Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) is an under diagnosed and under-managed connective tissue disorder -- a complicated, complex illness that is multi-systemic. It affects almost every body system often in connected yet unexpected ways, with symptoms that can change every year, every day, every hour, come on suddenly
and then vanish, or remain chronic for years.
–Diana Jovin, Disjointed
Living with such a medical condition poses unique challenges and a number of distress factors. Even though many of these stem from a physical source, they may lead to psychological symptoms. Psychotherapy can be part of a multi-pronged treatment approach that takes into account both physiological and psychological aspects of EDS/HSD. It can include providing compassion and support while navigating overwhelming challenges, facilitating an understanding of the interaction between physical and emotional processes, coordinating care with other healthcare providers, and processing associated traumas.
As a person living with hEDS, Averie is committed to awareness and advocacy. With 16 years of experience treating trauma and anxiety, as well as a special interest in supporting people living with chronic pain and illness, she often works with medical trauma and health related anxiety.
While not all pain is trauma-related, chronic pain can be traumatic in itself. More than a physical experience, pain has existential consequences. It changes the sufferer’s relationship with their body and the world and may involve loss of abilities, identities, pleasures, and relationships. The sufferer of non-traumatic physical pain, despite not having suffered a trauma as defined by the DSM, may experience clinical levels of PTSD symptoms.
Research shows that EMDR can help ease chronic pain symptoms, create clarity around physical sensations of embodied trauma, reframe negative beliefs, improve energy and mood, and help to create a different relationship with pain so that it does not define the person experiencing it. Treating pain with EMDR begins with assessing whether the primary presenting problem is pain, trauma, or the effects of pain/stress and then, applying either the pain or trauma protocol. Learn more about the brain-body treatment options offered in this practice.
Awareness and Advocacy