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Healing your inner child is a process

The moment you discover and realize how painful and harmful your childhood experiences were, it can be unsettling and disorienting. 

To survive as kids we had to tell ourselves things weren’t so bad. As adults, it can be confusing and scary to think about changing how we survive. It’s what we know.

Adults contact me for help understanding and healing childhood trauma, often after resonating with books or social media posts related to the topic. Many feel frustrated with the lack of progress they made in prior therapy, or with having had prior therapists who helped in some areas but lacked skills to address how childhood trauma impacts their present challenges. 

Over 25 years of extensive experience and training

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As a clinical social worker (LICSW), childhood-trauma therapist, and certified professional life coach, my professional training and experience inspire confidence that the healing work people do with me will improve their lives, and that my educational content is trustworthy. 


While earning a master of social work degree from Salem State University, I received intensive clinical training in trauma treatment. I spent a year interning at a Veterans Affairs Health Care outpatient PTSD clinic. I trained for a year in group therapy for childhood-trauma survivors with Amanda Curtin, LICSW, who created RRP. After completing the degree, I spent over two years in full-time training with Patrick Teahan, LICSW offering group and individual therapy using RRP. Currently I’m excited to be on a team conducting research on the effectiveness of RRP so that we can publish the robust evidence that it helps people.

I specialize in childhood-trauma healing using the Relationship Recovery Process (RRP). My effectiveness in this work draws from my experience as a fellow childhood-trauma survivor and from my compassionate voice and gentle presence, as well as from extensive professional training and experience, including 5 years as a clinician and more than 20 years as a counselor prior to that.

My empathetic approach helps clients feel safe, seen, and cared for, so that gradually, at their own pace, they can feel safe to tolerate difficult feelings and develop a way of validating, comforting, and healing their wounded inner child. 

My areas of expertise


Healing the varied wounds of childhood trauma

Trauma can register in the body in lots of ways, from feeling zoned out or disconnected from emotions, to having muscle tension, specific sensations, rapid heart rate, or discomfort in the throat or stomach. When clients have bodily experiences that seem connected to their trauma, I guide them in how to be present to those experiences in a way that feels assuring, using skills I developed when earning a certificate in integrative somatic trauma therapy from The Embody Lab.

Contrary to what many people assume, childhood experience does not have to involve either physical or sexual abuse to be traumatic. Childhood trauma results when a child experiences a serious deficiency in being consistently safe, seen, and loved, leading to becoming stuck in a range of beliefs, behaviors, or body states that helped them survive childhood but undermine their wellbeing in adulthood. While everyone’s childhood is unique, you may have experienced one or more of the unfortunately common situations described below. With people who experienced these and other overwhelming situations, I help them to feel validated and empowered, leading to relief and healing.

Physical and sexual abuse can cause severe physical and mental injury, whether the abuse was enacted or threatened, and whether the child witnessed it or experienced it firsthand. 

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Beyond physical and sexual abuse

beyond abuse

Even if no physical or sexual abuse occurs, a lack of safety, guidance, and emotional connection can leave children with serious harmful effects, like persistent feelings of being abandoned, anxious, unsafe, and not good-enough. 

When caregivers struggle chronically with addiction or mental illness, their attention and energy can be focused on themselves and their own needs at the expense of the child’s needs, and so can lead to a range of neglect or abuse. When that happens, the children are often forced to bear emotional and practical burdens that are too much for them, whether in caring for the caregiver, for themselves, or for siblings, rather than being given the safety and support they deserve to grow up gradually.

Holding Hands
Image by Ryan Moreno

LGBTQ+ support


When children of any age begin to feel different from the dominant gender stereotypes for behavior and identity, caregivers’ rigid beliefs about gender and sexual orientation can make them feel unsafe and ashamed of who they are. The social stigma and exclusion associated with queer identities, especially during adolescence, can be injurious in themselves; added to that, caregivers’ lack of support or rejection, whether felt generally or specifically around those issues, can be especially harmful. As a queer, cisgender man (he/him) active in the LGBTQ+ community, I am committed to, and experienced in, supporting childhood-trauma survivors who identify as LGBTQ+ to address the effects of such parenting in the healing process.


Healing from religious abuse 


Caregivers who have rigid or fundamentalist religious beliefs too often use them to legitimize maltreating their children, which can happen in many ways, from emotional disconnection and gaslighting, to stifling healthy expressions of anger, sexuality, gender, and creativity. Having witnessed the shattering effects of this kind of abuse in my personal and professional life, I’m passionately committed to helping survivors who have been abused in the name of religion find healing.

Religious Abuse

Unsure if you have childhood trauma? 

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