“When we drop the compulsive habit of trying to fix ourselves, and replace it with a growing capacity to meet ourselves exactly as we are with presence, compassion and unconditional acceptance, transformation occurs by itself”.
Matt Nettleton; Co-Founder and Trainer of Embodied Processing
“The Bottom Up Approach to Healing Trauma and Nervous System Dysregulation
Why do we need to process our emotions?
When a stressful life event / trauma occurs, we would ideally recognise there has been a violation to our sense of self, we would feel the natural emotions that follow, express them, and know that the violation has nothing to do with our identity. If we don’t / can’t process our emotions in this way at the time the event / trauma occurs, those emotions become stuck in our somatic memory. Instead of healing from the event, the stress / trauma stays as energy in our subconscious, and can affect our thoughts, beliefs and behaviours throughout our lives. The result? Physical and emotional pain.
What is Emotional Processing
Emotional Processing is a Somatic Therapy which can help you safely meet and process previously unprocessed life experience / stress / trauma. The approach builds on a foundation of safety. Once you are comfortable practising feeling safe, we begin to practice increasing your capacity to meet with the uncomfortable sensations and emotions which arise in relation to the issue at hand. The goal is to remove the emotional charge (the threat) which may be causing physical symptoms (the alarm). The result is less pain and greater emotional capacity.
Improve Somatic Awareness
Explore the sensations associated with your thoughts, feelings and emotions – otherwise known as Somatic Awareness.
Feel more YOU
Explore the impact of stress / trauma on your thoughts, feelings and beliefs, and on how you respond to these things. Learn how to lift the veil of the past, feel empowered and compassion towards your Self, easier, lighter, more spacious, less ‘stuck’.
Emotional Processing can help resolve your pain
When the alarm sounds, we feel physical and emotional pain, eg tightness across the shoulders, tension in the lower back or the knot of anxiety in the belly. Typically, we respond by adding more stress, we resist, we behave in unhelpful ways, we think unkind thoughts about ourselves, we dissociate, anything to numb the pain.
We know the symptom is just the alarm so we don’t start here – when there is a fire you wouldn’t look to shut off the alarm, you’d look for the fire so you can put it out – this is why you need to find and process the ‘Stressor‘ (the threat) (the emotion) that is setting off the alarm (the response) (the symptom). Release the stress / emotional charge and resolve the pain.
An example to describe the release of stress / emotional charge:
An animal is chased by a predator. The animal’s survival physiology (the stress response) takes over and it either runs (flight), fights (fight) or plays dead (freeze). In the animal’s body, chemicals are released to support the stress response. The animal escapes, the stress chemicals and energy in the animal’s body then need to be released. The animal will shiver or shake itself off following the attack, in order to discharge and complete the stress cycle.
Humans are often not very good at this:
While we are unlikely to be in life or death situations regularly, our brains treat everyday stressors in the same way. Our survival physiology (the stress response) takes over. In our bodies, chemicals are released to support the stress response. If we don’t take steps to complete the stress cycle, ‘stress chemicals’ and ‘stress energy’ continue to course through our bodies, our body will adapt but, eventually, this will manifest as physical and emotional pain.
How can Emotional Processing help you?
A Somatic Therapy like Emotional Processing will be helpful for the many ways chronic stress and past trauma manifests; physically, behaviourally, mentally and emotionally; such as:
- Physical pain
- Digestive disorders
- Addictive behaviours such as emotional eating or other subconscious attempts to ‘numb the pain’
- Generally feeling ‘stuck’