Somatic Trauma Therapy

Christmas time feels like a good time to reflect on what a journey life is – and what a year (or three!) it’s been! Since 2020 the world has changed for so many people in so many different ways. For me it has marked a shift in direction, one which has felt very natural and timely. The last few years have seen a natural progressive integration of Myofascial Therapy, Trauma Informed Coaching and ultimately the Somatic Trauma Therapy which I am trained and insured to practice today. It’s been hard work but so worth it. I believe with my whole […]

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Somatic Therapy is a Bottom Up Approach

Have you heard of ‘top down’ therapy and ‘bottom up’ therapy? What’s the difference and why does it matter?! Firstly, understand that, between the time you start developing in the womb and the time you are aged around 25, your brain is developing – and it does so in 3 stages: Stage 1 : the brain stem (the survival / reptilian part of the brain) developsStage 2 : the limbic system (the emotional part of the brain) developsStage 3 : the cortex (the thinking part of the brain) develops Talk therapy –is a top down therapy approach. This typically targets

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Self Care isn’t Selfish

Self care isn’t selfish Say it out loud. Does it feel true? Behaviours mirror feelings I’ve spent years working on this. I’m actually very good at self care, I prioritise it to the point one could say (my husband does say!) I guard it like my life depends on it, it’s non negotiable, because actually, at a deep level, my life does depend on it, I know what I need be the best version of myself, to thrive, and my drive to thrive is strong. Still, this doesn’t mean it’s always easy. I still have that tiny judgy voice inside

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Chronic Pain v Acute Pain

Acute pain is short term pain that develops suddenly after injury or a medical condition that causes pain. It might result from tissue damage or inflammation and it tends to be intense before slowly calming. Acute pain can last from a few seconds up to six months. Chronic pain is persistent and may last for years. The pain may have originally been triggered by tissue damage but has continued beyond the time required for the tissue damage to heal. You may also start to associate certain movements or activities with pain. This can lead to a downward spiral of pain,

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Some people find it very difficult to be in touch with their bodies. People with a history of trauma have often learnt to dissociate from their physical feelings in order to cope with difficult emotions. Working with a trauma-informed therapist like myself can help you to slowly learn how to get back in touch with your body.  Disconnection from the body is also very common with people who have been taught from an early age that feeling a certain emotion is bad, anger is a good example of this, it is very British to be told to ‘keep calm and

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Develop your felt sense of safety with Emotional Processing

When dealing with the brain you have a left and a right side – rational and emotional. When the alarm bell of the emotional brain goes off to signal you are in danger, no amount of insight or reason will silence it. The reason for this is our survival drive is stronger than our personal sense of willpower.  It’s not enough for your rational brain to tell you you’re safe, you need to FEEL safe. Hence the importance of developing a felt sense of safety. This is an important foundation of Emotional Processing. Life experiences which involve emotional distress, survival

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Learn to listen to your body 

Being more connected with your body can be described as being ‘embodied’. This is a way of being that can be worked on and improved over time, with very simple exercises. Mindfulness can be a good starting place, taking time to notice what you are feeling and where you feel it in the body. Engaging in more physical practices is helpful for some, such as yoga, pilates, dance or any other movement practice where you can find your flow and focus on the movement of your body and your breath.

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Self Limiting Beliefs and Pain

I’ve been doing this work for a long time, helping people in pain, with fascia informed bodywork and more recently, trauma informed coaching and emotional processing. It is very apparent that stress makes pain worse. There are lots of reasons for this which I won’t go into here, but the more I learn, through working with clients, doing courses and doing my own uncomfortable work of unravelling the layers of myself, I’m seeing so much pain and stress caused, not necessarily caused by lack of work / life balance, what I’m seeing is chronic internal stress caused by our own

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Survival Response

Fight / Flight / Freeze – they are all survival responses. These survival responses are not a conscious choice, each is an automatic nervous system response to circumstances in which we find ourselves. Those circumstances may be you being chased by a lion, or they may be you being shouted at by someone or any other number of circumstances that YOUR nervous system perceives to be threatening. You can’t override your survival instincts with willpower (if you’ve ever tried holding your breath you’ll know your body always takes over to keep you alive!) However, you can work WITH your survival

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Our brains keeps us safe

It is hard to feel, let alone find a healthy and safe way to express your feelings, if they feel painful or unsafe to even acknowledge.  Often, where this is the case, your subconscious mind will ‘protect you’ from those unsafe feelings by repressing them, so you may not even know they are there. Another way your brain may try to protect you is by distracting you from those unsafe feelings, cue chronic pain.  This is a very normal nervous system response to stress and trauma. The problem with your brain ‘protecting’ you in this way, protecting you from the

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