Sometimes talk therapy just requires too much talking.

Trauma wounds are sometimes invisible to others.

Healing requires discomfort, but NOT healing is far more uncomfortable over time.

“Working with trauma is as much about remembering how we survived as it is about what is broken.” -Bessel van der Kolk

There is value in walking the journey together, even a hard one.

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Free & Low Cost Services

available to anyone from the community

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983 Mar Don Drive
Winston-Salem, NC 27104

Call 336-923-7426

"Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence." Peter Levine

Healing can only begin when silence is broken. Invisible wounds don’t always heal with time, and the pain from the experiences that created those wounds affects thoughts, feelings and actions in so many ways.

Those who have experienced trauma often experience excessive anger, shutting down, hurting one’s self, or numbing out with alcohol, drugs, sex, spending, or exercise. When triggered, a person who has experienced trauma may react as if the past is happening all over again, leading to fight, flight or freeze responses.

These responses affect one’s sense of self, can lead to substance use disorders or obsessive compulsive patterns, complicate relationships, and inhibit thriving in many aspects of life.

 

What causes trauma or post-traumatic stress?

  • Abandonment
  • Accidents (i.e., car wrecks, motorcycle accidents, workplace accidents)
  • Military experiences
  • Neglect
  • Illness
  • Experiences of rejection
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Medical procedure experiences
  • Molestation
  • Rape
  • Witness to violence
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Bullying
  • Assault
  • Death of a family member or friend
  • Sexual trauma
  • Adult sexual abuse/assault
  • Robbery
  • Suicide
  • Natural disasters

At Full Life, we know that there are many ways to help. Some are more time-consuming and more expensive than others.

Some healing comes through talk, but sometimes it’s just too _____ to put into words. 

Some healing comes through our experiences interacting with horses and other animals. 

Some healing comes through special therapies that use eye movement, eye position, or bilateral stimulation while briefly focusing on traumatic memories. 

Some healing comes by becoming more aware of sensations experienced in one’s physical body.

Some healing comes through play, art, dance, and drama. 

Some healing occurs while walking in nature or other sensory experiences.

Recovery, whether it is from addiction, trauma, a psychiatric condition, loss, or major life transition, is achieved by weaving together different experiences, in different contexts, with different people. One at a time, each one helps a little. But together, all the elements can come together to create a full life worth living.

Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy
  • Britta Starke, LCSW, LCAS worked with individuals and families to achieve healing and insight through magical work with horses. Interacting with these highly intuitive animals creates therapeutic experiences that do not require much (if any) dialogue or explanation. This work is appropriate for those with addiction, trauma, family dysfunction, abandonment and attachment issues, and for those seeking a better understanding of themselves and their hidden motivations. Full Life bills clients for Britta’s professional time (which may be covered by insurance), and the equine facility charges an additional per-session, program fee. Please consult with the equine facility owner for more information about program fees. All participants must complete specialized informed consent documents prior to participating.  
  • Britta’s primary approach to equine-assisted psychotherapy is Natural Lifemanship. The model builds on our natural desire to have connections with others but our need to know that we can feel safe in making those connections. To learn more, check out this article by Sarah Willeman on The Power of Connection
  • Full Life partners with Jenny Gore and Southern Cs Farm in Summerfield, NC for equine-assisted psychotherapy for individuals, families and corporate teams. Although the farm celebrates love and connection as a wedding venue as well as healing and connection, the equine-assisted psychotherapy facilities are far removed from the wedding venue facilities to ensure confidentiality and safety. To learn more, check out the Southern C’s website
EMDR
  • Clinical psychologist, Dr. Francine Shapiro, discovered in 1987 ~ incidentally and in an entirely personal circumstance ~ that eye movements offered relief to her own negative emotions related to distressing memories. She began to investigate future, developed protocols, trained clinicians, and collaborated with the Veterans Administration, universities and other organizations to conduct research. Since then, hundreds of studies have confirmed the powerful efficacy of EMDR to relieve symptoms, improve self-concept, and heal trauma. 
  • From our founding in 2009, Full Life has offered EMDR to help relieve symptoms of PTSD, reduce cravings for those with addiction, reframe negative self-talk, bolster self-confidence, and strengthen performance with our clients. 
  • EMDR clinicians are required to be licensed in their discipline (i.e., counseling, psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy) and complete extensive training. The follow the protocols of their training in order to achieve the desired training, but some of our clinicians implement EMDR in different ways. Some elect to incorporate EMDR into sessions with established clients when there is an explicit opportunity to help address a specific set of memories or thoughts. Another approach is to provide EMDR as a complete service to complement talk therapy that may continue with an assigned counselor. In that case, a primary counselor will refer a client specifically for a series of 5 or more sessions to focus on a specific trauma or to accomplish a specific goal. 
  • Clinicians at Full Life who are trained in and offering EMDR include:  Britta Starke, Marlena Del Hierro, and Amanda Beck. 
Brainspotting
  • Brainspotting is a form of therapy that associates a specific “brain spot” or eye position with a particular emotional reaction to a specific occurrence or event. You and your therapist work together to identify the place in your field of vision that evokes a reflexive reaction.
  • By gaining access to the part of the brain where the trauma “lives,” you will be better able to access the memories which can allow you to process them and recover from them.
  • Brainspotting is non-invasive, doesn’t hurt, and can be facilitated via telehealth.
  • The 5 Steps to brainspotting include:
    • Identifying and navigating brain areas
    • Concentrating on a certain brain region
    • Managing the trauma
    • Releasing the suffering
    • Healing
  • Full Life clinicians who utilize brainspotting must be licensed and complete extensive training. They include Jimmy Tunstall, Angel Joel and Lauren Byrd.
Somatic Experiencing
  • Somatic experiencing is a trauma-specific therapy that honors the ways that memories of unfortunate or traumatic experiences can be stored in the body and therefore need to be released from the body in order for the individual to truly heal and move on. When children (especially pre-verbal children) experience trauma, they may not have developed language at all or may not have known the words to use to describe their traumatic experiences to a trusted adult. The emotions associated with the trauma may linger for a lifetime and may often be manifested by physiological pain, discomfort or illness. 
  • Somatic experiencing practitioners follow the SIBAM protocol (Sensation, Imagery, Behavior, Affect, and Meaning) to help clients explore the ways in which they somatically or physiologically experience the memories associated with their trauma.
  • Full Life clinicians who utilize somatic experiencing techniques with their clients must be licensed and receive extensive training. Currently, Britta Starke is our only clinician trained in somatic experiencing. 
Other resources we appreciate but for which we must refer out, including....

