Helping Individuals Struggling with Trauma
Katie Winn, LMFT
Katie grew up in Arizona and is very much an AZ girl. She loves the heat and sometimes struggles with Utah winters. She has been in Utah for eight years and said,
“It has been fun to see the changing seasons. I especially love Autumn and watching the colors change.”
Growing up in AZ and not being affected much by the heat, she has been pretty active her entire life. While it has been years since she’s played basketball, competitive volleyball is one of her favorite coping mechanisms!
Katie has a dog and says,
“I enjoy taking my dog, Lily, on long walks and hikes in the beautiful mountains of Utah.”
“My favorite thing to do is spend time with my husband. We have both been married before and I am way more familiar with “the singles scene” than I ever cared to be.”
Katie knows what it’s like to go to church alone and feel like an outsider, saying,
“I have, on many occasions, wondered if I had a place in church or if I was obsolete.”
“I think this is very common, especially in the LDS religion, where families dominate much of the conversation. I know what it feels like to experience rejection, to have people ask you “what went wrong?” and not know the answer.
I know the shame of being the “divorced person”. I also know what it takes to process through that and how to be happy regardless of relationship status.”
Katie was born and raised LDS and is currently an active member; however, that has not always been the case. She explains,
I know what it’s like to question your religion. To take time away and have to learn, on your own, if it fits or not. I believe spirituality can be a great coping mechanism but I have also seen shame-based approaches in religion that don’t help anyone.
I believe that we are all in different places in our life, as well as our worship, and people need to find the version of worship that best fits them.
- a cheating partner
- the death of a loved one
As Katie has been working with individuals struggling with trauma, she has realized that people don’t realize it is also seen in other areas, for example:
- A dog attack
- car accident
- a difficult breakup
- a trusted friend or business partner who betrays you
- and more.
EMDR, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, can help people with trauma.
Katie explains more about why she got into using EMDR therapy,
“What often happens is trauma does not get processed appropriately and therefore does not get moved properly to short-term and then long-term memory. Instead, it gets stuck and begins to manifest in many ways.
- It could be bad dreams
- severe depression
- eating disorders
- or insomnia.
Our body uses some of these as coping mechanisms. If you are struggling it may be that you have been through a trauma and you haven’t properly processed it.
You may not even remember it as some traumas happen at birth. Your body remembers it but you don’t. Try processing that with a therapist! That’s where EMDR can be a huge help, bringing out the things you don’t even remember.”
Katie loves working with all sorts of people, but there is a great energy in the room when she works with couples. As you may have picked up on, she tries to take a very nonjudgmental approach in her therapeutic process.
She has worked with a lot of couples where at least one of the partners has had a bad experience in therapy. They have felt attacked or picked on and for obvious reasons they don’t want to return.
To that, she exclaims, “That’s not me!”
“I will push couples in therapy but I will not bully or use shame to try and help them change. Long-term it does not work and call me crazy but I want my couples to be moving toward happiness.”
Here’s the bottom line about Katie, she’s had to deal with some of her own stuff and uses her own experience to help you.
The truth is a good majority of therapists have experienced their own stuff; it is what attracted them to the field in the first place. She loves working with couples. She enjoys watching them grow and helping them see that where they are right now, it’s not the end all.
We will end with Katie’s closing statement,
“I get to see change, and it is beautiful!“