In a first session, it is wonderful to begin the session in a seated therapist-to-client format to have the opportunity to attune to each others' nervous systems and to introduce the Somatic Experiencing® stabilization tools and techniques. It is in this way that we can discover together what may be most helpful for your unique nervous system to feel more settled and be able to move into self-regulation. This creates the foundation for increasing capacity and building resiliency in the nervous system that allows us to go deeper into the work of healing trauma.
Our goal for introducing these elements in a first session is to learn more about your physiology and to teach you the stabilization tools most helpful for your nervous system that you can use in your everyday life and in between sessions. Ultimately, Somatic Experiencing® is about moving through trauma, increasing capacity for resilience, and teaching you to tune into your own body to know what your body needs to be more regulated.
"Somatic" means body and "experiencing" means present moment. Our work is therefore, experiential in nature and we will work with the natural process that arises within the client in each session. The techniques we incorporate will likely vary from session to session. With the primary goal of collaborating and supporting your nervous system, we may decide to incorporate some, none, or very little massage table work in any session. This will vary according to the organic unfolding of your healing process, your trauma history and whether you are comfortable with receiving therapeutic touch work, and your goals for each session. The work is fluid and will evolve over time.
As we move forward, our sessions together may include any combination of SE™ (Somatic Experiencing®) work, Jin Shin Do® Acupressure, and traditional table massage or Thai yoga bodywork, which is done while the client remains fully clothed on a heated Thai mat. If you are interested in learning more about the various specialties we may incorporate, you can find more info on our website here.
Lastly and most significantly, the most meaningful component of this type of healing work is to create what we call a safe container for the work to be processed and supported in a way that is welcoming, not overwhelming, to the body.
It is of paramount importance to understand when your nervous system is "in motion," feels settled and is processing, and has experienced the appropriate amount of SE™ work in any given session. Somatic work can be deeply profound, yet subtle, and it is imperative to honor the body's natural rhythm and not do too much at any time. We call this theory titration in Somatic Experiencing®, which is a concept developed in chemistry that refers to transformation drop by drop, which alludes to the gradual and natural process of the healing work. Generally, this is a wonderful time to naturally move into bodywork to support the work we have just cultivated together. A 75 minute session is highly recommended for these sessions. I have found that this is just the right amount for SE™ processing and integration.
As a reminder, it is outside of the scope of my practice as a licensed massage & bodywork therapist to be able to give feedback or advice on any trauma-related content. Although you are certainly able to speak about the arising content as it is helpful during our sessions, it is highly recommended that you are able to further process the content that arises with a licensed psychotherapist. I honor and meet you where you are in your healing process with a guiding and empathetic presence and am happy to provide professional references for licensed psychotherapists in the field of trauma therapy.
Specializing in Trauma-Informed Somatic Bodywork, Thai Yoga Massage, & Jin Shin Do® Acupressure