Trauma is widely defined as any experience in which a person’s life or well-being is perceived to be threatened, impacting their ability to function afterwards. This includes clear-cut examples, such as war, assault, dangerous migration journeys, physical or sexual abuse, or surviving a natural disaster. It also includes situations that often fly under the radar – things that are more subtle (neglect, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, chronic criticism or perfectionism as a child) which result in core developmental wounding. (It is also worth mentioning that many of the things that are ubiquitous and considered “normal” in our modern culture actually also incite a trauma response in our bodies: e.g., culture of over-working, phones and devices, social media, fear-based news and advertising, etc.)
When these events, experiences, or situations occurs, our systems respond in the ways they are designed to (e.g., fight, flight, freeze, collapse), but unfortunately we often find ourselves without the necessary support to fully process these experiences out of our systems. Consequently, things can get “stuck” in the nervous system and body and we can see reflections of this in your movements and posture, and in your patterns of response and relationship to yourself, other people, and the world. These core wounds often organize around basic questions of “Am I safe?” “Do I belong?” “Can I have support?” “Am I fully welcome here?” “Can I trust you?” “Can I trust me?”
The good news is, us humans are resilient and capable of healing from the most atrocious of things. We can, with proper support and guidance, tune in to our innate capacity to heal, and help these old experiences process out of our minds, hearts, and bodies, and reclaim our lives in the present moment.
As a trauma-informed therapist, I use an integration of Hakomi-based Sensorimotor processing methods, Post-Traumatic Growth Somatic Therapy, and EMDR to help you heal from the painful moments in your past. These approaches are holistic and gentle, and they treat the whole person (including emotions, body, and spirit, rather than just addressing the cognitive aspects). As a Hakomi somatic therapist, I give special attention to how these experiences get patterned in the body, and use this as a map to healing.