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Here are a few ways we can work together
Somatic Experiencing is a gentle, naturalistic body-oriented therapy that works with the charge and discharge of the autonomic nervous system to renegotiate acute and historical trauma symptoms.
Unhealed past trauma can stem from birth complications, attachment disruptions, child, sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse. The charge from these experiences breaches our natural protective barriers, leaving us feeling depleted of our life force energy and aliveness.
When challenging situations happen too fast and with too much intensity, the energy from these experiences can become fixated in our systems, creating uncomfortable symptoms and patterns of bracing, constriction, and holding.
Over time, if the energy from high states of arousal is not released, this activation becomes locked in our physiology creating patterns that lead to symptoms of anxiety, depression and irritability and syndromes such as migraines, chronic pain and Fibromyalgia.
Somatic Experiencing and Somatic Practice help to restore access to our natural, and organic rhythm. This has a stabilizing and healing effect on our nervous system.
When we are in a coherent state, we are open, engaged, receptive, flexible, calm, curious, creative, embodied, and whole. Coherence enlivens our connection through resonance, not only with ourselves but with each other. When we can regulate in coherence, we can connect more deeply with all that is around us.
The body has been designed to renew itself through continuous self-correction. These same principles also apply to the healing of psyche, spirit, and soul.
- Peter A. Levine, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma
Car accidents are shocking experiences, they happen suddenly and most often without warning. Even a fender-bender or an accident that happened years ago can trigger a response in your body that produces symptoms of trauma. Your system, under ideal circumstances, will naturally discharge any excess energy through the organic reciprocal relationship between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
This physiological system is an automatic process; we don't even think about it! When an event catches us off guard with intensity and speed, our system can hold or lock in the activation that is produced by thwarted defence responses rather than be discharged. As a result, you may still be in survival mode and your body hasn't completed the cycle that nature intended.
What does being in "survival mode" look like? The symptoms can be varied and extensive such as mood and behaviour changes, an exaggerated startle response, increased anxiety, and feelings of depression. Our sleep can also be affected; as well as, changes in appetite, increased physical and emotional pain. We can experience ourselves as being "too sensitive." Relationship difficulties may even arise along with difficulty concentrating, fear of driving, or being a passenger.
I have created a framework that incorporates Somatic Experiencing, Somatic Practice, and regulating touch therapy. I also include various gentle resiliency practices and corrective experiences to promote regulation and healing in the deepest layers of your system to reduce trauma symptoms. Over time, this neuroplastic healing will create a physiological template that is resilient, strong, and stable.
With a doctor's note ICBC will reimburse you directly for counselling services. Contact me to learn more.
Relational LIfe therapy is based on the work of internationally renowned psychotherapist, Terry Real. Therapists and coaches trained in the RLT model do not see themselves as experts, rather we see ourselves as "fellow travellers" working on our own recovery and acknowledging our own challenges. Relational Life Therapy is unique to other modalities as we work with both shame and grandiosity. When we are in a state of grandiosity, we are in a state of "me" as opposed to "we." Grandiose individuals are walled off and although this feels good, it doesn't feel so good to our partners.
When we are in a state of shame, we are withdrawn and our impulse is to hide, isolate and protect ourselves. This is not a state where we are naturally drawn to connect from. In RLT we teach clients to find their way to the middle ground or "same as", back into relational receptivity, and back to connection and intimacy.
Relational respect is about honoring ourselves, our partners, and the relationship. We are not worse or better than; we are equal and from this space of healthy self-esteem and personal accountability, we acknowledge our imperfections, our struggles, and build skills to develop better communication.
RLT addresses the imbalance of power in the relationship and through conflict resolution, relational respect, and joining through the truth, clients learn to communicate their needs in a cherishing way rather than by retaliation, anger, or blame. RLT helps to support the less dominant partner to find their voice, to speak from their heart, and to avoid reactivity. We learn we will be triggered by our partner, and we feel the "whoosh" of the discomfort, but with compassion and curiosity, we learn to respond in new ways that not only support our own physiological system but our partner's as well.
Being in a healthy relationship is good for our health! Through co-regulation, we feel more vital and creative, we strengthen our immune systems, open our hearts and build a resilient physiological structure.
As coaches, we sometimes take sides but we also take a look at both partners and how maladaptive survival strategies and historically learned attachment patterns and disruptions have created deeply engrained and oftentimes unconscious behaviors that create barriers to intimacy, connection, and harmony within the relationship.
Compared to other relational models, RLT is short-term and effective. If you would like to learn more about Relational Life Therapy, give me a call to see if this would be a good fit for you!
What does Somatic Experiencing help with?
Soothes Muscle Tension
Increases Energy Levels
Supports Healthy Immune Function
Promotes Ease & Clarity