Natalie M. Mills, LMFT

Natalie M. Mills View Specialties

The average lifespan of an emotion is 90 seconds. From the time the brain thinks a thought, triggers the emotion, and
it works its way through the nervous system, 90 seconds have come and gone.
This hardly ever means we feel an unpleasant feeling for 90 seconds, though.
Why? Because we continue to feed it thoughts. We start thinking about
something stressful, and then we feel bad. Then we think more stressful
thoughts. Then we feel worse. Before we know it, hours, even days have passed,
and we're still feeling the same uncomfortable emotion (and if you're here,
chances are you probably know it doesn't stop there). This impacts our
behavior, our ability to be fully present in our relationships, our jobs, and
what we believe is possible for ourselves.
Those of us dealing with sexual trauma like sexual bullying, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment
experience symptoms that prevent us from taking advantage of the 90-second
rule. Our triggers and symptoms transcend time leaving parts of us stuck in the past.
When we're trapped in this cycle, it's easy to feel hopeless. The pathway out of this cycle isn't
obvious to us. In fact, it might not be obvious to us that there's a path out
at all; sometimes it's altogether invisible, and this can produce even deeper
feelings of frustration, hopelessness, despair. We feel frozen in stress and
dissatisfaction. This experience manifests in myriad ways- negative
self-talk, anxiety, sadness, irritability, chronic arguing in a primary
relationship, interpersonal conflict, job dissatisfaction, body
dissatisfaction, and a general sense of restlessness.

Sometimes we've been stuck in this
pattern for so long that we feel resentful toward others for not somehow
"making it better" for us. We feel hopeless, insecure, and lonely. We don't
know how to get what we want so we fight, withdraw, look outside of our primary
relationship to meet our needs, or sabotage ourselves. We can't trust anyone.
We experience increased tension in our bodies. Fear and instability turn into
terror. We feel mired in inexorable pain and stress.
This turmoil is not permanent and can
be used to fortify you. It's an opportunity to learn about what isn't working
and find what will. 

I provide my clients with tools and insight to help them heal from trauma and establish healthy, satisfying relationships.  

Natalie M. Mills Reaches

San Francisco CA