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Father and Daughter

Online Therapy for Childhood Trauma and Abuse in Massachusetts

Helping you process your childhood so you can live fully in the present.

Was your childhood chaotic, abusive or dysfunctional?

You are affected by the abuse, neglect and trauma you suffered.  Your survival skills might have kept you alive and functioning in your family of origin, but they can hinder and sabotage your relationships in the present.  While no family is perfect, families where substance use, perfectionism, narcissism, abuse, lack of boundaries, and lack of love are present are considered dysfunctional families.  If you feel you did not receive adequate support and encouragement your family was dysfunctional.  If you feel like your parents did not have the ability to love you unconditionally you came from a dysfunctional family.

For the record, this is not parent blaming (which can keep you stuck). 

And again please don't misunderstand me - at the same time that blaming can keep you stuck - holding your parents accountable (especially for abuse and neglect) can set you free.  Healing wounds from your childhood is essential for you to break free and live the life you want.

Online therapy can provide you a space to grieve, to reclaim your courage and discover the person you were meant to be, free of conflict and guilt. Online counseling can help you gain insight into your feelings, behaviors and struggles.  It can help you understand how your childhood affects you today. 

I'm passionate about helping people embrace their true selves.  In therapy we will work together to help you explore and process your childhood experiences so you can be okay with just being you.  You are not broken - with time in counseling you can learn to set boundaries, identify and embrace what healthy relationships look like and deepen your understanding and acceptance of your grown self.  

Together we'll get you unstuck.

What might it feel like to believe in yourself and trust your thoughts and decisions? 

What is a dysfunctional family?

  • Conflict and tension: There is often conflict and tension between family members. This may be due to disagreements, arguments, or violence.

  • Lack of communication: Family members may not communicate effectively with each other. This can lead to misunderstandings, resentment, and anger.

  • Chaos:  In dysfunctional families there is little rhythm or structure.  It leaves members feeling offset and off-balance.  It can lead to feeling unsafe and untethered as an adult.

  • Neglect: Family members may not provide their children with the emotional or physical care they need. This can lead to feelings of abandonment, insecurity, and low self-esteem.

  • Abuse: Family members may abuse each other physically, emotionally, or sexually. This can have a devastating impact on the victim's physical and emotional health.

  • Mental illness: One or more family members may have a mental illness. This can make it difficult for the family to function as a unit and can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression.

  • Addiction: One or more family members may be addicted to drugs or alcohol. This can lead to financial problems, health problems, and relationship problems.

It's time to treat yourself better then you were treated as an child. Give yourself the gift of self-understanding.

Coming from a dysfunctional family you might struggle with:

As an adult child from a dysfunctional family you are unique.  Not everyone is affected the same way by the chaos and abuse they suffered. 

Here are so issues you might struggle with:

  • Low self-esteem: Adults from dysfunctional families often learn to believe that they are not worthy of love or respect. This can lead to low self-esteem and difficulty forming healthy relationships in adulthood.

  • Feelings of guilt and shame: Adults from dysfunctional families often feel responsible for the problems in their family. This can lead to feelings of guilt and shame which therapy can help with.

  • Fear of abandonment: Adults from dysfunctional families often learn to fear abandonment. This can lead to difficulty trusting others and forming close relationships.  

  • Substances: Adults from dysfunctional families who haven't taken the time to process their feelings and memories might use substances to cope with the pain and trauma.  Even numbing out by binging Netflix can keep you from living the life you want.

  • Depression and anxiety: Adults from dysfunctional families are more likely to experience depression and anxiety. The coping skills you used to survive your childhood leave you feeling worn out and disconnected.

  • Relationship problems: Adults from dysfunctional families are more likely to have problems in their own relationships as adults. You may have learned unhealthy patterns of communication and conflict resolution from their parents.  The work you do in individual therapy benefits all your relationships.  

As an online counselor that works in Massachusetts we can work together to help you unravel how your family of origin's functioning affects you now.  Please reach out if you have any questions or would like to book a session.

Friends Taking Selfie
Happy mother and child after having therapy with Kimberly Schildbach Therapy for adverse childhood experiences.

What Are Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs?

An ACE score is a tally of the abuse, neglect and family dysfunction you survived as a child.  A higher ACE score has been linked to struggles with physical and emotional health as an adult.  

You will have a higher ACE score if you've experienced:

  • abuse (physical, emotional, sexual) and neglect in your family of origin 

  • witnessed violence in your community

  • had a family member with a mental illness or a substance use problem  

  • if your parent(s) could not provide safety, stability and emotional support

  • if your parents were divorced or separated 

How Can I Improve My ACE score?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to overcome adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) will vary depending on the individual and their specific experiences. However, there are some general tips that may be helpful.

  • Acknowledge your experiences. The first step to overcoming ACEs is to acknowledge that they happened. This can be difficult, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. Many people have experienced ACEs, and there is help available.

  • Talk to someone you trust. Talking to someone you trust about your experiences can be a helpful way to start processing them. This could be a friend, family member, therapist, or other trusted adult.

  • Seek professional help. If you are struggling to cope with your ACEs, it may be helpful to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor. We can provide you with support and guidance as you work to heal from your experiences.

  • Take care of yourself. It is important to take care of yourself physically and emotionally as you work to overcome ACEs. This includes eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. It is also important to find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature.

  • Be patient with yourself. Healing from ACEs takes time. There will be setbacks along the way, but it is important to be patient with yourself and to keep moving forward.

Specializing in....

Couple in Love

Couples Counseling

Online in all of Massachusetts

We are wired for connection and attachment but things can get in our way. Therapy can help you move from defensiveness and distrust too openness and emotional attunement. 

Happy Friends Laughing_edited.jpg

Individual Trauma Focused Therapy

Online in all of Massachusetts

Anxiety, depression, trauma. 

I use an Emotionally Focused Therapy lens to help you gain a secure and confident sense of self again.  

Also Individual Therapy Intensives for accelerated healing.

Loving Couple

Couples Therapy Intensives

Online in all of Massachusetts

Intensives allow you to jump start the therapy process.  Choose a morning or afternoon 3 hour afternoon intensive.  Intensives can be a one-off or a limited series.  Couples say that their intensive turned their relationship around and started them on the road to healing. 

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