Trauma Therapy with CSTGentle | Safe | Effective
What is Trauma?
A simple definition of trauma is “anything that overwhelms our resources.” We can have difficult or distressing experiences that we have the resources for with which do not create trauma. Trauma results when we don’t have the resources to deal with or respond to a difficult or distressing experience. Trauma engages the fight, flight & freeze responses, changing the physiology & chemistry of our body. Its as though part of us is not able to move past the experience. An integral part of the trauma response is dissociation – our body’s way of reducing what we feel so that we can cope. This is helpful at the time, but long term can leave us feeling foggy, disconnected from our bodies & unengaged in what is going on in front of us. One of the most documented forms of trauma is PTSD. The symptoms of PTSD give us a good understanding of trauma in general:
- Flashbacks, nightmares, distressing unwanted memories
- Self-destructive behaviour, or social isolation
- Feeling angry, irritable, reactive or hostile, hyper-vigilance
- Fear, guilt, blame, overwhelm
- Feeling numb or disconnected from feelings
- Avoidance – of people, places, feelings or thoughts that bring back memories of the event
- Persistent negative emotions or distorted negative beliefs about others or oneself
- Self-destructive behaviour or social isolation
- Trouble sleeping or concentrating
Trauma can also compound in the body when multiple events or experiences occur. Our subconscious mind is good at linking things together based on the core emotions & responses they evoke. Although our range of traumatic experiences is vast, and our psychological experience of trauma can be complex, luckily the way out of trauma is simple – through the body.
1. There is trauma (terrible things happen to human beings)
2. We can overcome trauma
3. Trauma is healed by meeting the body.
– Steve Haines DC, BCST. TRE (Author of Pain, Trauma and Anxiety are Really Strange)
“Trauma produces actual physiological changes, including a recalibration of the brain’s alarm system, an increase in stress hormone.”
– Bessel A. van der Kolk, Author of The Body Keeps the Score
Working with Trauma with CST
Working with our physiology is a powerful way to unravel & release trauma. When we help our physiology out of the fight, flight & freeze states – from dis-regulation to regulation & from fear to safety – trauma is released. We can’t simultaneously feel good & feel trauma. Craniosacral therapy is a gentle contact based therapy that helps regulate our nervous system & body back into safety. Craniosacral Therapy brings back your resources – places in your body that feel good. When we start to feel good, trauma becomes less overwhelming & less scary. The more resources we build (and the better we feel), the more we can bring the traumatised parts of us back into harmony. Working with your resources means that trauma is always processed at your pace. It is a misconception that we need to dig up, relive or even understand trauma to heal.
I have successfully helped clients who have experienced the following issues:
- Abuse – sexual, mental, emotional, physical
- Hypervigilance, anxiety, unable to relax
- Childhood trauma, neglect, attachment issues
- Traumatic births, c-sections & traumatic labours
- Numbness, shutdown, dissociation & fogginess
- Traumatic events, car accidents, terrorist attacks
- Physical injuries, accidents, head injuries, concussion
- Trauma related anger, rage, outbursts
- Anxiety & panic attacks, fear
- Insomnia & sleeplessness
- Post op stress from surgery or medical interventions
- Workplace bullying stress
- Dealing with loss
I offer sessions that work at your pace, in safe and in a heart-felt space without judgement. I enjoy working to help my clients find resources amidst the overwhelm & distress of trauma. Feel free to book in a session to see what Craniosacral Therapy feels like for you. I offer guidance on the number & frequency of sessions but ultimately it is entirely up to you. Usually I recommend coming for a weekly session until you notice the improvements you want.
With Craniosacral Therapy, instead of “working on trauma”, we work on feeling good. Trauma is processed best when you feel resourced.
– James Stichbury, BE, BCST