Meet Our Trauma Recovery Services Team

Jimmy Tunstall, MA, LCMHC-A, CADC

I feel passionate about helping you create the life you want. As a person in long-term recovery from addiction, my focus is helping you identify and resolve the blocks that may stand between you and your goals. I understand the challenges you face when coming to terms with your addiction and I am dedicated to helping people like you find a better way to live.
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Angel Joel, MA, LCMHC-A, LCAS-A, NCC

We each have our stories that inform who we have become, who we are, and who we aim to be. As I accompany you on your journey of self-discovery, I use a narrative, mindfulness, and strengths-based approach. I am also trauma-informed. You are the author of your story and I help you write it.
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Amanda J. Beck, MA, LCMHC, NCC

Finding a counselor you love is like finding a great pair of jeans. Fit matters. Or if you’re a high achiever, maybe it’s like finding business clothes that feel like your own skin or like your favorite pair of jeans instead of a costume. It matters to me that we are a good fit for working together in therapy, because I know that personal exploration, growth and healing can only happen in safe spaces with safe people.
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Marlena L. Del Hierro, MDiv, MA, LCMHC

I am a staff counselor here at Full Life Counseling & Recovery who focuses on forward movement and wellbeing. I take a neuroscientific approach to counseling which means I use a set of therapeutic practices and evidence-based techniques that help you rewire your brain so that you can feel more free, confident, and peaceful.
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Britta Starke, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CCS

Welcome to Full Life Counseling and to a journey for which I hope you find worth taking. My name is Britta Starke. I have had the pleasure of being in the behavioral health field for 25 years. I have worked with people of all ages from 6 – 80 years young. I have spent the last 13 years working with folks ages 14 and up.
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Jenny Gore, Equine Specialist

Jenny Gore is a Certified Equine Facilitated Learning Coach and the owner/manager of Southern C’s Farm in Summerfield, NC. With her horses as active partners in outdoor activities, she is devoted to guiding clients through integrated awareness for empowerment, leadership, transformation, and healing. Her education and experience combined with intuition and nurturing presence create a deeply supportive space for her clients.

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Lauren Byrd, MA, LCMHC-A

My goal as a counselor is to offer support, unconditional positive regard, and genuineness. I believe we all have the answers we need within ourselves, and I hope that through our work together, you can find your answers. For me, counseling is about empowerment and helping my clients find their inner power.
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The journey begins with you taking the first step, then a Full Life counselor walks with you – sometimes leading, sometimes following, sometimes beside you – but confidently with you on the journey.

"Smile, breathe, and go slowly."

Thich Nhat Hanh

About Our Practice

In addition to substance use and recovery-related services, Full Life offers counseling for issues as diverse as anxiety, depression, sexuality, spirituality, grief, life transitions, and marital and couples challenges. Clinicians use a variety of techniques to address these, including, but not limited to EMDR, brainspotting, equine-assisted psychotherapy, somatic experiencing, ExRP,  Internal Family Systems, and DBT. Other staff additions have allowed us to broaden our scope to provide care for those seeking a deeper spiritual life, healing and connections in the area of sexuality in recovery, chronic pain and trauma work.

Fees & Insurance

Clinical staff bill according to their credentials and experience using a tier system. Please review the Fee Schedule and/or Staff pages for more information. Some counselors’ services may be eligible for insurance reimbursement, while others’ services are not reimbursable. This information is also posted in the Full Life lobby.

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