Cristina Smugala, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor
St. Louis MO
I utilize an integrative approach in my work as a trauma therapist as a means to restore a sense of calm and centered connection within the brain and body. You already have a wellspring of wisdom within you; one of my main goals is to help you reconnect with it. I believe that with support, and guided practices, we can land deeper in the safety of an embodied and regulated Self.
I believe that everyone has an innate capacity to heal from trauma, and that therapy should aim to support this natural healing process. I utilize an integrated trauma treatment approach that involves combining various therapeutic methods to create a personalized and holistic treatment plan. This method recognizes that trauma affects individuals differently and that a single treatment modality may not be sufficient. I view trauma as an injury to the body and mind, rather than a mental illness. This perspective shifts the focus to healing the injury through integrative methods that engage both the body and mind. Your Responses Are Natural Not Pathological The first step is recognizing that you are not broken, you are not alone, and that your responses are natural. Trauma symptoms can be understood as survival mechanisms because they are often the body’s and mind’s way of coping with and responding to extreme stress or danger. These reactions can be seen as the body’s way of staying alert and protecting you from potential threats. Hypervigilance helps in detecting danger quickly, a crucial survival trait in threatening situations. Feeling detached from reality, or having difficulty experiencing emotions, or feeling numb can make it possible to endure situations that would otherwise be unbearable. Intense emotional responses can be the body’s way of processing and reacting to trauma, which often involves strong emotions. The difficulty in regulating these emotions may stem from the need to quickly respond to danger. I believe that underneath all of the heartache and fear that you’ve endured, there is a wise and centered you, one that emanates calm and wisdom. Your purest form of Self already exists. All of this time it has remained intact, but it has been buried by your experiences and all the many ways you’ve had to protect yourself.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy Groups