We all lose our bearings from time to time. Whether precipitated by a major event, or a gradual becoming lost – when the horizon you had been following disappears – and in its place, a persistent search begins for something new in our lives.heart

A gentle, sometimes urgent longing or restlessness can awaken you. When you listen, you hear a small but persistent voice that urges you to pay attention. This voice invites you into exploring what may keep you from love, belonging and satisfying relationships. It allows you to hope for fuller joy and well-being. It can be difficult to trust this voice and yet something in you knows it is rooted in a deep wisdom.  healing hidden trauma

Turn towards yourself and pay attention to your experience.

Pay attention to your emotional and physical health – notice your body – your feelings and sensations.

I will listen and hold your heart with care, kindness and sensitivity. healing hidden trauma


You may have survived some of life’s deepest sorrows and harshest realities. We all have a story. If there are any guarantees in life, it’s that there will be suffering and sometimes, we will struggle. You may have learned to turn away from yourself – to deny your true needs and feelings – now is the time for true care, compassion and attention for what you truly need. healing hidden trauma

My Approach Kim CochraneThrough it all, you have been strong, resilient and adaptive and yet there is a sense that there is more. It is not uncommon to need to return to wounded places that feel old and new all at once.

Painful experiences in your current life can often stir up familiar echoes, that resound against the tender places that happened before.

Working together is one of the ways to respond to your longing and restlessness. I will listen and hold your heart with care, kindness and sensitivity.

I will create a therapeutic relationship with empathy and genuine presence to promote trust and safety. I will be attuned to you and work collaboratively to process the pain you carry, to hold the chapters of your story with you. This in turn can lead to healing your emotional pain, longing and restlessness.

I will support you to bring out the possibilities and resources within you to activate your propensity towards health and the inherent potential for growth that we all share. I believe that inside every person there is a light that, when discovered, accepted, and integrated allows us to live from our true nature and experience internal freedom. healing hidden trauma

Feeling seen, heard and deeply understood can feel incredibly vulnerable and yet can be the very thing you’ve been hoping for all along.

Pause. Take a breath. Come back to your body with ease.

Working together is a process of self-discovery ~ mindful awareness, acceptance, and understanding.

What to Expect During a Session

As human beings, we are meant for social engagement with others. When we are very young, we are primarily operating from our autonomic nervous system as opposed to our conscious brain. We are reliant on environment and our primary caregivers to mirror a sense of safety. Our time line is much shorter and our perception appears much broader and bigger as opposed to our adult life experiences.
 
The experience that our nervous system creates as a child, creates a perception that we hold inside of ourselves that evolves into our reality and creates our story. Stories not only involve how we think or feel about our environment, others in life, but also our beliefs toward ourselves.

The process of integrative relational somatic therapy is to provide somatic support and allow your autonomic nervous system to find its way back to a state of regulation. Supportive touch will be offered during each session, and this begins to change your habitual patterns that were once used for survival adaption to a more settled state of being. This can include a change in perspective from “I don’t know”; “I’m confused”; “I’m scared” or “who am I” to an understanding of one’s self with greater capacity for compassion and grace and expansion of your heart towards self and social engagement with others. This process does not happen quickly, but rather by beginning to notice a reduction in symptoms. For example, I’m sleeping 30 minutes more without waking up” – “I’m a little less angry in a day.”

The initial work happens on a table through touch of the kidneys, adrenal glands, brain stem and ankles.  The therapeutic treatment will be consistent over the course of several sessions as a means to imprint boundaries and safety in the nervous system.  Belief systems will emerge organically and allow for exploration in sessions. Over time the therapeutic interventions may expand to include integration of developmental reflexes, balance, attachment, grief and/or shame work depending on individual client needs. 

At the beginning and throughout your healing, you will begin to slowly identify your individual survival and defensive adaptions. Survival adaptations can show up as behaviour patterns, somatic symptoms, your thoughts and beliefs about yourself and others and sometimes emotions. These survival adaptions may appear labeled by yourself or others as being “positive” and/or “negative”. In reality, they are serving different purposes: protection, nurturing, self-soothing, attempts at nervous regulation, and defensive accommodations to stay safe.

Some examples of thoughts and beliefs may be: “I’m lazy”; “I’m different”; “I can’t seem to get it right”, etc. Some examples of behavior patterns may be: addiction; obsessive-compulsive behavior; rapid speech; staying busy; perfectionism; control.

Some examples of somatic symptoms may be:  irritable bowel; panic attacks; rapid heartbeat; insomnia; tics; back pain. Some emotional symptoms may be: anger outbursts; crying often; shut down (numb); feeling stuck.

The kidney work begins to “back-out” from present time to the past.  Thus, it is not uncommon for behavior or emotional experiences that you might have had when you were younger to resurface again.  Please note this is normal and to be expected as part of your healing journey. Your autonomic nervous system (ANS) cannot differentiate present time and space. 

The way in which the autonomic nervous system is comprised is as shared in “The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation” by Deb Dana and Stephen Porgess:

Hierarchy: The autonomic nervous system responds to sensations in the body and signals from the environment through three pathways of response. These pathways work in a specified order and respond to challenges in predictable ways. The three pathways and their patterns of response, in evolutionary order from oldest to newest, are the dorsal vagus (immobilization), the sympathetic nervous system (mobilization), and the ventral vagus (social engagement and connection).

Neuroception: This is the term coined by Dr. Porges to describe the way our autonomic nervous system responds to cues of safety, danger, and life-threat from within our bodies, in the world around us, and in our connections to others. Different from perception, this is “detection without awareness”, a subcortical experience happening far below the realm of conscious thought.

