We often talk about Safety as an essential quality when it comes to healing trauma, but as with all language and wording people have their own presuppositions and perspectives on the word.
We may associate Safety with avoidance, like a "playing it safe" attitude, or we may associate it with feeling smothered, as our parents may have been over bearing in attempting to keep us safe.
In this article I am going to give some context around safety and integration, and also give voice to some pitfalls I have seen people and practitioners fall into whilst attempting to heal trauma.
Safety in the context of healing trauma is not an avoidance strategy, it is a quality that is conducive and essential for the integration and release of unmetabolized stress. Safety was what was lacking in the moment the response got stuck.
Lack of safety is the reason for trauma, we felt out of control, overwhelmed, alone, disconnected and unsupported in the midst of our distress and so we were unable...
There are many questions that arise when it comes to Somatic/Trauma Therapy.
Matt & Ryan first lay the foundations of this work then here's a taste of what is covered:
Embodied Processing Practitioner Training: https://www.thecentreforhealing.com/embodied-processing
Combining Embodied Processing & Root-Cause Therapy class: https://www.thecentreforhealing.com/blog/combining-root-cause-therapy-embodied-processing
TCFH Practitioner Directory: https://www.thecentreforhealing.com/courses-3
There was a discovery made by Bruce Lipton where he found that every cell in our body has two switches. One side of the switch being shutdown and survival, the other side of the switch being thriving and growth.
Each cell in our body has this switch, and is either switched on or off at any given moment. There is no middle, we are either in a state of connection or a state of protection.
The human species has primarily lived from a place of survival for thousands of years, our environment has caused our nervous system to adapt and learn to live from a place driven by unconscious fear. The primary objective of this fear is; survival of the individual, survival of the family, and survival of the collective.
When we are in a state of protection the areas of the brain that govern rationality, compassion, clear thinking, understanding and other positive qualities gets taken offline to varying degrees. We cannot be in protection and connection at the same time.
Is it any wonder then that...
Human beings can be extremely complex.
The ever deepening unconscious layers of threads and structures that govern the orientation of each individual are seemingly infinite, every moment a spontaneous arising, perceptions and perspectives creating and recreating themselves spinning endless loops and patterns of images, words and sensations presenting themselves as reactions and responses to our environment and giving rise to our sense of self.
Within the human psyche are many layers of unintegrated and unconscious imprints that are the driving force of how we move in the world, parts of ourselves that are unknown and hidden from us.
I call these parts the abandoned orphans, they are structures that have been split off from the whole, they live within us in places that for most people attention dares not travel.
A tree on the other hand is so simply itself, it has its branches, it has its leaves, it is made of wood and simply just sits there, being itself.
It has no likes nor...
Have you ever wondered what they mean by “felt sense”?
The felt sense is in the direct experience of bodily sensation. As a beginning practice it may be helpful to close your eyes and begin to tune into your body, notice your hands, what does the presence of your hands feel like? Can you notice subtle sensations, subtle energy?
Can you feel the presence of your hands? This can be a helpful practice for beginners, to just gently feel the hands or other parts of the body that have neutral associations. You will notice almost immediately the pull to be dragged back into the mind, into thinking about the felt sense rather than feeling the felt sense.
Do not fight this pull, just gently notice you have been drawn back into mind, and then return attention back to the feeling of your hands.
With practice the ability to hold attention in the body grows and we spend longer and longer periods there. (PS. Be weary of letting this turn into a struggle, have patience with...
The Shakti....that's what we love
Our Shakti is our Energy, our life force. We love to feel it and whether we know it or not, the actions we take are because we believe that 'thing' will stimulate this Shakti.
Truth is we have so much dormant energy within us, incredible amounts!
But for most of us, it's blocked.
It's like a powerful river that has been clogged up with rocks, pebbles & boulders.
To the point where only trickles of water are running through.
As we move through time & space our Consciousness (our energy) gets stuck at certain points, we cannot digest certain life experiences, we cannot properly process them, so a small fragment of our energy remains there while the rest moves through time & space with us.
This is essentially putting a rock in the river.
All of a sudden we're 40 years old and our life energy is greatly diminished.
We blame it on 'ageing' when in actual fact our energy is scattered across dozens (or hundreds) or undigested life experiences.
Things to note from the above Embodied Processing session:
Gently Coming Back to the Body
We let the mind speak when it wants to, we gather that information then drop down into the body again, noticing how it 'lands'
All is Welcome
The mind loves to judge, it attempts to categorise all content it comes across.
When doing this work there is no judgement as to what comes up.
Be it an emotion, sensation, movement, thought, visual in the mind, etc.
There is no judgement, all parts of this human are welcome here.
Us humans are so used to being judged, it is our expectation.
Great healing can happen when someone can be with their experience with no judgement.
Encourage the Movement
Whether its physical movement or emotional movement, as long as the client feels contained we encourage the continuation and even the exaggeration of the movement.
This is letting the bodies natural processes find completion.
Ryan Hassan (Co-Founder at The Centre for Healing)
Want to work with us?
"Safety is Healing" - Dr Stephen Porges
When someone has accumulated many traumatic imprints throughout their life, with no skills to regulate or process then the nervous system loses its sense of Safety.
We can go decades without truly feeling safe in our bodies.
At this point there is no capacity to deal with life's various situations & challenges.
When we Grow in Capacity then we have a solid foundation to deal with these challenges.
A container of Safety will start to build resilience and the emotional reactions can be dissolved into this safety.
Once our capacity continues to grow then the old emotional wounds from our past can be welcomed back to be integrated.
Feeling safe in the body can be a gradual process.
Like planting a seed. If we water that seed and continually look after it, it will grow.
We know we are growing when our language changes from "I can't handle this" to "I got this!"
Ryan Hassan (Co-Founder at The Centre for Healing)
Want to work with us?
What does it feel like to be you, in your body, in this moment?
When describing who we are we automatically start talking about our roles and 'what we do'
Yes, this is one level of identity however it's not truly where we live is it?
We live in our body, not in the psychological concepts & ideas of our function in society.
We live in the direct experience of what it means to be 'us'
Most people are very cut off from their Somatic Identity and for very good reason.
Coming down into the body is uncomfortable, there is emotional disturbance & agitation there.
Most were never taught how to be with uncomfortable sensation and so, from a young age, we disconnect. Disembodiment ensues.
The process of embodiment isn't an easy one as we have to meet these disturbances that we initially escaped from, this is why having an experienced guide is so helpful early on.
The journey is worth it however, as when we can spend more time in our body, feeling safe, we can actually experience life to...