continuously rely on substances to cope with your emotional pain, you find yourself with compounding challenges: relationship conflicts, risky behaviors, poor decision making, feelings of shame and worthlessness, and an inability to participate in the things that are most important to you.

At Inner Atlas, we know that problematic issues with substances usually begin as a means to find relief, which then turn into a survival skill to get through a highly stressful or even traumatic time. Here, we view substance use as a solution that has become a problem. Through therapy, we can help you learn how to meet your true needs that drive your pattern of use. If you're wrestling with substance use or you're in recovery and seeking support, we can help you address the underlying causes and arrive at a new stage of healing and wholeness.
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