I'm glad you're here.
I'm glad you're here.
For us, truly, there are no "surroundings."
I can lose my hands and still live. I can lose my legs and still live. I can lose my eyes and still live. . . . But if I lose the air I die. If I lose the sun I die. If I lose the earth I die. If I lose the water I die. If I lose the plants and animals I die. All of these things are more a part of me, more essential to my every breath, than is my so-called body. What is my real body?
We are not autonomous, self-sufficient beings as European mythology teaches. . . . We are rooted just like the trees. But our roots come out of our nose and mouth, like an umbilical cord, forever connected with the rest of the world. . . .
Nothing that we do, do we do by ourselves. We do not see by ourselves. We do not hear by ourselves. . . . We do not think, dream, invent, or procreate by ourselves. We do not die by ourselves. . . .
I am a point of awareness, a circle of consciousness, in the midst of a series of circles. One circle is that which we call “the body.” It is a universe itself, full of millions of little living creatures living their own “separate” but dependent lives. . . . But all of these “circles” are not really separate—they are all mutually dependent upon each other.
- Jack D. Forbes
Have you ever had a moment, conversation, or even a look that gave made you feel felt? That felt sense of connection is what Resonance Therapy, LLC is based on. Too often, we are forced to stay on the surface level or simply don't know how to connect on a more meaningful level--perhaps because we were taught to; perhaps because of trauma; or maybe because we are afraid someone will abandon/make fun of/misunderstand us. Resonance is about feeling accompanied, being seen, heard, and mostly, felt, throughout the healing process. I don't believe in the individualistic, Euro-centric view that therapists or other providers "bestow" skills or somehow facilitate changes in others without some sort of change to themselves. Resonance is a two-way street; my liberation and healing is connected to yours. Much like trees who communicate underground through their roots, our neurobiology is designed to be connected with each other so that we may survive and thrive in this uncertain world. Whether you're just starting therapy for the first time or already on your healing journey, I'm glad you're here. Let's connect.
I am a mixed race, cisgender, queer woman of color; my ancestors are from Mexico, the Punjab region in India, Germany, and England. I was born in the central coast of California where diversity was commonplace, and split my time between there and in small, rural white towns in southern Oregon as one of very few families of color and even fewer mixed-race families. I moved around a lot both as a child and an adult and have lived in southern California, the Bay Area, and the southwest area of New Mexico before settling here in Portland, Oregon. Additionally, there was not a lot of language or visibility to talk about gender or sexuality in culturally-specific ways; many times, I had to split my time between different affirming groups (i.e. being with other people of color to talk about race; being with other queer/LGBTQ circles to talk about gender and sexuality, etc.) in order to get my needs met. In many ways, I have always battled feeling culturally and geographically dislocated and unsettled, which taught me about living in between, embracing the gray, and normalizing discomfort when it came to my identities.
I am a clinical social work associate (CSWA) through the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers. I am a relational therapist and my background and training include intimate partner violence, sexual trauma, narcissistic abuse, adults who experienced abuse as children, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Post Traumatic Growth, and racial trauma. I specialize in working with people of color and gender and sexual minorities.
My practice incorporates elements of Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB), Narrative Therapy, Anti-Oppressive Practice, and attachment theory. One primary belief I operate from is that safety is the intervention (Bonnie Badenoch). I specialize in working with multiracial people of color and monoracial people of color who were transracially adopted and/or raised by white parents. My approach also focuses on the intersection of race with other identities, such as gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and location.
For many individuals and communities that have experienced trauma, we have experienced a secondary trauma by not having a secure attachment figure or sense of safety. Part of my practice is providing an accompanied space where you can feel safe(r) to process trauma and begin the lifelong journey towards healing. In fact, that is where the name of my practice, Resonance, comes from: the felt sense of being accompanied by another.
