Trauma Therapy in Chicago and Illinois

Are You Struggling In Your Personal Relationships? It Could Be Due To Unprocessed Trauma

black woman overlooking city lights from balconyDo you struggle to build fulfilling relationships? Are there painful events from your past that impact your ability to experience peace in the present? Did you know your relationship issues could be connected to trauma?

Or maybe you have difficulty being your true self around those closest to you. Perhaps you put on a mask each time you’re with someone, but it’s not on purpose, it’s practically automatic. These relationship issues could be a result of unprocessed trauma.

The good news is that you can learn to have fulfilling relationships by getting to know yourself, learning to communicate your needs, and being able to work through conflicts productively and healthily.

Trauma therapy can start you on the journey to creating healthier personal relationships and processing any lingering trauma.

Trauma Can Often Lead To Other Mental Health Issues

When you’re struggling with trauma, it’s normal to experience fatigue, low energy, and sleep troubles. And when you’re unusually tired, you may have difficulty focusing and getting things done.

Over time, your inability to get things done could lead to low self-esteem. Low self-esteem can lead to depression, and soon, you may find yourself having regular crying spells. The depression makes you start isolating from your loved ones. The anxiety, fear, hopelessness, and panic won’t subside.

To feel any relief, you may resort to old habits that you don’t want to keep doing. This could include food binges, self-harm, or alcohol and drug abuse.

Now, take a deep breath.

If you’re reading this page, you are aware that you need help. That’s a good thing. It’s the first step.


You can learn how to feel good about yourself through trauma therapy.

Trauma Isn’t Just An Individual Issue—It’s A Cultural One,Too

Other factors can cause developmental trauma besides childhood experiences.These causes can include racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, ableism, poverty, and other forms of systemic oppression. Parents who immigrate to give their children a better life are often escaping traumatic conditions and the effects of those traumas can affect their children. Being autistic or ADHD in a neurotypical world can also cause developmental trauma.

two men forehead to foreheadSome religions also play a role in trauma, as they intertwine with and reinforce systemic oppression in the name of morality, which gets passed down generationally. This issue significantly impacts those who identify as LGBTQIA, creating feelings of shame and unworthiness for people who don’t conform to sexuality, relationship, and/or gender norms.

Any trauma, whether inflicted by childhood experiences or systematic oppression, needs to be processed and healed. Those who suffer from trauma due to abuse or neglect experienced in relationships can only heal through the experience of a healthy and nurturing relationship where your emotions and needs matter.

However, this can sometimes be easier said than done because you’ve been harmed by others and learned to deal with things on your own.

Trauma therapy can help you stop associating getting help with guilt and shame. Reaching out for help should be celebrated and not frowned upon, since it is essential to depend on others in order to heal from trauma.

Trauma Therapy Can Make You Feel Seen And Understood

Here at Body Wisdom Counseling, I want you to be able to explore and understand yourself. As a trauma specialist, I work to create a safe space where you can communicate your deepest fears, concerns, hopes, and dreams safely and openly.

Throughout therapy, you will learn that patience and self-compassion are the only way through the muck, that it is possible to feel proud of yourself, and that you matter and are worthy of love.

I will teach you how to identify and tolerate feelings so that you can stop swallowing or numbing them.  You will get to the point where you will be comfortable identifying your needs in relationships and communicating those needs without guilt. Soon, you will master working through conflict without feeling overwhelmed.

I will provide you with all the necessary tools to master these skills.

What You Can Expect In Trauma Therapy Sessions

Together, we explore the current symptoms that you’re experiencing. You will learn to develop compassion and understanding for those symptoms while working toward managing and reducing them. We will examine how you think about yourself in relation to others, your work, and society in general.

Doing so will require us to dive into your family history, experiences growing up, and patterns in your relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners. The long-term goals of trauma counseling are to resolve past childhood and family issues, which should lead to less anxiety and depression, greater self-esteem, and better overall relationship skills.

These skills will include identifying and communicating feelings, learning to set boundaries, and prioritizing self-care.

Somatic Therapy As Trauma Treatment

The somatic tools and skills I use and teach can include:

  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: This approach addresses childhood trauma while incorporating the body. It uses “parts work,” which is the idea that we are all made of different parts. This way of thinking can help you manage your inner critic, connect with your inner child, and enable you to gain the love and acceptance that you didn’t get in childhood. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy provides the space to process negative childhood experiences, to receive the attention and care you didn’t get, and to learn how to become your own loving parent.
  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness involves grounding techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises, emotional-focused tapping, or focusing on objects in your environment to help you calm yourself and stay present when discussing trauma.
  • Learning About Your Nervous System: When triggered, you may find yourself outside your “window of tolerance.” This can make you stressed and unable to think critically. Through nervous system education, you will be able to identify signs that your body is going into fight/flight/freeze/fawn and learn tools to manage those states.

Through therapy, it is possible to have healthy relationships, feel good about yourself, and no longer feel controlled by your trauma symptoms.. Therapy is a place to experience the connection and empathy you never received. You can learn about your relationship patterns, improve your self-worth, and have a place where you can practice the skills to have better relationships.

You May Be Thinking About Trying Trauma Therapy, But You Still Have Some Concerns…

Will I be hospitalized if I tell you I have thought about suicide?

Many of my clients have had these kinds of thoughts. I view them as a coping strategy for intense pain and feelings that are overwhelming. Many, many people have thoughts of suicide. However, if you find yourself wanting to act on these thoughts, with plans, we do need to talk about hospitalization. However, that is a last resort option and one I always try to avoid if possible. In our work together, I want to help you devise other strategies to find relief and understand that having these thoughts is a normal response to trauma and overwhelm.

What if my childhood wasn’t that bad?

I have had plenty of clients come in saying their childhood was fine. However, through our work together, we might uncover that one of their caregivers was anxious or had their own trauma.

I have also had clients who didn’t know that witnessing fighting between their parents or having a mom or dad who abuses drugs or alcohol can have a significant impact. Having undiagnosed ADHD or autism can also cause developmental trauma symptoms. Trauma can sometimes come from places or things you don’t expect.

I’ve tried trauma therapy before, and I still have symptoms. How will this be any different?

Unfortunately, not all therapists are trained to treat trauma or were trained to get to the root causes of your symptoms. I incorporate the body by tracking movements you make and helping you learn to check in with your inner sensations because trauma gets stored in the body, and talk therapy alone cannot resolve that. Also, while I will help you build skills to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, the work I do with clients goes deeper than that. The child part of you yearns to be seen, understood, and allowed to grieve what was missing from childhood—my goal is to provide the acceptance, nurturance, and compassion your inner child never received.

Are You Ready To Start Having Healthier Relationships?

You can be happier, experience peace of mind, and enjoy fulfilling relationships through trauma therapy with Body Wisdom Counseling. I offer both in-person and online counseling. To get started, I invite you to contact me for a free 20 minute introduction call, which can be via video or telephone. You can set up an appointment or call (872) 256-0962.

Contact me today for your free consultation.


Cher Hamilton-Tekautz, LCSW

Psychotherapy For Individuals


5215 N Ravenswood Ave
Unit 213
Chicago, IL 60640

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Chicago is located on the unceded land of the Council of the Three Fires: The Odawa, Ojibwe & Potawatomi Nations. It was also a site of trade and healing for the Miami, Ho-Chunk, and Sauk.