Welcome. My name is Molly Traffas. I am a licensed Clinical Social Worker who is committed to tracking the nuggets of an individual’s core strengths of self and deepest values that have shown themselves over one’s lifetime. I am committed to being a companion in restoring balance to disturbed landscapes of hearts and minds. My work has included extensive experience working with trauma, attachment, and recovering internal resources. That training also has included working with individuals in claiming their deeper strengths and dreams through work in the wilderness. As I have wandered in wilderness areas, I have deepened my understanding and passion for how all life moves toward balance and wholeness, toward life itself. My focus continues to shift from pathology toward what gives life, what calls life forward, what opens and sustains each of us. I carry in my satchel of skills a connection to the earth along with my own wisdom and experience, which encompasses an understanding of the impact of trauma and neglect and the ability to aid individuals in calming and soothing those places in themselves enough to move forward into connecting with inner resources and outer landscapes.
I am a lover of poetry, with deep value and aliveness found in speaking poetry. My own immersion into poetry has been one of my own personal tools for self discovery and awareness. For those who have an interest or an affinity with poetry, it is one of a variety of ways in which I am able to join with another and aid them in going deeper into their own story and life. Poetry, as well as work with dreams, can be a vehicle and a portal, for some, to gain personal understanding and insight. Poetry and/or dreamwork can be particularly helpful in working with stuck places in an individual’s life.
Prior to my degree in social work, I was a Montessori guide working with young children ages 3 to 6 in a classroom setting. After 10 years, it was time for a career change. I returned to school for a social work degree, as well as, studying addiction counseling. I worked as a drug and alcohol counselor, as well as with individuals and families living in homeless shelters. This work led me to recognizing the depth of needs of these populations. I returned to school for my. post graduate clinical training at Washburn University. Following graduate school, I worked with inmates who had high recidivist rates, histories of addictions, and most often histories of childhood abuse. Following that experience of working with the inmate population, I worked at a local community mental health center until in 2004, when I began a private practice.
Because of the persistent exposure I had working with individuals who had histories of significant trauma, I developed a strong desire for deeper understanding of: the impact of trauma on the daily functioning of individuals and of the physiological impact of trauma on the body and on the brain. I pursued substantial exploration and training in effective treatment modalities for trauma. Congruent and interwoven into the understanding of the impact of the trauma itself is the understanding of the impact of early childhood experiences on an adult’s view of self, other, and world, not to mention, the impact on the individual’s manner of functioning in the world. In addition to studying the impact of trauma and abuse, I also sought insight into the impact of early neglect on an individual’s view of self and world and on their daily functioning. Therefore, much of my work with individuals has been to assist in heightening awareness and acceptance of each individual’s own strengths, gifts, and values. In addition, my work with an individual has also focused on strengthening their ability to consistently make life choices that honor their own value system and their ability to pursue their own gifts and talents. Those skills, values, and insights still underlay and support my work in guiding others toward their deeper callings.
Since one frequently experienced consequence of trauma or neglect is difficulty with relationships, I became fascinated by the dynamics of relationships (such as, the relationship to self, the relationship to others, the relationship to the external world), as well as difficulties in how to verbalize and communicate effectively without aggression or threat to self or other. This hunger for deeper insight, for healing, for tools or skills to offer, ultimately, led me to the study of Compassionate Communication, the Right Use of Power and the Power Spiral (the work of Cedar Barstow), and ultimately to the Animas Valley Institute and Soulcraft.
My involvement with my community has been varied. When initially entering into my private practice, I offered free public presentations on the impact of abuse and neglect in early childhood on attachment styles, and upon that individual’s current functioning as an adult. I volunteered for 5 years with a local company on a committee to review requests submitted to the employee benefit program for financial assistance to employees in unexpected financial hardships. I offered a free series of groups on power, boundaries, shame, and personal power for women survivors of domestic violence. I was a member of the Sedgwick County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition for 10 years. I served for two years on the Board of Directors of the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center. For 3 years, I facilitated and co-facilitated multiple free will offering study groups on Compassionate Communication. I offered free book study groups. I hosted, for approximately 2 years, a local practice group for Compassionate Communication. I offered local poetry concerts and other ceremonial practices at events calling for ceremony and deep honoring. I have offered daylong or 2 day retreat gatherings for deepening connections with oneself and the earth. Since I have retired, I have offered 5 poetry concerts as fund raisers for refugees.
Additional areas of focus: Stress, Anxiety, Addictions, Relationship issues, Anger management, Career difficulties, Coaching, Compassion fatigue, Aging and Geriatric Issues, Caregiver Issues and Stress, Communication Problems, Coping with Natural or Human-Caused Disaster, Family of Origin Issues, Guilt and Shame, Hospice and End of Life Counseling, Life Purpose, Women's Issues
Clinical approaches: Attachment-Based Therapy, Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Trauma-Focused Therapy
KS LSCSW LSCSW 2240
She's great and she listens to my concerns and gives me ways to work on the issues I'm having.
Written on Nov 28, 2023 after therapy with Molly for 2 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma and abuse, grief, self esteem, and coping with life changes