Skills to be with hard stuff (yours and mine)
Hi friends, and happy new year. 🥳 I hope that however you chose to spend your holidays, that you were present for it. (For how easy it is to move through life in a rushed, unembodied way, being present is not to be taken for granted! It takes intentionality and some degree of nervous system regulation.)
Skills to be with (other people’s) hard stuff
Speaking of being present, I have a new offering for the folks out there whose job it is to be present with those who have been through hard stuff. So, to all you mental health therapists, trauma practitioners, coaches, bodyworkers, social workers, and the like who are reading this… this is for you. It’s an 8-week Zoom course that I named “Healthy Helpers: Developing Therapeutic Longevity” that will start on February 1, meeting every Thursday from 12:30 to 2:00 pm until March 21. Timed to be available as an extended lunch break for people who are busy in their various helping professions, we will learn how to be with the “trauma material” and difficult experiences of those we work with, without losing ourselves or suffering in our own bodies as a result. We will explore how we respond internally, on a body level, to the demands placed on us for empathy in a world that seems to be endlessly hurting, and how to do it in a way that is sustainable and that honors self-care in the process. We’ll do this through discussing the concepts brought up in Babette Rothschild’s book “Help for the Helper: Preventing Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma in an Ever-Changing World”, plus will have facilitated practice in tracking our own nervous system while working with our clients’ stories.
To see pricing options and read more details, head to my “For Professionals” page and check it out. Pass it onto friends and colleagues that you think may be interested. Thanks!
Skills to be with (one’s own) hard stuff
And for those who are just trying to survive their own material/life, I invite you to learn how to allow the body to be a part of whatever therapeutic/healing endeavors you are pursuing. It has much to say, guaranteed!
In my own personal journey of healing, before the body was invited to be a part of the picture, all my therapeutic efforts fell sorta flat. It may sound weird, but I found that trying to heal from trauma without involving the body was sort of like shuffling around the files on a desk—the files that we had already looked at a dozen times… Versus bringing out new files from the archives, files that each held fresh information to the story at hand, the story that was keeping me stuck. The body is like the key to the archive drawers, where we get access to crucial pieces of previously-hidden intel, and that end up informing us of what’s important and what’s not, and how to integrate it all into a coherent picture of exactly how and where the trauma is still gripping, keeping us from moving forward. I didn’t need a “reframe” or a different perspective on my trauma; I needed more information. And the body proves to be a reliable source of exactly the information that is needed to complete the picture, because the body houses all that we are not cognizant of, yet are holding. It is the storehouse for the subconscious. (And the mechanism of survival happens largely on the subconscious level.)
So, if you have clues that you’re in survival mode but don’t know what to do about it beyond your normal talk therapy sessions, I invite you to say “hello” to your body. Read books about the body’s role in things (there are lots of great books on my Resources page), find a somatically-oriented practitioner, or just start doing body and involving it in your healing efforts by attending one of our Release & Refresh classes. In these classes, led by me and local trauma-informed yoga teacher Michelle Ester-Bode, we provide a space to engage the body in simple stretches while also doing nervous system “exercises” to bring awareness to how your particular body is holding/expressing the survival-mode energy, and to train your nervous system to face stressors with more resilience and strength. The result is typically a level of calm and clarity that is hard to come by these days. I encourage you to give it a shot and see what it does for you. We continually provide fresh content for each class, so there’s always something new. Book a class here.
If you have yet to purchase one of our desk calendars with monthly prompts for grounding and gaining self-awareness, I encourage you to get on it! 2024 is here!! And just think… after a full year of this calendar sitting on your desk, you will have gained a whopping 12 tools/techniques for returning to the body and finding your ground again amidst the stress of daily life. These calendars are made by yours truly, and 100% of the sales go towards funding my Sliding Scale program at the studio, so that those seeking to heal from trauma but unable to afford appointments can come and receive the help they need anyway. Buy one (or five!) here. 😊 I can ship to anywhere, or you can pick up in the studio if you like.
Bye for now, dear friends! Thank you for reading!