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
Through 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, held 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
“How do you quiet down the frightened animal inside of you? The answer to that is probably in the same way that you quiet down babies. You quiet them by holding and touching them, by being very much in tune with them, by feeding and rocking them, and by very gradual exposure to trying new things.”~ Bessel van der Kolk, MD
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 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 nervous system 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; body pain; back pain. Some emotional symptoms may be: anger outbursts; crying often; shut down (numb); feeling stuck; feeling anxious.
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 Porges:
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.
Transforming Touch® is a treatment modality that follows a specific protocol which has supported healing of thousands of clients. Transforming Touch creates a milieu of safety where a client can begin to feel a difference in their life through subtle, yet profound changes. In this place of safety, the client experiences attachment focused protocols which are consistent and measured for repairing early ruptures and the consequences.
Transforming Intentional Touch® (online via Zoom) is an effective way of facilitating regulation within our client’s nervous systems. All the protocol and enhancements have been tweaked to work without physical touch. The power of working with intention has been expressed and shared from Healers from around the world. Some actually believe it is much stronger than using physical touch.
SSP – Safe & Sound Listening Protocol – SSP was created by Steven Porges, the founder of Polyvagal Theory. SSP is a 5-hour auditory intervention that has a profound impact upon our physiology. It involves listening to five hours of specially filtered music. The listening is spread out over a period of time that typically ranges somewhere between 10 days and two or three months, sometimes longer – and is offered simultaneously with the Co-Regulating Touch Bodywork for Trauma, transformative trauma healing table work.
Co-Regulating Touch Bodywork for Trauma is an attachment focused neurophysiological method of hands on and intentional healing. The Somatic Experiencing® therapist who has had special hands on training in touch uses touch to more directly intervene with the client’s nervous system. The SE therapist uses her own regulated nervous system to help bring regulation back to the client.
This happens through an entrainment process between the two nervous systems via touch. Much like a mother bringing comfort and touch to a crying child. Touch is our first language and is often the missing piece needed for healing from early developmental trauma. The touch can be direct or just through intention or both.
Most early developmental trauma is non verbal as it happens very early in life.
We might be carrying our ancestors trauma or trauma that occurred while we were in our Mother’s womb.
We may have had a difficult birth experience. Trauma is held in a part of the nervous system that is not cognitive, so working with the body through supportive touch is needed for healing from early developmental trauma.
Early developmental trauma can also be thought of as the hard things that happened to us as children without our receiving enough protection or support to heal from them.
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
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 Zoom, to provide you with support and continuity as you need it.
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.