Working with overwhelming trauma

q&a Jan 03, 2019

Trauma Professional writes:

I started trying to implement the tools you teach.

I've found that in regard to the pendulation stage, taking people into bits of unpleasant memories/sensations is challenging, because even the slightest recollection of the trauma seems to automatically bring back the entire memory to the surface, which often is overwhelming. 

Even if the person is able to connect to a pleasant memory/sensation, the impact of the unpleasant memory overrides. 

Can you please provide guidance on this? 

          --- Trauma Professional


Dear Trauma Professional,

What a great question -- and such a difficult and delicate one, too!

For this, there are three elements of import: 

  1. how strong is the therapist and/or client's sense of grounded anchoring, 
  2. how strong is the "energetic rope" connecting client-and-therapist, 
  3. how strong is the pull of the trauma vortex/eddy -- the sensation of overwhelm /...
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Some common somatic psychology terms

terminology Oct 15, 2018

Note on the origin of various somatic terms.

Titration is a term drawn from chemistry that seems most typically associated, in the somatics trauma literature, with the work of Peter Levine and Somatic Experiencing, though this term is certainly utilized across multiple modalities, including in particular Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.  This therapeutic intervention can be understood as a response and reaction to the "flooding" techniques of Prolonged Exposure, which drew concern from multiple practitioners who adopted the Prolonged Exposure technique. Unlike flooding -- which typically refers to the prolonged exposure of a person to an activating circumstance -- titration refers to the delicate mediated "micro-dosing" of nervous system activation to a level where it can be productively metabolized back to safety.  The concept of titration has become part of the trauma vernacular and can be found in multiple treatment forms, e.g., Sensorimotor Psychtherapy,...

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Lineage and gratitude

gratitude welcome Oct 01, 2018

One of the challenges in somatic psychology is giving full due homage to our forebears – the people who carried the torch forward.

In my own experience, my lineage comes from decades of training centered at the Esalen Institute, the University of Tennessee, and elsewhere. My primary teachers were John Soper, John Heider, Christine Stewart Price, Dorothy Charles, Eric Erickson, Dorothy Thomas, Stephen Harper, the Los Angeles Gestalt Awareness Practice Group, Seymour Carter, Will Schutz, Michael Nash, Kristina Coop Gordon, Alla Vollovich, Mark Goldstein, Crystallin Dillon, and the Bay Area T-Group. These people were (are are) essential in forming me as a clinician.

I also had the good fortune to study with Ron Kurtz (Hakomi), Morgan Goodlander (Gestalt), Eleanor Criswell Hanna (Hanna Somatics), Emilie Conrad Daoud (Continuum), Mark Reese (Feldenkrais), Harriet Goslins (Cortical Field Reeducation), Fritz Smith (Zero Balancing), Suzanne Scurlock-Durana (Somato-Emotional...

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Welcome to Somatopia

welcome Aug 01, 2018

Imagine a world where we are invited to come home to our bodies and home to ourselves.

This is our community.

A place where we can inquire, play, and connect as we find our way back into embodiment within ourselves and with each other.

Our vision is to become a movement of like-minded people who together can help transform humanity by creating a more embodied world.

We aim to achieve this vision through educational programs – whether online or off – and by embracing the full sensate body-being in all of us.

This community is for connecting, sharing experiences, and helping each of us come home to ourselves.

Welcome home.

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