Gentle, compassionate trauma therapy.

Trauma, whether it was a recent, one-time event or a lifetime of abuse, changes how you see the world. You may grieve for a feeling of safety you once knew, or may not remember ever feeling truly safe. You may feel incredible guilt that you couldn’t do more to protect yourself, or people you love, from harm.

Nearly always there is shame—a core belief that you are different, damaged, and defective. It may be our most powerful emotion. It keeps us isolated and is a barrier to hope. What I have found from years of helping people overcome trauma is that, once this barrier is removed, once you truly believe “I am not alone,” change feels possible.


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Making sense of trauma.

Nightmares, panic attacks and flashbacks are some of the most recognized symptoms of trauma because they can be crippling. But, often the effects of trauma are more subtle, and it can be difficult to see the connection between our current struggles and events in our past.

Trauma impacts our ability to trust—the world in general, other people, and ourselves. It can be difficult to feel a true sense of connection with others, and frequently, the impact of trauma on our closest relationships (children, partner, friends) is what we notice most. If you were abused by someone you were supposed to trust, it makes sense that close relationships of all kinds can feel scary.

You may have gotten to the point that you understand that you are safe now, or that you weren’t to blame for what happened to you. But, what we know and what we feel often just don’t match up. This can lead to confusion, isolation and and a belief that nobody understands you. It can also leave you questioning your own sanity.

 

Fireweed Therapy Services

 

ISSUES + CONCERNS I HELP WITH

 
 
  • Domestic Violence

  • Sexual Assault

  • Child Sexual Abuse 

  • Child Abuse and Neglect 

  • Bullying

  • Traumatic Grief

  • PTSD

  • Depression and Anxiety

  • Self-Harm

  • Witnessing Violence

  • Accidents and Natural Disasters

  • Divorce and Family Blending

 

therapeutic Treatment Methods

 
  • EMDR

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • Trauma-Focused CBT

  • Mindfulness

  • Somatic Strategies

  • Art Therapy

  • Self-Compassion

  • Individual, Family and Group Therapy

 
 

How EMDR Works


Eye Movement Desensitization + Reprocessing (EMDR)

It is widely believed that the REM (rapid eye movement) phase of sleep plays a big role in helping our bodies manage new information and disturbances without us even being aware of it. Traumatic experiences, however, can cause this natural coping mechanism to become overloaded.

The analogy of a filing cabinet can be helpful in understanding memory and EMDR—most of the time, we “file” experiences away, determining where they fit by making associations with past memories. They are then “stored” and we can access them when we choose. Traumatic events are similar to throwing papers quickly into the cabinet and shoving the drawer closed. They are temporarily hidden but may be difficult to access when we try and can fall out at any moment when the drawer is opened. EMDR is like re-organizing your files.

EMDR utilizes the natural healing ability of the body. Most often this is done with a process involving eye movements, similar to those that occur during REM sleep. But there are other approaches, involving techniques with the hands, as well as sounds. We can talk more about each technique, and what feels most comfortable to you.

EMDR is often described as a quicker way to work through trauma. However, like all effective therapy, EMDR depends on a trusting relationship with your therapist. Before getting to the “reprocessing” phase, we will spend as much time as needed building trust, developing coping strategies and identifying supportive resources in your life. In this sense, EMDR uses elements of many different therapeutic approaches. 

Learn More About EMDR

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Healing for kids and teens.

When your child has experienced trauma, it is natural to fear how it will affect their future. Often, trauma shows itself in the behaviors that test our patience as parents the most—tantrums, defiance, not listening or constantly spacing out, fear and avoidance of new situations, or problematic sexual behaviors. Chances are that you have noticed these behaviors increase during times of transition, such as the start and end of a school year, adding new members to your family, or entering a new developmental stage. I help children learn to identify and regulate their emotions, change unhelpful thoughts, and build trusting relationships.

Strategies for avoiding pain become more sophisticated and scary as teenagers get older, including self-harm, substance use, and unhealthy relationships. Teens often don’t want to admit their pain to anyone, especially professionals. I value an adolescent’s need to chart their own course, and also understand how desperately they want to be heard, valued and supported. I thoughtfully guide my teen clients as they set the pace, and in time, encourage them to include a family member or other caregiver in the healing process. When safety issues are present, I always consult with family and designated caregivers.

 
 

 
 

parent support and family therapy

Coping with your child’s sexual abuse can be overwhelming, especially if you were a victim of childhood sexual abuse yourself. Shock, guilt, fear, shame, anger, and sadness are all part of this process. It is likely that the abuser is someone you knew and trusted with your child, and that you are questioning your own judgement. Obtaining professional support for yourself will help you be the best support for your child. 

 
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A better life really is possible.

But I completely understand that seeking help is scary. Facing memories that evoke feelings of shame, fear, and confusion can be truly painful and exhausting. 

I don’t expect that you will tell me all the details of what happened when we first meet. I believe in first establishing trust and a sense of safety. The time that this takes depends on your individual needs. As trust in our relationship grows, we will work on you developing trust in yourself—recognizing and accepting feelings and learning to manage emotional responses to triggers.

We will identify when you are ready to address your trauma, and create a treatment plan that fits your personality and your life. Together, we will find what works for you.  

 
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Hi, I’m maile davelaar.

I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with extensive training and experience in working with survivors of abuse. I began my work in this field by volunteering and interning at domestic violence agencies. My interest in relationships and systems led me to pursue a Masters Degree in Family Therapy from Antioch University Seattle. I worked with children and their families for the first three years of my career, and have worked with child and adult survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and child abuse and neglect for the past five years.

 

Contact Fireweed Therapy

 

 

Make an Appointment

I see patients at a conveniently located office in Peshastin, just a few miles outside of Leavenworth, WA. Please contact me at 509-676-6009 to make an initial appointment. I can also be reached through email.

Fireweed Therapy has established billing relationships with a variety of insurance companies, and I would be happy to talk to you about your plan and billing options.

I look forward to meeting you!

 
 

© 2019 Fireweed Therapy PLLC