Mental Health Counselor Donna Abell

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Licensed clinical mental health counselor, marriage counselor, therapist and specialist in post traumatic stress treatment, Donna Abell, maintains her private practice in Merrimack, New Hampshire (NH).

Coming from an integrative, holistic perspective, she provides counseling for a wide variety of issues.  She is a certified Clinical Hypnotherapist to change unwanted behaviors (see more under “Services”).

Donna has her Master’s degree in counseling from Lesley University, and each year completes classes in continuing education to stay atop the many changes in her field.  She has vast experience within the realm of the therapy world, including experience in but not limited to working with female survivors of rape, substance abuse, male batterers, and hospital work.

From this, Donna branched out into helping those who are asking major life questions, and is able to work with and help people find answers as well as addressing spiritual issues.

Mental Health Counseling: In Donna’s Words

In warm, connected relationships the potential for healing begins.  My skills-based approach to counseling promotes growth and well-being through collaboration, active listening, and insight.

I see counseling as a collaborative effort. The client brings his/her issues and I bring my counseling skills. And working together my clients often feel an improvement in how they feel about themselves and others. I also am fairly transparent in my approach. I speak what is on my mind and don’t carry a specific agenda on what work we should do. I have many different treatment interventions and approaches. And am always looking for what is appropriate for you at the time. However, I do explain if I am going to use a specific counseling technique and also include why I think it will be helpful for you.

Continuing  Education

I continue building my skills in trauma treatment by going to weekend trainings once or sometimes twice a month along with seeking supervision. I also have completed a core skills training in couples using Emotional Focused Couples Counseling techniques. My work in this field continues with many hours of supervision.

“Just like the lily in a lily pond, a person has roots that run deep.
From the mud emerges the plant that begins to rise and reach for the sun.
It is our human nature, to pull ourselves from the depths and reach for a brighter existence.”   …Donna Abell

Post Traumatic Stress Therapy & Treatment for PTSD

Trauma is a word that best describes an emotional and physical reaction to a threat or physical harm.    Trauma responses are created in all types of situations and many times just witnessing a violent event can create trauma.  A potential threat can create huge physical and emotional reactions.   A reaction to danger is registered in the nervous system and the body reacts in a fight, flight or freeze response.  It is an automatic response in the primitive part of our brains that takes over in dangerous situations.  It is the body’s natural protection that ensures survival.

It is when the danger has been long over and we are experiencing:

  • Intrusive thoughts about the event
  • Distressing dreams about the event
  • Cannot remember parts of the event
  • Avoid everything associated with  the trauma
  • Have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Irritable or angry a lot
  • Cannot concentrate
  • Always on the look out for danger
  • Startle easily to noises

Some or all of the above would suggest that you are having a post traumatic response.

Trauma counseling helps a person recover from trauma.   In my work with clients, I help a person access parts of the event(s) that are appropriate and helpful to processing and discharging the trauma.  I find that it is not necessary to relive the event.  I use several treatment modalities to help with this process.  I also stay current with new ways to address working with clients in helping them resolve their issues. An effective treatment approach is sensorimotor psychotherapy, which addresses trauma still held in the body.

We accept most major insurance. Please call if you have questions. Thank you.

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