Category Archives: Blog

Body/Mind Therapies

For many years now I’ve observed a myriad of therapeutic practices and their clinicians using the descriptors “Mind/Body Therapy”, “Somatic Therapist”, or “Wholistic” to define their work. I am no longer willing to give these folks a pass. My bias is this: anyone using the terms mind/body, body/mind, somatic, soma, wholistic, etc. to define their… Read More »

Healing the Trauma Body (part 6)

Trauma provides an opportunity, a re-direction from the path we were walking. Levine describes a portal, the trauma vortex, one needs to go through in order to attain the transformative influences that trauma can provide. “Trauma sufferers are so frightened of their bodily sensations that they recoil from feeling them. It is as though they… Read More »

Healing the Trauma Body (part 5)

Affects of Trauma What is affected by trauma? The whole organism! Merriam-Webster’s definition of organism is “a complex structure of interdependent and subordinate elements whose relations and properties are largely determined by their function in the whole.”4 It’s not just muscles, bones, ligaments, blood, or fascia. It includes brain tissue, thoughts, beliefs, ideation, self-image, attitudes,… Read More »

Healing the Trauma Body (part 4)

Trauma and Loss Trauma leads to loss. What do we lose? Firstly, we lose our instinct. Intuition has its seed in ancestral instincts for survival and adaptation. Our ancestors’ responses had to be instantaneous; original instincts (now identified as intuition) were based on a rapid-access fast-track system separate from conscious thought and unencumbered by hesitation… Read More »

Healing the Trauma Body (part 3)

Polyvagal Theory The polyvagal theory, born from the research and writings of Stephen Porges, Ph.D., is a new understanding of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). His groundbreaking work provides an elaborate mapping of the psychophysiological systems that govern the traumatic state and illuminate the pathways for recovery and integration from these deleterious states of mind… Read More »

Healing the Trauma Body (part 2)

What Causes Trauma? As Freud said, the cause of trauma is a breach in the protective barrier against stimulation. What is this protective barrier that Freud refers to? According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), all living bodies generate an external field of energy called wei chi, which translates as “protective energy.” The definition of wei… Read More »

Healing the Trauma Body

The following article is an edited version of my plenary presentation at Dr. Rolf’s 40th Year Celebration of her work at the Rolf® Institute of Structural Integration in Boulder, Colorado in October 2011. I will be sending a series of blogs featuring this lengthy article.  We have all been traumatized, some more than others. Trauma… Read More »

Two Brain Creatures

Since the “Decade of the Brain”, neuroscientific discoveries indicate that the human being is a “two brain creature.” As stated in my earlier blog, the right hemisphere is most primary in the earliest stages of human development. The right brain allows for implicit communication with its interoceptive and exteroceptive environments and is particularly the case… Read More »

Matter of the Body

One of the main distinctions of western psychology and somatic psychology is the latter’s focus, attention, and awareness of the body. When one speaks of the “matter of the body”, one must acknowledge the relationship of the Latin mater, which means mother. All somatic approaches to healing engage the client’s relationship with their mother. As… Read More »

Difference between western psychology and somatic psychology?

The foundations of western psychological thought are rooted in Freudian psychoanalytic theory. Freud was interested in the phases of human development that occurred after language acquisition, that is to say after 2 years of age. This early phase of language development is described as the fraternal attachment phase or classically referred to as the “terrible… Read More »