hope & transformation are possible when we Are present to and include
the whole self ...mind and body.
When I use the "body,” I am referring to bodily-based experience, raw sensations in the body in contrast to thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, or even emotions (which can often include a narrative component).
If we drop underneath the interpretations of immediate experience, we find a very alive world of sensations such as contraction, expansion, freezing, speed, pressure, excitement, numbing, intensity, flatness, nausea, constriction, spaciousness, dullness, warmth, and cold. We can experience these on their own as well as components of more complex conditions such as anxiety, depression, and trauma.
In a moment of emotional activation – say with panic, despair, shame, or rage – it can be helpful to temporarily set aside these words and make direct contact with what is unfolding in our immediate experience. In doing so, we may discover that we cannot find “anxiety” or “shame” (these are already interpretations of a particular configuration of experience), but instead we discover a very unique assembly of specific thoughts, feelings, and impulses.
For many of us, the habit is to turn from this somatic experiences, exiting into interpretation and other forms of dissociation as we have come to associate connecting with certain self-states as being unsafe, overwhelming, and placing us on the brink of being thrown outside our window of tolerance. This turning from ourselves in times of need is the actual root cause of our continued suffering and struggle. Underneath these triggers are the hidden emotions, events and feelings that belong to these younger vulnerable parts of ourselves, long hidden. These need to be gently and lovingly prized apart or brought together to bring them to a place where we can heal them, discover or rediscover their joys and heal their sorrows through connection, as we integrate them into our older wiser self.
In moments of activation, we need ourselves more than ever, to encode new pathways of self-care, replacing the older circuitry of self-aggression and self-abandonment with the slower responses of empathy, attunement, curiosity, and compassion. No, it’s not easy. But we can go slowly, one moment at a time. Just one second is enough. More than enough. And from that “one second” a new world is born.
Most therapists are not trained to attune to this level of experience and go on that journey with you. It takes not only training but a deep personal commitment to their own healing for the therapist to "know" how to or be able to stay present to your big emotions and help you ride the waves of your inner experience. What I can tell you is that this journey is one I have made a priority and continue to prioritize in my own personal practice. What I promise you is that I will always be there with 100% of what I have, and to be present with you each time you embark on that journey.
Crossing The Divides/Beyond Trauma
The SE Approach facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of life 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 emotions and to be able to establish a greater capacity to engage with the environment in the present moment with a growing sense of ease and safety.
SE trauma resolution does not require the traumatised person to re-tell or re-live the traumatic event. Instead, it offers the opportunity to engage, complete, and resolve—in a slow and supported way—the body’s instinctual fight, flight and freeze responses. This resets the nervous system, restores inner balance, enhances resilience to stress, and increases people’s vitality, equanimity, and capacity to actively engage in life.
In our world and in these crazy times, perhaps it is especially important to remember the body, the vessel, for it is a sanctuary of immense intelligence and majesty.
Somatic (Touch) Practice
Regulation, regulation and more regulation...
When the impact of trauma is not addressed in therapy and remains untreated, it becomes deeply held at a body level in the bones, the organs, the tissues and fluids. This foundational dysregulation may cause severe somatic/medical symptoms for the young child and much later for the adult. To address, prebirth, pre-verbal and internalized traumatic states and disrupted physiology I use trauma informed touch therapy. These allow the client to stay present and regulate physiological responses and minimize the potential for being overwhelmed by strong physiological sensations. These touch skills are used intentionally to resource you and help to release the built up toxicity in the system.
Intentional touch makes space to unload the traumatic stress physiology slowly. It accesses states of calm that other modalities can't. It is the gateway to re-establishing regulation as a base to come back to when the early physiology has been disrupted. Touch work slowly gets the client back within healthy physiology and helps them to reach their potential.
New neuro-pathways are established, stuck survival behaviors and your life energy are liberated. You get to re-sort the world with a different lens - the lens of safety through co-regulation. Somatic touch therapy helps you develop a new relationship with your bodies story, to unravel bodily structures set through the repetition of trauma responses and to trust differently. When we trust differently we change and when we change what we are looking at changes. The world becomes a different place of untold possibility.
Somatic Touch is a process of co-regulation. The therapist and the client are a team working together toward regulation and coherence.
Expressive therapy at Crossing the Divides/Beyond Trauma is the practice of using imagery, drawing, storytelling, drumming, drama, poetry, movement and sand-tray in an integrated way, to foster human growth, development, and healing. Traditionally expressive therapy is its own distinct inter-modal discipline where the therapist and client move freely between drawing, dancing, music making, drama, movement and poetry. At CTD/BTT while this process remains fluid I never lose sight of where the real action is taking place - in the nervous system. Whatever we are doing I continually monitor and bring my clients back to managing and navigating the cycles of fight, flight, freeze and collapse in the Autonomic Nervous System to facilitate deep and liberating healing.
Child & Family Therapy
What to expect from a session at Crossing the Divides/Beyond Trauma
A Somatic Practice and Organic Intelligence session at CDT/BT includes the body in the healing process. I will not stop at the thoughts/ beliefs or even pre-labeled, generalized emotions or conditions. I will gently guide you to be curious during challenging times, to embrace the goodness, the wholeness, the wellness in your system as you drop down into the body to make contact with the life and potential that is surging there.
What is expected of you.
Just bring you, your curiosity and desire for healing and a preparedness to view healing as a journey not as destination.
These are more than enough.
What to expect from me.
What I can do is offer myself, wholehearted and present, to walk with you through the fear and the mess. That’s all any of us can do. That’s what I am here for.”