I’m Dawn Tyrrell. I run LittleBird Coaching. LittleBird provides compassionate life coaching for recovering from trauma, including complex trauma. I use traditional life coaching techniques, trauma recovery techniques, a dash of stoicism for trauma recovery, and for those who are interested, I use creative writing exercises and journaling.
I serve the greater South Florida area, including Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties. I also provide distance coaching via Zoom or telehealth.
Before I was trauma recovery coaching, I was a writer and writing coach ( I still am!). I have a book out with a major press, and over 50 publications in nationally-ranked literary journals.
Through much of this time I suffered through hard-to-ignore chronic illness, including two autoimmune diseases, years of low blood pressure and POTS, post-Lyme nerve damage in my legs, chronic all-over body pain they called fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, hearing loss, facial paralysis, and a lot of personal trauma that I was unknowingly holding on to. All this culminated in an emergency heart surgery in 2015, where I had an NDE (near-death experience).
Like Bessel van er Kolk says, I believe the body keeps the score.
You'd think someone who has an NDE would be instantly transformed to see the bright side of life, but it didn't work like that for me. Because I had woken up on the operating table during the middle of heart surgery, I developed an undiagnosed PDST which left me with anger, anxiety, distrust, and depression. I "worked through the pain" but wasn't living a full life. I couldn't see my place in the world. I continued to struggle.
In 2017, I found a DNA surprise after routine 23andMe testing and discovered that I was an NPE/MPE -- a person who has a misattributed parentage. I learned that the man who raised me wasn't my father, although I had been told he was. I didn't know who my biological father was and set out to discover him. I needed to know medical history, but more than that, I needed to know where I came from and what my genetic heritage was. After intensive searching, I found him. We developed a relationship, I gained medical history that I had never known, healed my lifelong genetic bewilderment, and got to know my biological father and his family. In 2018, he died, and a few months later, so did my dad who raised me.
The grief I carried was enormous and I didn't know how I was going to live. I started therapy, and eventually trauma recovery coaching with a wonderful coach, and I learned that early unspoken, unresolved trauma can cause brain changes and create profound physical and emotional health problems. See here for more information on how trauma affects long-term health.
These experiences, plus the intensive coaching work I did with my writing clients, led me to seek out professional coaching certification, since many of my writer’s “writing problems” were actually blocks in their thinking resulting from earlier life experiences that left them altered. My clients had writing breakthroughs when we worked on issues such as imposter syndrome, procrastination, removing old thinking patterns, developing clear writing goals and making specific plans to achieve those goals.
I am now a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach and I help a broad population of adults to understand their recovery process, reconnect with themselves, and use their strengths to build a life free from trauma response. To learn more about NPE/MPE trauma here.