Spotlight: Trauma Therapist Dr. Adriane Kruer
By Landon Funk
Have you ever had chronic pain somewhere in your body and not known how you got it? Same. In fact, I had intense hip pain about five years ago, and, having never had hip issues before, I started practicing yoga to relieve that pain. It turns out that pain was attributed to my sexual assaults, and I learned that our hips store a lot of our emotions and previous traumas.
Enter Adriane Kruer, a clinical psychologist based in Los Angeles, California. She specializes in chronic pain that is linked to early childhood trauma, emotional abuse, and sexual assault. A lot of her client suffer from migraines, fibromyalgia, etc. Kruer theorizes that these chronic pains are really caused by microagressions and major traumas, and, to support her theory, there has been a proven connection between early childhood experiences and bodily pain.
Having spent most of her college years abroad, Kruer has a fierce passion for social justice and communication across language barriers. It was then that she realized that art is one of the few universal languages. After college, she got her Masters from New York University in Art Therapy. Art therapy and creativity are two of the cornerstones of her practice, and Kruer encourages her clients to dive deep into their own human experience to unleash stored memories.
In trauma focused treatment, a client will dive into their emotions, physical pain, and mental health. There is so much guilt and shame associated with trauma that one of Kruer's goals as a therapist is to normalize trauma. This in no way means that trauma should be a regular part of life, but it does raise awareness that everyone has gone through a trauma at some point in their life.
Trauma-focused treatment helps a person feel and understand what has happened to them through cognitive strategies, mind-body work, psycho-dynamic therapy, and prolonged exposure. Each therapist is different in how they use these strategies just as every client will respond differently to each one. Whatever trauma a client has gone through, Kruer and other trauma therapists are specialized to unpack these experiences in a gentle and kind way. There will never be shame or guilt coming from Kruer, and, hopefully this helps her clients feel more compassionate towards themselves and other people.
In the end, going to trauma-focused therapy is a form of self-care. Do not try to handle trauma on your own because part of what is so healing is the attachment relationship with your therapist, allowing you to feel safe and welcome. Talk to your therapist to see what you should do and what support you can receive therapeutically. If you are having doubts about going to see someone, do some research and learn the signs and symptoms of trauma (i.e. anxiety, nightmare body tremor, and avoidance). Try going to yoga or a massage or anything that makes you feel good in your own body. Most importantly, be gentle with yourself and take your healing process one day at a time.
Adriane attended Long Island University for her undergraduate education, received her Masters in Art Therapy from New York University, and received her PhD from the University of Cincinnati.
Her private practice is located on the east side of Los Angeles in Highland Park, and she works predominately with adolescents, young adults, and families, focusing on chronic pain and trauma.
If you would like to know more about Adriane, her practice, or trauma-based therapy, check out her contact information below: