Wooden Hut

Somatic Experiencing

Somatic comes from the root word, soma, which means the body.  Somatic Experiencing™ (SE) is a naturalistic, body-oriented approach for healing from traumatic or overwhelming life situations and chronic stress with a specific focus on emotional regulation, arousal modulation, and the biological discharge, release and completion of self-protective responses (orienting / fight / flight / freeze).  It was originally developed by Dr. Peter Levine, resulting from his multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices and medical biophysics. SE releases supports the release of stuck energy and supports the body’s natural ability to regulate itself, which is key to transforming PTSD, chronic stress and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma. It helps people to move out of immobility and freeze (collapse/shutdown), into more flow, embodiment and aliveness, which in turns supports us to engage socially and sustain intimate relationships.

Transforming Touch &Transforming Intentional Touch

I invite any curiosities and questions, please contact me below!

Transforming the Experience-Based Brain: The Work of Stephen Terrell.

After working for years with Developmental Trauma, I struggled with different approches to treating Developmental Trauma that weren't as effective as I had hoped.  I questioned if talk was more effective or if holding (somatic) approach was better. Out of these two polar opposites came a third way.  The third way involved seeing the client's body as being normal and capable of healing itself.   I realized that this healing was probably not going to happen without support of the client's nervous system along with an understanding of homeostasis.   This opened my eyes to see that my clients were doing the best job they could do with the circumstances. This was their normal.

Transforming Touch and Transforming Intentional Touch both came out of the Third Way.  This opened up space for the client to bring their narrative to the table and for us to build a trusting relationship through a nonverbal and verbal dyadic relationship.  Very much like the Pregnant Mom shared with the baby during utero. 

We support change through a set protocol that speaks to the non-verbal part of the client who directly experienced the Developmental Trauma.  This set protocol strengthens the non-verbal relationship through exploring inherieted trauma, conception trauma, utero trauma, birth trauma, and postnatal trauma.  Allowing for a balance between the Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual self.  

This training has the potiential to change clients lives.  As students, you also participate as client and observer in the teaching triads.   A little extra capacity extends lives and commitments and allows clients to build relationships.

Dr. Peter Levine on the development of the Somatic Experiencing Approach and the concept of titration.  Published by PsychAlive on Mar 10, 2014

Somatic experiencing is a part of trauma therapy which can be used to treat depression, body memories, flashbacks, panic attacks, etc. Since Post Traumatic Stress Injury can express itself in many ways, trauma treatment has to be able to work on many various symptoms. Somatic experiencing works to gather all of the information we have about a trauma and put it in to a nice cohesive narrative or story. 

Published by Kati Morton on Jan 30, 2017

What if the traumatic event wasn't the cause of trauma? It's time to rethink trauma by looking to the body's memory of the event, not the mind's interpretation of the story. In this short video, Peter Levine explains how the body holds the energy of trauma and why we can't begin to process the emotional suffering until we first resolve trauma on the physiological level.  Peter Levine Demonstrates How Trauma Sticks in the Body.  Published by PESImentalhealth on Jul 20, 2016

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I invite any curiosities and questions, please contact me below!

A touch approach for supporting the healing of Developmental Trauma                    

Transforming Touch        

 Transforming Touch is a treatment modality that follows a specific protocol which has supported healing of thousands of clients.  Transforming Touch creates a milieu of safety where a client can begin to feel a difference in their life through subtle, yet profound changes. In this place of safety, the client experiences attachment focused protocols which and consistent and measured for repairing early ruptures and the consequences.   

Transforming Touch Therapist understand the importance of presence. They assume the role of Secure Base during the treatment which opens the door for repair of early trauma ruptures. 

Transforming Touch Therapist rely on the work of John Bowlby who is often times referred to as the father of attachment. Bowlby believed that there are four distinguishing characteristics of attachment:Proximity maintenance: The desire to be near the people we are attached to. Safe haven: Returning to the attachment figure for comfort and safety in the face of a fear or threat. Secure base: The attachment figure acts as a base of security from which the child can explore the surrounding environment and Separation distress: Anxiety that occurs in the absence of the attachment figure.

Transforming Touch Therapist support and understand the importance of the client's story or narrative.  We are all born with survival parts that we use to navigate being born to growing up to death.  We listen to each of these parts and honor their individual stories and make note as the story begins to change.  Change is a clear indication of healing.

