“The part can never be well unless the whole is well.”
A combination of talk and touch therapy is a potent key in addressing imbalances from both sides of our being – these represent the so-called top-down (perception) and bottom-up (sensation) approaches.
I have found this combination to be particularly effective for people who are healing from trauma (of any type) as it provides additional resources for the nervous system to access the felt sense of safety and it allows us to work with the emotional, mental and physical bodies simultaneously.
It is worth noting that trauma is not the horrific things that happen to us. When we go through difficult experiences and resolve the stress not long afterwards, the experience does not leave a harmful residue in our being.
When we do not have the time, ability or support to complete the natural stress cycle, the leftover survival energy is stored in our body where it can disrupt our physical or mental wellbeing. This disruption or wounding in our body/mind is what trauma is.
So top-down processing seeks to integrate trauma by thinking and talking about explicit memories and/or cognitive patterns. Bottom-up sensing brings awareness to sensations and non-verbal memories in the body, as expressions of stored traumatic experiences.
Intentional, specific touch creates biological changes in the brain by inducing waves with lower frequency (alpha – theta – delta). If such touch precedes, follows on or is provided alongside a cognitive realisation/insight and/or an emotional experience, the combination grounds this shift into the body and psyche so it is immediately available to us as a resource and a new way of being.
The format of these sessions is very flexible, their use is empirical and highly individual and I usually offer them to clients who have already experienced some aspect of my work and with whose nervous system state, I am familiar.
Some of my clients have had powerful and transformative experiences through this type of work. Others find the combined approach provides them with additional help in working towards a regulated nervous system. And third, feel the cognitive perceptions easier to ground in the body, through the felt sense of safety, imparted by the supportive touch during or at the end of a session.
For details on the elements of this hybrid work, refer to the information I have in the separately listed services on this site and if any questions arise for you, feel free to contact me so we can chat about these.
“Let go and trust. Understanding comes effortlessly. It is not acquired but happens.”