I know this comment might make you cringe, roll your eyes, or abruptly end conversations. While working through trauma therapy, you'll never hear me say those words. One thing you will hear me say a lot is "life doesn’t come with a blueprint." I say this phrase a lot because it’s so true. We each experience life, and in doing so, we do the very best that we can until our best stops being good enough. Truth is, it doesn’t feel good when bad things happen. And, it feels even worse to not know how to make yourself feel better. After all, you’ve been superwoman all of your life, right?
Photo by @khaparazzi on nappy.co
Illustration by Troy Howard for exclusive use at R.I.S.E MD LLC
Therapy for Homicide Survivors Can Help
As a homicide survivor, experiencing the murder of a loved one is life-changing. One day, life is perfect. The next, everything comes crashing down. I am so sorry that this happened to your loved one. I am also sorry about how this has changed your family, your life, your spiritual beliefs, and your ability to connect with others. Working through therapy for homicide survivors can help you honor your loved one as a beloved ancestor.
Common Questions and Concerns I Hear from Homicide Survivors
I should know how to help myself
You’ve been helping yourself and everyone else for all your life. But, you never could’ve predicted that you would become a survivor of homicide. So, there’s no way you’d even know how to begin helping yourself. The truth is, I know you can help yourself, and you can know you can help yourself. In fact, your capability is not a problem. Losing a loved one to homicide brings pain that you could never have prepared yourself for. If you’re ready to begin healing, therapy for survivors of homicide can help.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why was my loved one taken away?
There is no easy answer to this, and honestly, life can suck at times. You know, the only predictable thing about life is that it is unpredictable. I can’t tell you why you became a survivor of homicide, or why our loved one was killed. But, I can tell you that you deserve the opportunity to discover how you want to honor them with your life. Working with a trauma therapist at R.I.S.E. can help find your way to honor them.
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash
I am a member of the LGBTQIA+ community…
Is this a safe space to process the murder of a person due to discrimination regarding their sexual orientation or gender identification?
YES!!!!!!! I am (literally) screaming this. I am so sorry your loved one was murdered. Their life matters, period. As a queer woman myself, I understand the weight of LGBTQIA+ identities. Fellow members of the LGBTQIA+ community have been a target of hate in this world for many years. And, they have unjustly lost their lives. This is not okay with me. I believe understanding and unpacking the murder of LGBTQIA+ folks deserves a special space for healing. As a member of the community, I want you to know that I am a safe space. I am here to walk alongside you as you heal.
What should I know about therapy for homicide survivors before starting?
While you are working hard to re-define yourself and your life, you probably won’t get results overnight. During this time of mourning and healing, life will still go on. Most likely, you will still have to field insensitive comments from others and well as navigate the legal system. When you’re feeling at your lowest, everyday tasks and the bigger things, like attending court, can seem impossible. And that makes sense given all that you’ve been through.
The main thing you should know before starting therapy is that trauma therapy isn’t about fixing you. There is truly nothing wrong with you. Therapy is all about allowing space for integrative techniques to foster healing. When you approach therapy with an open mind, we can explore all the possible paths for healing. You should know that healing takes time, but is possible.
What does trauma therapy look like with you?
Not only am I a trauma therapist, but I’m also a real person. So no, I don’t just talk my head and nod during therapy. Instead, I wholeheartedly listen. I provide a safe space for homicide survivors to process their feelings, even the ones that seem too bad to say out loud. Not only will we talk about all the feelings, but we’ll discuss ways to deal with harmful thoughts and behaviors that may be happening.
I am also a very spiritual person. In addition to processing thoughts and feelings, together, we will journey into fostering a spiritual connection with your loved one. We will discuss ways to honor your loved one as well as ways to maintain a spiritual connection after someone transitions.
I will teach you creative and holistic techniques to help you lean in, manage distress, and allow you to move forward. During therapy, feelings that you expect, such as sadness, loneliness, and exhaustion may come up. Likewise, some surprising feelings may arise, like relief, anger, or an overall sense of confusion. During therapy with me, you’ll learn to express and feel safe with the broad range of emotions involved in the healing process.
Why should I choose you for therapy?
I am not the therapist for everyone. But, those who like working with me appreciate that I don’t throw diagnostic labels on their mourning process. I have also been told by clients that they value the pace I take with therapy. See, I won’t make you tell me all of the intimate things that you hold close to your heart. Instead, I will pace our work together using a holistic approach, not the typical medical approach of Western medicine that many of us are used to. We will start therapy exactly where you want to. And, we’ll incorporate a practice of honoring your loved one along our journey. Lastly, if you choose, we will develop ways for you to foster a spiritual connection with your loved one.
Illustration by Troy Howard for exclusive use at R.I.S.E MD LLC
Begin Therapy for Homicide Survivors in Baltimore, MD
I’ve helped countless women find purpose again at my Pikesville-based therapy practice. So, it would be my honor to help you as you navigate through this time and find purpose, too. If therapy with me sounds like a good fit, follow the steps below to get started:
Curious about beginning trauma therapy as a homicide survivor but not ready to start? Read our blog posts related to trauma therapy and being a homicide survivor.
- It's time to stop missing the mark: Homicide is not "their"; problem its OUR problem
- The Shadow Side: The parts of homicide that no one talks about
Other Services at Revitalizing Inner Self Essence
At my Baltimore-area counseling center, I work with women who are survivors. My clients have experienced heartbreak in the form of losing a loved one to homicide as well as other traumatic experiences. In addition, I work with women in therapy for domestic violence survivors. It is a great honor for me to work with women in this space. And, as a Black queer therapist in Baltimore, I understand the many identities that each individual brings to the table. Your unique needs and identities will be seen and understood when you work with me for trauma therapy or EMDR therapy. And, we'll work on implementing Mind-Body Medicine practices, too. To learn more about me and my approach to therapy, please read my blog posts.