Transforming Touch Therapist provide "Trauma Informed Care" to their clients.  Listening to their needs and supporting.  As studies have shown such as the Adverse Childhood Experience Study, without intervention there is a possibility of experiencing early disease processes that may lead to a shorter life expectancy.

                                                                                                   

Transforming Intentional Touch

 Transforming Intentional Touch is an equally effective way of facilitating regulation within our client's nervous systems.  All the protocol and enhancements have been tweaked to work without physical touch.  The power of working with intention has been expressed and shared from Healers from around the world.  Some actually believe it is much stronger than using physical touch.

Transforming  Intentional Touch Therapist is an effective treatment for those who work in agencies that don't allow physical touch and for those limited by licensure laws.   This is also enhances our work using telemedicine.  

Transforming Intentional Touch Therapist rely on the work of John Bowlby who is often times referred to as the father of attachment. Bowlby believed that there are four distinguishing characteristics of attachment:Proximity maintenance: The desire to be near the people we are attached to. Safe haven: Returning to the attachment figure for comfort and safety in the face of a fear or threat. Secure base: The attachment figure acts as a base of security from which the child can explore the surrounding environment and Separation distress: Anxiety that occurs in the absence of the attachment figure.

Transforming Intentional Touch share all the understandings and workings of Developmental Trauma and support Trauma Informed Care. 

We treat a wide range of issues in relation to developmental trauma and psychotherapy. https://www.austinattach.com/counseling-overview/issues-we-treat/Our treatment options include, but aren't limited too:

  • Adoptions

  • Attachment Disorder

  • Developmental Trauma

  • Medical Trauma

  • Post Traumatic Stress

  • Reactive Attachment

  • Trauma

  • Abus and Abandonment Issues

  • Gried and Depression

  • Physical Aggresion/Anger Management

  • ADD/ADHD

  • Oppositional Behaviors

  • School Problems

  • Anxiety/Phobias/Panic Attacks

  • Social Skills

  • Bed-wetting/Enuresis/Encopresis

  • Brain Injury

  • Sensory Processing Disorders

  • Consultation With Parents

  • Parent/Child Bonding

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Bullying

  • Transition Preparation

  • Sibling Conflict Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

  • Family and Peer Relationship Problems

  • Communication Problems/Assertiveness Training

  • Parental Divorce/Separation

  • Low Self-esteem

  • Foster and Adopted Children

  • Pre-Adoption Counseling

  • Adoption Disruption Counseling

  • Stress Management

  • Group Counseling

  • Separation Anxiety

  • Sleep Problems

  • Developmental Delays

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Reactive Attachment Disorder

  • Attachment Disruptions

  • Post Institutionalized Adoptions

  • Individual and Couple Counseling

Common Issues we treat:

Medical Trauma:  

Common Issues we treat:

Medical Trauma:  According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Disorder, Pediatric medical traumatic stress refers to reactions that children and their families may have to pain, injury, and serious illness; or to "invasive" medical procedures (such as surgery) or treatments (such as burn care) that are sometimes frightening. Reactions can affect the mind as well as the body. For example, children and their families may become anxious, irritable, or on edge. They may have unwanted thoughts or nightmares about the illness, injury, or the hospital. Some people may avoid going to the doctor or the hospital, or lose interest in being with friends and family and in things they used to enjoy. As a result, they may not do well at school, work, or home. How children and families cope with these changes is related to the person's own thoughts and feelings about the illness, injury, or the hospital; reactions can vary, even within the same family.

Attachment Disorder:  

Attachment disorder is based on the psychological theories that

  1. Normal mother-child attachment forms in the first two years of life; and

  2. If a normal attachment is not formed during the first two to three years, attachment can be induced later.

Attachment disorder is a term that is often seen in the research literature (O'Connor & Zeanah) but which is much broader than the clinical diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder, which is described in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual, 4th Edition, Technical Revision, of the American Psychiatric Association.
This theory (Attachment Theory) is used, for example, to explain the behavioral difficulties of children who have experienced chronic early maltreatment, such as foster and adopted children.
Attachment theory was developed by John Bowlby in the 1940s and 1950s and is the leading theory used in the fields of Infant Mental Health, Child Development, and related fields. It is a well-researched theory that describes how the attachment relationship develops, why it is crucial to later healthy development, and what are the effects of early maltreatment or other disruptions in this process.

When we consider the Attachment Cyle, we think about the baby sleeping, the baby awakens and cries, the caregiver responds to the baby's need, the baby returns to sleep.  When attachment is disrupted, because the caregiver doesn't respond, there is a high potential for the baby to develop attachment disorders.  Below is a YouTube presentation on the Still Face Experiment.  It verifies how quickly the child feels distress with the caregiver becomes unavailable.

