Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm.
There is also trauma that comes from acute and chronic stress as it affects aspects of development throughout our life span. Medical/dental procedures, falls, accidents, assaults, natural disasters and culturally sanctioned stresses such as poverty can all produce symptoms of PTSD.
When we are in danger, it’s natural for us to feel afraid. Our fear triggers many split-second changes in the body as we prepare to either defend ourselves against the danger or to avoid it.
This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect us from harm. But in PTSD this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.
It is also possible to develop PTSD through vicarious trauma when the harm was witnessed to a loved one or even strangers.
The principles and practices of Somatic Transformation (ST) inform my work with PTSD and trauma. This means that in sessions I listen to not only to my client’s verbal language, but also I am attuned to the body language of emotions. I watch for gestures, tightness, facial expressions, shifts in posture, the “music” of the client’s voice (pitch, loudness, rhythm) to help sense the emotional experience.
During sessions I also pay attention to my own somatic reactions as I’m attuning to my clients. I use this information to help me intuit and share hunches about the client’s experience.
Most importantly, ST teaches my clients to listen to their own body language. We do this through a shared exploration in a way that is non-threatening, coupling the recovered trauma memory with regulated, safe experiences that allow the body to heal and regain vitality and resiliency.
Traditional “talk” therapy or analysis does not take us into the right-hemisphere processes that are vital for the healing of trauma. If you would like to explore a different way of healing, I invite you to make an appointment with me.
Victoria BC Therapy
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada