Eva Belanger Somatic Experiencing Therapy

The Work of Healing from Trauma

Working through trauma first necessitates that our bodies know what trauma is not.  This means getting familiarized with our bodies and the sensations that arise in them. To heal, we need to reacquaint our nervous system to feel and sense what is good, neutral, right, and even pleasurable. Only after we establish a safe place for our body to retreat to can we work on going into some of the body’s traumatic memory and experience.  This allows the system to be resourced and empowered through the process. The work we do together is mindful and only at your body’s pace.  I do not take any pleasure in over-activating a system that is not in touch with its powerful resources. 
Traditional therapy has unintentionally conditioned us to believe that working on trauma requires exposure-based treatment models. Working through trauma does not demand we go directly to the trauma and rehash every detail. It simply is unnecessary, and this is excellent news for all of us. Traditional therapy can help but often does not get to the root of the nervous system disorder itself.  Why?  Because the nervous system and the disorders it carries are in our bodies and not our heads. Our work together encompasses talk therapy with a focus and awareness of your bodys impulses and responses throughout the sessions.  We let the body drive more than the content. We learn how to inquire with our bodies and listen to the wisdom they impart to us from moment to moment. 
In reality, we are “safe” most of the time. However, each of us has had experiences where our systems get dinged.  When this happens, our bodies retain a trauma imprint, like a fingerprint, that constantly reminds us to steer clear. This can tend to trap us in fear, constant worry, and anxiety and, henceforth, become addicted to always looking for danger. Living in this space can be torturous. Our minds tell us one thing, but more often than not, we are safe, and our bodies are not in danger like they may have been at one time. We can assess for real risk through practices in orientation and taking in the actual environments around us.  As humans, we can use our senses to gain information and, even more importantly, to enjoy the world around us. We can retrain our bodies, and hence our brains, to read the world accurately and not through the prisms of our most significant traumas and fears.
“Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. Being frightened means living in a body that is always on guard. Angry people live in angry bodies. The bodies of child-abuse victims are tense and defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe. In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.”
Lastly, I, too, have been in the client seat with my own trauma. I know the difficulty of walking into the office and talking, working, and allowing my body to process through difficult times in my own life. I, too, have suffered from trauma, but allow me to share that suffering can go away or, at the very least, decrease in discomfort. My heart is passionate about assisting you in your journey to lasting health and wellness. To help you in the journey of coming home to the truth and to process trauma and physical pain out of your being.  It is possible to find enjoyment in your life again. 
“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
–Bruce Lee, Artist of Life
Trauma makes us stiff trees!  Palm trees have learned how to flex with the storms and winds that blow onto the shore. We can be like these trees, able to handle the winds that get stirred up. Our healing makes us able to flex and be with the environment around us while still maintaining ourselves, our boundaries, and our connection to those we love.