Julia Schafer Therapy

Treatment Specialties

Julia Schafer, Therapist in Fort Collins
Specializing in Trauma, PTSD, OCD, & Anxiety

Welcome to my therapy practice! As a dedicated therapist in Fort Collins near CSU, I specialize in trauma, PTSD, OCD, and anxiety. With a personalized touch, I’m committed to providing each client with the support they deserve. Begin your healing journey with me and embrace the transformation that comes with compassionate care.

Trauma and PTSD therapy by a female therapist in Fort Collins near CSU

Trauma & PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is commonly associated with soldiers and terrorism survivors, but it affects anyone who goes through trauma. Traumatic events come in diverse forms: sudden loss of a loved one, abuse, accidents, domestic violence, natural disasters, and more. Experiencing trauma affects both direct and indirect witnesses. News and social media constantly expose us to distressing events, potentially causing trauma symptoms.

Trauma is subjective. Events unusual in one’s daily life trigger the amygdala in the brain, inducing a fight-or-flight response. The amygdala’s activation prompts emotional reactions, triggering physical responses like racing heart. The frontal lobe reassures safety but encodes memories as “flashbulb memories.”

Common symptoms of PTSD include:

  1. Flashbacks: Reliving trauma through intrusive memories and nightmares.
  2. Avoidance: Numbing emotions and avoiding reminders.
  3. Hypervigilance: Increased alertness, irritability, and sleep issues.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) takes on various forms, encompassing behaviors like hoarding and handwashing. It’s an anxiety disorder that entraps individuals in cycles of repetitive thoughts and actions, often severely hampering their daily lives. The initial stage involves obsessions—unwanted and recurring thoughts aimed at dispelling fears, commonly related to harm or contamination, such as concerns about contracting diseases or jeopardizing loved ones. Following these obsessions, compulsions emerge, manifested through repetitive behaviors like checking locks or washing hands. These actions intend to alleviate fear, yet the relief is fleeting, as intrusive thoughts persist. 

It’s essential to differentiate between physical and mental compulsions, as the latter—such as mental repetition or list-making—can remain hidden and unaddressed for longer. OCD themes vary, encompassing contamination fears, harm concerns, order and symmetry obsessions, body-related thoughts, and intrusive harmful thoughts towards loved ones. It’s important to distinguish genuine OCD from preferences; the latter only becomes a disorder when it substantially disrupts daily life, leading to situations like chronic lateness or avoiding specific scenarios due to compulsions.

OCD treatment offered by a women's therapist in Fort Collins
Anxiety treatment services by a girl therapist in Fort Collins

Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety encompasses both mental and physical facets of negative anticipation. Mentally, it entails heightened arousal and apprehension that transform into distressing worry. Physically, it triggers the activation of various bodily systems, all in preparation to respond to an uncertain threat, whether real or perceived.

This blend of cognitive anticipation and physical sensations, such as restlessness and a racing heart, is intentionally discomforting. Its purpose is to seize your attention and motivate you to undertake necessary changes to safeguard your interests. Occasional episodes of anxiety are normal and can even yield productivity. In a way, anxiety can be viewed as the cost humans bear for possessing the capacity to envision the future.