After decades of sitting with unresolved trauma in my body and numerous attempts to resolve this through traditional talk therapy, I attended an introduction to Somatic Experiencing workshop. After gaining a beginner’s understanding of trauma physiology and how traumatic energy can get stored in the body, I knew this was a path I needed to travel and what a journey it has been. Through the foundational SE training, and advanced trainings in somatic touch, I have experienced the profound changes that can happen when the nervous system and the body become central characters in the healing story. My goal is to gently assist you towards healthy regulation, and a place where you can attune to yourself, others and the world around you while feeling safe. Trauma steals not only our sense of safety but also our curiousity. My hope on our journey together is that my curiousity reignites your curiousity.
As I have progressed in my practice, attachment in early relationships and how this shapes our behaviours in relationships later in life, has become front and centre in my work. When under stress, we can revert back to those early attachment adaptations, as much as this confuses, confounds and frustrates our adult self, and those we’re in relationship with. Insecure attachment is not a life sentence. Through acknowledgement and honouring the adaptations our younger self developed and implemented to survive, recognizing the patterns that no longer serve us, and practicing secure functioning behaviours we can have the kinds of healthy, strong and resilient relationships we all dream of.
For individual clients, one of the tools I use in my practice is therapeutic touch. If appropriate, and with your consent, I may introduce this during sessions as a means to support your nervous system towards regulation, re-establish (or perhaps experience for the first time) a sense of attunement/secure attachment, move survival energy, and/or mobilize deeper self-protective responses. This work can involve therapist contact with the head, kidneys/adrenals, joints, chest, back, and abdomen area. This is profoundly deep work that encourages movement, mobility and safety, and results in long-lasting changes in the nervous system.
In addition to working with clients individually, I also offer couples’ therapy using the Psychobiological Approach to Couples’ Therapy (PACT) model, an approach that aligns well with Somatic Experiencing due to the experiential nature. In my experience, PACT is different from other models, as it focuses on the dynamics between the couple through the lens of attachment versus the presenting problems.
I hold a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology (MACP) and am a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (#12481). I am also a Somatic Experiencing(R) Practitioner (SEP) through the Somatic Experiencing(R) Training Institute. I have been endorsed as a Bronze level Occupationally Aware Clinician by the British Columbia Professional Firefighters Association (BCPFFA).
I understand the effects trauma can have on employment. I hold a subspecialty in vocational rehabilitation and am a Registered Rehabilitation Professional (RRP) with the Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada (VRA) (#4878), and a Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Professional (CVRP) with the College of Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals (#1103).
I love to learn and constantly update my skills in the areas of addiction, chronic pain and trauma through in-person and distance education opportunities. In addition to various short courses and webinars, I have completed or am in the process of completing:
2018: Touching Trauma: Touch Skills for Trauma Therapists with Kathy Kain
2019: Somatic Resilience and Regulation: Early Trauma training program with Kathy Kain and Steve Terrell, Immersion training in Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) with Diana Fosha
2020: Somatics and Narrative with Kathy Kain, Somatics of Complex Emotions with Kathy Kain and Dr. Tony Richardson, Syndromes Master Class with Dr. Peter Levine
2021: Somatics of Emotions with Kathy Kain and Dr. Tony Richardson, Transforming the Experience-Based Brain, Transformational Touch training program with Steve Terrell (in progress), and Level 1 Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) with Stan Tatkin and PACT Faculty
Level 2 of PACT with Stan Tatkin and PACT Faculty (in progress September through October 2021)
2020 through 2022: Beginner and Intermediate level Assistant, Kelowna SE Professional training (in progress)