Self-Protective Strategies – When Your Body Gets Stuck in Anxiety, Depression, Stress & Difficult Emotions.

February 4, 2018

“If your everyday practice is to open to your emotions, to all of the people you meet, to all of the situations you encounter, without closing down, trusting that you can do that – then that will take you as far as you can go. And then you’ll understand all the teachings anyone has ever taught.” ~ Pema Chodron

Many of us feel stuck – in chronic feelings and emotions that make us feel overwhelmed, shut down, anxious or numb. It is possible for your experience of your life to change when you begin to show up for all of your feelings, even the sad, scary, overwhelming or difficult ones.

I hold the belief that each of our nervous systems’ have the innate capacity to heal. When we can be with sensations, images, behaviours, emotions and the meaning we make of what has happened in the past, we can transform our stressed nervous systems, day by day, at your own pace.

Your body is your teacher – with open attention, you will notice what you are feeling, as well as what you are ignoring or denying in your life. When you begin to pay attention to your body, barriers between your outer and inner self will dissolve – and your receptivity to others will increase as you become more receptive to yourself.
In trauma we tend to either be overwhelmed by intense bodily sensations or shut down against them. The degree to which we cannot deeply feel our body’s interior is the degree to which we crave excessive external stimulation. Or conversely, if we are overwhelmed by internal bodily sensations we drastically limit our exposure to external stimulation.
I support people to notice and move through feelings of anxiety or depression – which include revved up, numbed out or overwhelmed state(s) – so they can experience more expansiveness, openness and aliveness. I sit with you and support deeper noticing into what happening in your nervous system as it goes into self-protective strategies and responses.

If you are willing to touch into sensations and memories that may not always feel comfortable, be with and stay present with those sensations – more regulation will begin to happen in your nervous system – and change begins to happen, as you and your nervous system become more and more available to be present to what is there in each moment.

Expand your feeling tolerance and understand your self-protection responses linked with anxiety and fear, and reset your unconscious, automatic responses to difficult events that keep you in a state of chronic shut down or overwhelm.

Self-Protective Strategies May Block the Connection We Long For

We don’t realize that we may be blocking out feelings, connection and intimacy, within our everyday aspects of our lives – at work, in our relationships – feeling chronically stressed, with too many responsibilities. We may be so completely wrapped up in our daily patterns, that we don’t have space to feel, to connect with ourselves and to connect with others.

I work with you to help you heal chronic emotional patterns and responses, and to understand your body responses so that you can rewire your nervous system responses to anxiety, panic, fear and depression – one session at a time.

There is incredible potency in working with the nervous system to change what limits us physically and mentally – helping you gain a greater awareness and sense of how to build the capacity to be more fully yourself in your everyday life.
“When the nervous system is overwhelmed, a dysfunctional neurological pattern is set in motion. And that pattern tends to recreate itself and persist, even when it has out lived its usefulness. When we are in a state of traumatic activation, we lose our ability to respond freely and flexibly in present time; instead, we react.” ~ Dr. Peter Levine.

If you experience chronic stress, disconnection or dissocation and have one or some of these symptoms: increased heart rate, restricted breathing, chronic pain, anxiety or panic attacks, angry outbursts, hypervigilance, racing thoughts and persistent worry – I can help.

What happens during a session?

We slow down, and be with what’s happening for you, as you are. Sessions happen in my office or online – and both options are effective in creating lasting change to chronic emotional, relational and body-focused concerns.

During sessions, we can address emotional struggles, feelings of anxiety or depression. chronic pain, and relationship concerns, and support during life transitions. I use a variety of methods, including verbal dialogue, Relational Psychotherapy, Integrated Body Psychotherapy, Embodied Mindfulness and somatic practices.

Sessions can also include body-systems work and somatic movement therapy. Movement sessions can address self-protective body holding patterns that cause excessive tension, chronic pain, injury recovery, energy system imbalances and emotional blocks.

There’s a river flowing underneath your everyday life experience. It informs you, if you begin to notice and become aware. When you notice and follow your sensations, you can move beyond chronic habits and experiences – and feel lifted, and more alive in some way.

I work with a gentle relational and somatic approach – deconstructing and reintegrating both the psychological and physiological conditioning that limits our innate capacity to fully inhabit our body and live vibrant lives.

This an opportunity for you to feel supported, create space and new ways of being for you in your life. To feel into and understand yourself as you relate to yourself in new and expanded ways – to increase your feelings of aliveness and joy.
Our pain is not something to avoid or be ashamed of but is a powerful opportunity to step into our authentic truth and power.
It’s my hope that our work together is helpful for you – that you understand your emotions and are more aware of yourself in the ways you want to.
I will work to nourish and support you using the body’s natural process to heal revved up, numbed out or overwhelmed feelings.
With a focus on relational patterns, body and nervous system functioning –  so you can understand and process your emotions, attachment patterns in relationships and self-protective strategies that may be keeping you out of connection.

I look forward to being with you.

love Kim, xoxo.

Join me for Somatic Transformation – A Heart-Mind Embodiment Immersion – Cultivating Embodied Well-Being, Healing Through the Body – Program, Workshops, Individual & Couples Sessions.

Cultivate body awareness & embodied well-being – in an integrative, body-focused, heart-centered, relational way – whether you’re in the Markham/Toronto area or want to work together online.

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Testimonial 1

When I came to you I felt confused, disconnected and broken. Now, I'm on my way to feeling whole. Thank you.
Kim Cochrane
When I came to you I felt confused, disconnected and broken. Now, I'm on my way to feeling whole. Thank you.

Testimonial 2

I’m so glad I’m giving myself space to explore what’s happening in my life and to understand my feelings.
Kim Cochrane
I’m so glad I’m giving myself space to explore what’s happening in my life and to understand my feelings.

Testimonial 3

I've wanted to do this for a while and I'm so glad I did - I trust myself more now, I feel more calm and open - working together has changed the course of my life.

Kim Cochrane
I've wanted to do this for a while and I'm so glad I did - I trust myself more now, I feel more calm and open - working together has changed the course of my life.
Kim Cochrane