Trauma Work

elephant_postTrauma Work

Emotional upheavals touch every part of our lives. Sometimes a small knee surgery, a loss of a job, or a divorce may affect all aspects of our lives: our views of ourselves, our relationships with others, our job performance, our ideas of life and death. Sometimes a seemingly small event may trigger traumatic emotional and physical symptoms from younger age where you may not be able to recall the actual event. Both types of stress can seriously impair our ability to function with resilience and ease. Trauma may begin as acute stress from a perceived life-threat or as the end product of cumulative stress. The unresolved traumatic energy gets bound in the nervous system in a variety of ways — as body constriction and emotional reactivity.

Using Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing and Mindfulness meditation tools, I support my clients in accessing their innate resiliency and their inherent capacity to rebound and recover from overwhelming experiences. I help facilitate the trauma healing process by guiding my clients to release the stored or blocked survival energy and to complete interrupted physiological process that have gotten “stuck” in the nervous system–in a safe, grounded, effective and contained way. My goal, as a Trauma Resolution Practitioner is to empower clients to access their innate resiliency and work directly with their trauma and to feel more settled, grounded, and calm in their everyday life.

What is Somatic Experiencing®?
Developed by Dr. Peter Levine, Somatic Experiencing® (SE) is a powerful method for addressing the psychobiology of stress and trauma. This body-based approach understands that symptoms of traumatic stress are often expressions of incomplete self-protective responses of fight, flight or freeze. SE teaches that trauma is not caused by the event itself, but rather develops through the failure of the body, psyche, and nervous system to process adverse events. As a result, SE first helps assess whether a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight, freeze, or collapse responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states. SE facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. This is approached by gently guiding clients to develop increasing tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions and completion of innate biological responses to awaken our inherent capacity for resilience. SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma.

My approach to working with Trauma:
• Focus on Wellness: I approach my client’s healing by focusing on their wellness rather than psychological shortcomings.

• Holistic Approach: I work holistically employing mindfulness meditation practices, Somatic Experiencing®, attachment, developmental, pre- and peri-natal trauma modalities and Chinese Meridian systems.

• Mindfulness-based: I support clients with mindfulness, compassion and unconditional acceptance, using mindfulness and somatic (body-based) skills.

• Self-Regulation: I work directly with my client’s nervous system so that it can begin to regain its innate capacity to self-regulate.

• Education: I educate clients in the physiology of their own trauma.

• Empower: I offer tools to my client’s so that they feel empowered to work directly with their body outside the session and discharge the unresolved traumatic energy that gets bound in the nervous system.

• Typical Session: In addition to conversations, my sessions also include awareness of body sensations, emotional processes, visualization, gentle touch work and movement.

• Ritual: Sometimes, when necessary, I will suggest a ritual to help release the energy bound up in the past traumatic event.

Types of traumas I have worked with:
Prenatal and birth trauma
Pre-verbal trauma
Car accidents
Medical trauma
Chronic pain and syndromes
Physical, emotional, relational, sexual trauma

For Somatic Experiencing Students:
I offer personal sessions, group and individual case consultations to students taking Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing® training at all levels – Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced. I have 10+ years of experience working with shock trauma such as falls and car accidents and developmental trauma such as childhood abuse and neglect and birth trauma. Skype sessions are available as well.

I was interviewed on how I combine mindfulness with somatic experiencing in my private practice as Trauma Resolution Practitioner. The interview is posted on SEPTalk, Peter Levine’s trauma healing website. I wanted to share the link with you: http://traumahealing.com/news-views-videos-events/mindfulness-meditation/

NOTE: For a more detailed discussion of shock trauma, see Peter Levine’s books and website listed on the Resources page.