At some point in our lives, many of us will experience trauma – an experience which is threatening, scary, overwhelming, or out of our control. Events that can be traumatizing include: car accidents, physical or sexual violence, war, natural disasters, poverty, immigration, bullying, death of a loved one, workplace abuse, homelessness, historical trauma, colonialism, incarceration, sexism, ageism, child abuse, senior abuse, dental procedures, addictions, homophobia, transphobia, vicarious trauma, sexual trafficking, racism, terrorism, microaggressions, and medical procedures. 

The difference between a stressful event and a traumatizing event is the person’s perceived level of distress and helplessness to it. Survivors of trauma might feel shocked, horrified, guilty, ashamed, angry, or vulnerable. Other common reactions are intrusive thoughts, avoiding reminders of the trauma, and hyperarousal are also common reactions. With time and support from loved ones, some people get over stressful events without needing professional help. However in a significant proportion of people, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and last for months or years. Trauma tends to be harder to recover from if it is repeated, or if it happens in childhood.

Trauma is not about a past story. It is about how that story is still alive in you, in your body, right now… getting stirred up continuously.

– Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk


Depression causes a persistent feeling of sadness, fatigue, and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and behave, and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living. Therapy for depression is another treatment that I offer.


Anxiety is a feeling of fear that, when intense, may be with you all the time. It causes uncontrollable worry thoughts, and avoidance of the source of stress. It can sometimes be debilitating, and may cause you to stop doing things you enjoy. Anxiety disorders are the most common form of emotional disorder and can affect anyone at any age. Anxiety therapy is another type of counseling that I can provide.

Life Transitions

  • Identity Development
  • Self Esteem
  • Career Changes
  • Grief and Loss

Daily Living

  • Caregiver Burnout
  • Work Burnout
  • Local & Global stress


  • Family dynamics
  • Relationship Issues
  • Social Skills

© 2022 Mariah Dennis, LMFT. All rights reserved.