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About Coach Deborah Brown

My journey to becoming a life coach who's focused on healing the effects of trauma grew indirectly out of my attempts to understand my own long-term depression and anger – and why I found them so hard to overcome. From adolescence on, I felt plagued by a sense of unworthiness. My endless attempts to fix myself over many decades – through therapy, self-help, and sheer determination – were always marked by overwhelming shame. I now recognize how helpful it would have been to have a trauma-trained guide in my healing journey, but little was known about the subject when I was a teen and young adult, so I just hid my misery as best I could and got on with things.

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Deep into middle age, I discovered inadvertently that my symptoms perfectly fit the profile of someone with "developmental trauma." This type of trauma is also known as Complex PTSD (CPTSD) or chronic trauma, and it was surprising to learn that it results from rather ordinary and very common childhood experiences, and not just from horrific abuse. For me, this discovery felt like a missing puzzle piece falling into place.

While I often described my family of origin as "dysfunctional," I didn't think it was particularly extreme and I would never have identified as someone who was "traumatized." Nevertheless, my childhood home was marked by anger, turmoil, and emotional neglect. I came out of it certain there was something wrong with me and wondered if everyone struggled the way I did. Discovering that I was not broken and not alone, and that I was experiencing something that had a name turned a bright light on in my life and I have been an avid student of this type of trauma ever since.

In 2015, after a lengthy career in the design field, I returned to school to pursue my passion for psychology and subsequently worked as a Crisis Counselor for more than five years. In 2017, I pursued a certification as a Youth Wellbeing Coach through the Youth Coaching Institute, and my coaching practice was initially focused on young adults and older teens.

It became apparent to me through my work in crisis how widespread childhood trauma is among people who suffer with mental health challenges, and that conventional treatments were often insufficient  This epiphany inspired me to pursue additional training through the IAOTRC and I am now certified as a Trauma Recovery Coach. I am motivated by a desire to help people understand and begin to heal their suffering much earlier than I was able to.

I live in Portland, Oregon and outside of my coaching practice, I love to garden, read, make art, and explore nature.

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