Co-Regulation: Polyvagal Theory identifies co-regulation as a biological imperative: a need that must be met to sustain life. It is through reciprocal regulation of our autonomic states that we feel safe to move into connection and create trusting relationships.

For true and deep emotional and physical healing, we can’t leave our body and how it feels and responds, out of the process. Each person needs something very specific in their healing journey, which is why it is so important to have a customized approach with sessions that are specifically tailored for you. healing hidden trauma

Your body doesn’t have energy – it is energy. When we allow traumatic stress that is contained in our nervous system to begin to move through our system – flow begins to happen in our body and we feel more energetic, grounded, healthy and alive.

For those who would like to focus on a body-focused, somatic approach, we can do this by sitting in chairs across from each other or where you are lying on a table. When you are sitting in a chair, we can do some talk therapy, and you may also be asked if you are open to closing your eyes and noticing your feelings, emotions and body sensations that are happening for you in each moment.

For those who would like to do Co-Regulating Touch Bodywork – sessions consist of lying on a table with eyes closed – and I offer touch on several areas of the body: the head, stress organs, the belly, and joints in the body. Sessions are done fully clothed.

Each session is one-hour unless we are doing an extended session – and is unique depending on what you are experiencing on that day and would like to focus on during a session – we want to tune in and understand what’s really going on in your body – beyond pathology and diagnoses – to allow your body to move into a flow state, rather than to remain stuck in a stress response state – during the session and in the hours and days afterwards. healing hidden trauma

Co-Regulating Touch Bodywork sessions allow you to befriend the sensations of your body, and to find a place of ease within you. Each session builds upon itself – you develop a sacred container for emotions to arise and build resilience in the nervous system, which in turn affects how you feel about yourself and how your energy flows.

This body-based method helps you heal physical, emotional and psychological shock states, early developmental states, chronic stress and long-held trauma. It works directly with the autonomic nervous system to discharge stress and trauma and balance and restore equilibrium.

Prior to coming to your first session, you will need to fill in some paperwork and bring it with you to your first session to give me a sense of what is happening for you right now in your body, mind and heart.

Using an embodied, relational, somatic and mindful approach with attention to the body, mind and heart – I will help you understand your behaviours and physical symptoms, so they can be relieved in a more permanent way. healing hidden trauma

Together, we will attend to you as a whole person – a nurturing, whole-body health approach – uncovering the impact of the past and of your daily choices on your body – as an emotional and physical being.

You will understand your emotional patterns, behaviours, and thoughts about yourself and others, and how these have shaped the ways that you are currently relating to others. In time, you can strengthen your sense of self which will help to increase your self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-awareness.

This is transformational work – an opportunity to slow down and listen deeply to yourself – so you can heal past trauma, cultivate feelings of safety within yourself, and time to listen to your authentic wisdom and the truth of who you are.

You will feel and make sense of all of your emotions including – sadness, anxiety, anger, fear, doubt, confusion, along with happiness and joy.

Focusing on clear, authentic communication, consistent sessions, and being committed to your process will help develop a deeper sense of trust in your therapy, which is vital to your expressing yourself in all of your fullness.

Nurture Surround Somatic Healing Session

Allow yourself to slow down and experience deep healing. You are deeply supported on the table with weighted blankets, soft pillows and bean bags on your body – you choose what is most comfortable for you – providing soft, nurturing care – feeling supported and held – with choice. We will take time to attune to your body’s core needs and comfort at a deep level. Your needs are important. I will use a variety of touch skills with you – and invite you to place a hand wherever you would like to on your body – and to pause, slow down and notice what you feel.
 
Using mind-body skills to stabilize your nervous system – befriending, grounding, slowing down, tracking and resourcing. We will listen to your body’s narrative while utilizing body-mind emotion dialogue. We will explore biological survival strategies and process historical trauma by creating moment-to-moment interpersonal experiences of safe connection. We will utilize non-cognitive senses of relational connection – auditory, visual, movement, and touch – co-creating manageable ways to defuse internal feelings of pressure, anxiety and stress.
 

Feel grounded within yourself – heal longstanding painful patterns.

You will awaken – begin to feel and understand your feelings, so you can feel more alive.

We heal, together. In relationship and in community.

I look forward to being with you.

Sessions are held weekly or bi-weekly, in-person or via Skype, to provide you with support and continuity as you need it.

Some areas that clients have experienced growth:

 

Living from a Place of Embodied Liberation & Recovery – A Somatic Approach to Nervous System Regulation – Healing from Chronic Overwhelm or Shutdown in Your Nervous System
Getting to the Roots of Anxiety, Stress & Pain Patterns & Depression
Connecting to Your Inner Wisdom & Living Your Truth
Healing Hidden Unknown Trauma (Sexual, Emotional, Relational, Surgery, Accidents & More) Allowing Your Authentic Self to Be Seen & Accepted with Kindness Couples Therapy – Creating & Maintaining a Loving Relationship Healing Emotional Wounds – the ‘Mother Wound’ or the ‘Father Wound’ Developing Increased Intimacy and Connection in Relationships Increase Feelings of Belonging & Authenticity Loving Yourself Sets You Free – Creating a Grounded Relationship Inside Yourself – Living from Your Heart Healing Eating Disorders (Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, Chronic Overeating) – using Attachment, Trauma Physiology and Sensory Processing as Perspectives Understanding and Being with Sadness, Anxiety, Loneliness & Depression Working Through Grief & Loss Overcoming Feelings of Stuckness & Chronic Indecision Understanding Work Dissatisfaction & Career Transition Healing a Broken Heart after a Break-Up or Divorce
Living with a Chronic Illness or Pain

May you learn to trust
the messages that rise,
bubble up, and appear
and follow them wherever
they take you.

Your inner sense of value comes from loving yourself.