Betsy Wright Loving, MSW, LICSW, Psychotherapist,
Arlington / Burlington, Washington 425-501-8894
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My personal story about trauma and painful moods..

I didn't know why, but for as long as I could remember, I had felt vulnerable and anxious...

For reasons I couldn't fathom, I "expected" something frightful to happen to me, or that I would make a disastrous mistake with terrible consequences.  Even though I was a high achiever, I felt I was never "enough," that I didn't fit in.  I didn't feel safe.

Throughout adolescence and early adulthood my ever-vivid imagination dished up colorful worst case scenarios – traumatic "what if" images that came from and fed my chronic unease.  Scaring myself this way was a vicious cycle that I assumed was common.  During this period, I actually presumed that everyone wakened to worry and doubt about the coming day, ambivalent about getting out of bed.  I coped by not dwelling on my moods and fears, and by working really hard.

By the time I was well into my professional education, I'd discovered that not only did everyone not feel this way but that I didn't have to either. 

In exploring the darker corners of my Self, I experienced numerous Ahas about why my moods were so troublesome.  I learned how a very traumatic loss I'd experienced in my early life had primed me for anxiety, worry, and depression.  While I had always remembered the event, I'd never connected it to the difficulties I had been having.

Once I was working as a clinical social worker I continued to educate myself – about depression and anxiety, about trauma – and I worked on my own issues with a good therapist.  I experimented with a variety of interventions to explore memories and manage my moods.  I learned to recognize sensations in my body that were linked to automatic, negative thoughts, beliefs, and past experiences.  I became intimately familiar with my own quirky patterns and I learned what worked for me.  It was work, but it was empowering to figure out how to feel better.

Also along the way I discovered yoga, mindfulness meditation, and breath work, which have been heavily researched and found to be beneficial for anxiety and depression, as well as stress in general, and even traumatic stress and more.

Anyone who wants to learn to manage moods and memories, to finally leave a traumatic experience in the past where it belongs, can learn these skills.

I don't want to imply that this process of self-discovery and figuring out what worked for me was a simple one-two-punch sort of thing.  It most definitely was not.  It was a gradual building of a warm, inquisitive relationship with myself, one that still deepens over time as I've become increasingly familiar and accepting of all of my Self.  Of course, I can still have a dark mood or a difficult day.  The difference is that now I know what to do for myself.

Going toward feelings and fears instead of pulling away...

I understand how hard and even embarrassing it can be to "go fear-ward" and tell someone about your deepest anxieties or irrational thoughts.  I know from personal experience how hard it is to cope with the moods and sensations that are part of traumatic experience. 

I am a "fellow traveler" on the road. 

I haven't experienced everything people bring to me, obviously, but what I have lived is enough.  And like the Skin Horse in The Velveteen Rabbit, frayed and worn by his full life in the real world, it makes me real.


My Professional Background

Betsy Wright Loving  
Photo: M. Loving  

I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) with a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver. I am also a Licensed Massage Practitioner (LMP).

Since I began my professional career, my experience has included work in community mental health (family therapy), acute health care settings (Oncology Unit family work, elder health, case management), and chronic outpatient health care settings (chronic life support, adjustment and rehabilitation after spinal cord injury, closed head injury rehabilitation, long-term relationships with clients, family work). As a body worker, my experience was focused on Somatic Mindfulness and Therapeutic movement, which involves accessing and releasing physical and emotional holding patterns in the body.

The Marriage of Mind and Body:  The Bodymind

Through a blending of my backgrounds in clinical social work and therapeutic movement, my work addresses the relationship between our life experiences, our habitual ways of thinking and feeling, and the ways in which emotion andn experience live in and can be reached through the body. I focus my continuing clinical development on therapeutic approaches which are directly relevent to this unified relationship between mind and body.

Laughter as Good Medicine

It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.
—Wendell Berry

In 2005 I was credentialed by the World Laughter Tour as a Certified Laughter Leader, trained to lead large groups in therapeutic breath work and “laughter yoga” for well-being.  I am available to present to groups and organizations on a variety of subjects, including the benefits of laughter and fun – or to facilitate a lively “Laughter Club” experience for the group. It’s gratifying and lots of fun for participants – and for me – to combine wellness education with free-wheeling silliness. Give me a call if you’d like to chat about scheduling an event.

If you'd like more information about Appointments and Scheduling, click on

Appointment Information.

Otherwise, you can give me a call at 425-501-8894.

World Laughter Tour
Betsy Wright Loving, MSW, LICSW, LMP Therapist Arlington Heights Therapist
Betsy Wright Loving, MSW, LICSW, Psychotherapist, Arlington / Burlington, Washington 425-501-8894

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