Methods & Modalities for an Integrative Treatment Focus
My practice is known for Integrating Creative Expressive Therapies in a way that supports a triad focus on: “feeling emotions, reasoning thinking and physical sensing (interoception) as a pathway to support “safety, connection, and regulation”. I utilize a Polyvagal-Informed model that focuses on the body-mind integration via the vagus nerve and its role in determining a healthy nervous system’s Threat Response Cycle. The Somatic approach to traumatology is a “bottom-up” treatment which directly intervenes with the limbic system or sub-cortical (sensorimotor) areas of the brain, accessing emotional and sensorimotor processes and engages the body’s innate capacity to heal. I weave together methods that focus on Human Bonding or Attachment and Connection, with an understanding of the Defense System of “Fight, Flight, Fawn, Freeze”, and I add in a healthy dose of integrating methods that support the sensorimotor processing. These help us to live more fully embodied and present without hijacking our unconscious patterns that get imprinted in the body/mind over time, freeing us to live conscious, centered, empowered, and embodied lives.
When we get stuck in a loop in our body’s protective reactions to keep us safe, then a chronic level of “fight, flight, or freeze” occurs. This can trigger all kinds of stress reactions in our body, in our emotions, and in our “story” or thoughts. The rapid cycling of this loop can be repaired best by integrating these 3 parts, rather than just focusing on one aspect such as the mind or just working with our emotions. In other words, I am not just a “Talk” therapist. I work with the Soma or Body, as well as our thoughts and emotions. I do this in a creative way, introducing attentive strategies for regulating the Nervous System.
It’s helpful for clients to reflect on how often they get stuck in their “story”. People can tell and retell their story until they get tired of hearing it and still not find relief. What I suggest is to step “outside” the story and notice how they hold that story in their body.
What else do they notice? Taking a look at the patterns that have emerged repeatedly over time helps us unwind them. What keeps cycling in our lives? Do we keep finding ourselves struggling with the same symptoms over and over again? How can we shift this cycle?
How can we complete the sequence that wants to heal? What wants to resolve that keeps getting in the way of our joy? What is actually present that we keep missing What is the one strength that we bring to our life that seems to go unnoticed by our constant focus on the squeaky wheel?
“Movement is a language, and the body is the instrument through which it speaks. Embodied Developmental Movement (role of early development in movement and consciousness).”
– Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.