Resmaa Menakem expertly writes that in the United States, "nearly all of us, regardless of our background and skin color, carry trauma in our bodies around the myth of race...trauma can be the body's response to a long sequence of smaller wounds. It can be a response to anything that it experiences as too much, too soon, or too fast. Trauma can also be the body's response to anything unfamiliar or anything it doesn't understand, even if it isn't cognitively dangerous" (My Grandmother's Hands). For many of us who are mixed race, or for monoracial people of color who were transracially adopted or raised by white parents, that trauma happened early and it happened in our homes, often by our parents or close relatives. It was instilled and internalized in our bodies at a very young age--whether through a glance, a comment, or even the absence of language, love or attention. Worse still is that the majority of mental health workers are overwhelmingly white or monoracial. Without adequate space to process this trauma or have ourselves reflected back, many of us carry these wounds into our adulthood without being able to heal and repair.
Much of my training focuses on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and its effects. As a survivor of PTSD myself, I began researching methods and techniques that resonated with me; I was essentially trying to learn how to be the therapist that I needed. Along the way, I learned about the dynamics of PTSD and its offsprings (including complex PTSD) and how trauma takes root in the body. It is often because we did not have a secure attachment figure to help us navigate traumatic events or experiences that trauma takes its hold; in fact, many of our relationships tend to mirror back this dynamic (including anxious and avoidant attachment styles). As such, my practice focuses on building on the secure attachment of the therapeutic relationship to begin building or strengthening safety and connection as the foundation for healing.
The smallest nervous system is TWO. Bonnie Badenoch, one of the greatest translators of interpersonal neurobiology, writes that "all the ingredients for disconfirming/reparative experience are already present within [us] and yet, like so much in us, what is inherent needs relationship to come to being" (The Heart of Trauma). Despite western society inundating us with daily messages convincing us we are individuals or that the goal in life is to be completely independent, the truth remains that we are amazingly relational beings. We need each other to survive and thrive; it's what makes us wonderfully, and often, painfully, human. Using the principles and framework of IPNB, my practice focuses on connection and attunement and co-regulation as a foundation for building resilience and starting the healing journey.
"Most of our embedded traumas arise because of the absence of another to help us integrate the painful or frightening experience. When we couple that with our awareness that our systems are uniquely prepared to receive and co-regulate with others, the co-holding of the disconfirmation and repair lets us powerfully collaborate with our bra
"Most of our embedded traumas arise because of the absence of another to help us integrate the painful or frightening experience. When we couple that with our awareness that our systems are uniquely prepared to receive and co-regulate with others, the co-holding of the disconfirmation and repair lets us powerfully collaborate with our brains' inherent developmental and healing process."
- Bonnie Badenoch, from The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships
"The soul nerve is the unifying organ of the entire nervous system. Health and mental health professionals call it the vagus nerve or wandering nerve, but I call it the soul nerve--a much stickier and more descriptive term. The soul nerve is not a nerve in the way we typically think of one. It is a highly complex and extraordinarily sensi
"The soul nerve is the unifying organ of the entire nervous system. Health and mental health professionals call it the vagus nerve or wandering nerve, but I call it the soul nerve--a much stickier and more descriptive term. The soul nerve is not a nerve in the way we typically think of one. It is a highly complex and extraordinarily sensitive organ that communicates through vibes and sensations. This communication occurs not only between different parts of the body, but also from one person to another."
- Resmaa Menakem, from My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies
"Insidious trauma is the cumulative effects of racism, sexism, dislocation, and other types of oppression. It is the exclusion, marginality, and invisibility of women of color in mental health literature."
-Doman Lum, from Social Work Practice and People of Color: A Process Stage Approach [emphasis mine]
I am able to bill the following insurance companies under the direction of DeShawn Williams, LCSW, R.A.A.P. Counseling and Consulting
333 Northeast Russell Street, Portland, Oregon 97212, United States
By appointment only*
*During COVID-19 restrictions I am currently only providing teletherapy but am hoping to move towards in-person (with appropriate social distancing/masks) once Portland is approved for Phase II. See above number to call to make an appointment.
Bonnie Badenoch discusses co-regulation and the myths and limitations of self-regulation.
Sonya Renee Taylor, author of The Body is Not an Apology, discusses radical self-love and body empowerment as a tool for social justice.