Developmental Trauma:  

CONSENSUS PROPOSED CRITERIA FOR DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA DISORDER by Bessel van der Kolk

A. Exposure.  The child or adolescent has experienced or witnessed multiple or prolonged adverse events over a period of at least one year beginning in childhood or early adolescence, including:

A. 1. Direct experience or witnessing of repeated and severe episodes of interpersonal violence;

A. 2. Significant disruptions of protective caregiving as the result of repeated changes in primary caregiver; repeated separation from the primary caregiver; or exposure to severe and persistent emotional abuse

B. Affective and Physiological Dysregulation. The child exhibits impaired normative developmental competencies related to arousal regulation, including at least two of the following:

B. 1. Inability to modulate, tolerate, or recover from extreme affect states (e.g., fear, anger, shame), including prolonged and extreme tantrums, or immobilization

B. 2. Disturbances in regulation in bodily functions (e.g. persistent disturbances in sleeping, eating, and elimination; over-reactivity or under-reactivity to touch and sounds; disorganization during routine transitions)

B. 3. Diminished awareness/dissociation of sensations, emotions and bodily states

B. 4. Impaired capacity to describe emotions or bodily states

C. Attentional and Behavioral Dysregulation: The child exhibits impaired normative developmental competencies related to sustained attention, learning, or coping with stress, including at least three of the following:

C. 1. Preoccupation with threat, or impaired capacity to perceive threat, including misreading of safety and danger cues

C. 2. Impaired capacity for self-protection, including extreme risk-taking or thrill-seeking

C. 3. Maladaptive attempts at self-soothing (e.g., rocking and other rhythmical movements, compulsive masturbation)

C. 4. Habitual (intentional or automatic) or reactive self-harm

C. 5. Inability to initiate or sustain goal-directed behavior

D. Self and Relational Dysregulation. The child exhibits impaired normative developmental competencies in their sense of personal identity and involvement in relationships, including at least three of the following:

D. 1. Intense preoccupation with safety of the caregiver or other loved ones (including precocious caregiving) or difficulty tolerating reunion with them after separation

D. 2. Persistent negative sense of self, including self-loathing, helplessness, worthlessness, ineffectiveness, or defectiveness

D. 3. Extreme and persistent distrust, defiance or lack of reciprocal behavior in close relationships with adults or peers

D. 4. Reactive physical or verbal aggression toward peers, caregivers, or other adults

D. 5. Inappropriate (excessive or promiscuous) attempts to get intimate contact (including but not limited to sexual or physical intimacy) or excessive reliance on peers or adults for safety and reassurance

D. 6. Impaired capacity to regulate empathic arousal as evidenced by lack of empathy for, or intolerance of, expressions of distress of others, or excessive responsiveness to the distress of others

E. Post-traumatic Spectrum Symptoms. The child exhibits at least one symptom in at least two of the three PTSD symptom clusters B, C, & D.

F. Duration of Disturbance (symptoms in DTD Criteria B, C, D, and E) at least 6 months.

G. Functional Impairment. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in at two of the following areas of functioning: Scholastic: under-performance, non-attendance, disciplinary problems, drop-out, failure to complete degree/credential(s), conflict with school personnel, learning disabilities or intellectual impairment that cannot be accounted for by neurological or other factors.

Familial:  conflict, avoidance/passivity, running away, detachment and surrogate replacements, attempts to physically or emotionally hurt family members, non-fulfillment of responsibilities within the family.

Peer Group:  isolation, deviant affiliations, persistent physical or emotional conflict, avoidance/passivity, involvement in violence or unsafe acts, age-inappropriate affiliations or style of interaction.

Legal:  arrests/recidivism, detention, convictions, incarceration, violation of probation or other court orders, increasingly severe offenses, crimes against other persons, disregard or contempt for the law or for conventional moral standards.

Health:  physical illness or problems that cannot be fully accounted for physical injury or degeneration, involving the digestive, neurological (including conversion symptoms and analgesia), sexual, immune, cardiopulmonary, proprioceptive, or sensory systems, or severe headaches (including migraine) or chronic pain or fatigue.

Vocational (for youth involved in, seeking or referred for employment, volunteer work or job training): disinterest in work/vocation, inability to get or keep jobs, persistent conflict with co-workers or supervisors, under-employment in relation to abilities, failure to achieve expectable advancements.

Post Traumatic Stress: