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Trauma Informed Therapy with Bev Stratton

Trauma Informed Approaches

Listen to Your Body ... and Spirit

Bev Stratton Therapist lilcas

Your brain and body

store unprocessed trauma.

Your spirit enlivens you.

WHY IT MATTERS

Our bodies and emotions react faster than our thinking brain—to keep us safe.

We can “update” our nervous system to know better when we are safe.  

We can self-soothe when emotionally hijacked by past trauma.

We may seek serenity and the care of others

or a Higher Power when life becomes unmanageable.

Go Deeper. . .

with the Brain

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing EMDR with Bev Stratton

EMDR 

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing

 

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) knows that trauma impedes the brain’s ability to store memories.  These unprocessed memories then pop up as fragments, often triggered by a smell, sound, or sight, and cause distress.  EMDR helps us to reprocess the traumatic experiences in a natural way (think of digesting food), so that we do not experience PTSD-like symptoms. I have completed basic training in EMDR and done EMDR as a client.  I can explain it to you, and if we work together I could coordinate care with an EMDR therapist that you can find here.

ART

Accelerated Resolution Therapy

ART (Accelerated Resolution Therapy) is a trauma therapy that grew out of EMDR.  I have experienced it as a client.  You can find an ART-trained therapist here.

Go Deeper. . .

with the Body

Somatic Experiencing

 

Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a body-based modality for healing trauma.  This video by Peter A. Levine, PhD, the founder of SE shows some of the underlying concepts, as they appear in animals.  Here a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) describes how a typical SE session goes.  This video shows Peter Levine talking with a vet with PTSD.  You can find an SEP here.

Complex PTSD

Pete Walker, MA, MFT, explains emotional flashbacks (when your brain takes you back to feelings from childhood), how to know when you are in one, and strategies for how to handle them.

Go Deeper. . .

with the Nervous System

Polyvagal Theory

The Polyvagal Theory

The New Science of Safety in Trauma

In this video, Seth Porges, son of neuroscientist Stephen Porges, PhD, who developed the theory, explains it.  You can also learn more about it here.  Deb Dana, LCSW, describes it in this video as the “The Science of Feeling Safe Enough to Fall in Love with Life and Take the Risks of Living.”  She has popularized polyvagal theory into the therapy realm.  Porges also developed an intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol, to help people with trauma, autism, other developmental disorders, and anxiety in relationships.  You can watch another short video about it here.

Go Deeper. . .

with Spirituality

Spirituality is important to humans.  My previous career as a college religion professor acquainted me with a variety of religious traditions, and I drew on my own Christian tradition as I taught the Bible. 

As a therapist, I may inquire about your spiritual values or religious practices and whether you want to incorporate them in any way in therapy.  I will follow your lead.

I subscribe to Diana Eck’s model of pluralism that includes learning about various spiritual traditions and seeking to understand the people who practice them as they want to be understood.  It involves respecting and honoring one another’s commitments. 

Al-Anon is a practical spiritual resource for anyone who experiences “a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend” (Tradition 3).  It is often recommended by therapists for anyone who needs to learn to put the focus on themselves and their own life, rather than on someone else.  I am familiar with the 12 steps and the 12 traditions of Al-Anon, and I will respect your recovery process. 

My Experience with Trauma Approaches & Spirituality

Several trauma-focused models and recent research about our brains and bodies inform my work with clients.  If I think you will be best served by working with a therapist who specializes in one of them, I will provide a referral.  These are not the only brain and body-based models, but the ones I know best, either through training, self-study, and/or experiencing them as a client.  Spirituality is helpful for many clients.  I am familiar with 12-step recovery programs. 

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