Integrative Somatic Therapy and Yoga Therapy
Body-centered psychotherapy is an integrative approach to wellness that recognizes the interconnection between mind, body and spirit. Rooted in psycho-biology and neuroscience, it allows for a powerful path towards attaining inner clarity, personal fulfillment and physical and emotional health.
My body-centered approach to healing is highly influenced by Somatic Experiencing (SE), a method developed by Peter A. Levine through 45 years of multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices and medical biophysics. SE works by supporting the nervous system in finding more ease and capacity. The SE approach gently facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body.
Body-centered approaches recognize the intimate relationship between the human body and the physical and psychological well-being of a person. Body-centered psychotherapy views the body as a crucial resource for healing. Experiences, as well as our interpretations of those experiences, are reflected not only in our thoughts and feelings but also in the way we move, how we breathe and how we have held our bodies over the years.
By giving the body attention through movement, sound and awareness of subtle sensations and gestures, we gain insight into long-held patterns of thoughts, emotions, behaviors and physical pain. Body-centered psychotherapy can support the healing of trauma to enhance our fulfillment and participation in life, to make healthy decisions, to set boundaries in relationships and to feel grounded, more confident and connected to self.
Somatic Experiencing International
Yoga And Yoga-Informed Psychotherapy
“Yoga is the Journey of the Self, Through the Self, To the Self.”
-The Bhagavad Gita
Yoga’s origins are rooted in the soils of the Indus Valley, what is Northern India and Pakistan today. Yoga offers tangible practices to access the tissues of the body system through a variety of channels and can support deep shifts and healing. Yoga may be used in our work to honor your whole self as well as to support emotional well being, addressing trauma responses and mental health.. This may be accomplished through any of the 8 limbs of yoga including Asana (postures), Pranayama (breath-work), Dhyana (meditation) and Dharana (concentration).
I began my personal yoga journey in 1994 and, some years later, became fascinated with the potential to weave yoga philosophy into my practice after attending a workshop on Trauma-Sensitive Yoga. I became certified in Yoga-Informed Psychotherapy and this paved the way for bringing more yoga into the trauma work I facilitate with clients.
Later, I became a certified Yoga Teacher (250 hour RYT) which deepened my connection to this powerful wisdom. I have subsequently completed a 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training and am currently studying to become a Certified Yoga Therapist (800 hour RYT) through Inner Peace Yoga. I believe in making Yoga accessible for all who are interested and have participated in numerous fantastic trainings with the Accessible Yoga School in Santa Barbara, CA. I am also a certified instructor with Love Your Brain Yoga, yoga adapted for persons with traumatic brain injury.
A continual student, I have participated in countless hours of training, workshops and self-study. I bow with reverence to my teachers and their teachers, including and not limited to : Tias Little, Reeny Lingstrom, Rebecca Stiles, Corinne Peterson, Nicole Inglish, Francine Kelley, Jivana Heyman, Sangeeta Vallaban, Livia Budrys, Chinnamasta Stiles, Michele Lawrence, Nischala Devi, Kate Wester, Durga Leela, Maria Shamas, Dianne Bondy, Nityda Gessel, Jenn Turner, Mei Lai Swan, Kelly Marshall, Laura Kupperman, Wade Morissette, Neil Pearson, Amy Weintraub, Antonio Sausys, Indu Arora, Lisa Pearson, Susanna Barkataki, Kyla Pearce, Nicolai Bachman, Elena Brower, Danielle Dvorak, Arielle Schwartz, Tricia Fiske, Julia Forest and many others.
Dynamic Attachment Repatterning Experience (DARe)
“We are wired to heal”
-Diane Poole Heller
"Old material activated in relationship is the best opportunity to repair history."
As we move through life from infancy to adulthood, there are certain strategies we use to adapt to less than optimal situations in our relational development including acute stress, challenges and trauma. Those strategies often end up holding us back in our adult life.
DARe utilizes somatic and relational healing techniques to shift the patterns of early attachment wounds that influence adult relationships. This approach was developed by Dr. Diane Poole Heller based on the belief that people are hard-wired to heal. DARe utilizes developmentally-based somatic therapies for healing trauma and early attachment wounds. “Attachment” refers to the relationships and bonds between people, particularly long-term relationships, including those between a parent and child and between romantic partners. The DARe model is a highly effective method for working with the attachment system. Through the DARe model we support the social nervous system in receiving the right experiential cues to reprogram the attachment system.
Touch for Trauma Recovery
“Without changing the somatic system - the underlying neurochemical platform - any change in behavior is simply overriding through force of will.”
Touch therapy can be helpful in trauma recovery as a means to more directly involve the body in the re-negotiation of traumatic stress and developmental trauma. It can be a vital bridge to mind-body-spirit integration, supporting re-negotiation of emotional, relational and developmental wounds that cannot be reached by words alone. In this intentional work, the mind collaborates with the body in the present moment as a means to support more ease and embodiment.
Early in my career, I trained in shiatsu bodywork and yoga, and together, these opened the door to my life-long curiosity around the wisdom of the body.
Shiatsu therapy relies on the use of the fingers, thumbs and palm to apply pressure to various areas of the body’s surface to help correct imbalances in the body. Zen shiatsu is the ancient art of Japanese bodywork that can promote bringing the body, mind and spirit into harmony with each other. This treatment promotes the smooth flow of blood and qi or vital life force, and activates the natural or innate healing power of the individual through working with the meridian systems of the body. Pressure applied to points on the body promotes energy flow and corrects disharmonies throughout the body. Shiatsu regulates the automatic nervous system activity and stimulates the circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal systems.
I am a certified Ohashiatsu Practitioner and Zen Shiatsu Practitioner, as well as a Reiki Master Teacher of the Usui lineage. I have trained in Kathy Kain’s Touch Work for trauma therapists, a post Advanced Somatic Experiencing model, and am currently studying the NeuroAffective Touch model with Alaine LaPierre as well as Dave Berger’s Relational Bodywork and Somatic Education Touch Training for Trauma Practitioners.
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Internal Family Systems is a powerfully transformative model of psychotherapy developed by Richard Schwartz. In IFS, we believe the mind and body consist of multiple parts. Once you have a greater understanding of and compassion towards these parts and the roles they play, we can soften and release negative beliefs and stored traumas and restore a sense of agency through the reconnection with SELF energy. I have completed Level 2 IFS training in Eating Disorders and Addiction Recovery. I love incorporating the self-honoring power of IFS into my work!
Internal Family Systems Institute