Irish psychiatrist Ivor Browne, who I really admire, has a simple and elegant definition of trauma: unexperienced experience. It really makes sense to me, because when we are traumatised we cannot integrate what we find too hurtful and difficult to accept. Experiences remain unexperienced because of dissociation. That is how important dissociation is to trauma; they are inherently linked. Hence my passion for feeling our feelings and body sensations so we can heal our traumatic experiences.
If you would like to learn more about the importance of emotions, the work of Karla McLaren is truly exceptional, I recommend that all of my clients get her book, The Language of Emotions: What your feelings are trying to tell you. Another book I highly recommend is In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness by Peter Levine, his work has been invaluable to me both personally and professionally.
It is essential that you feel safe and comfortable when working with me. I strongly recommend that you avail of a complimentary 20 minute consultation online or by phone (by appointment), in order to see if we are a good fit for each other. I work in person in my office near Waterford city, Ireland, over the phone and online by skype, zoom, facetime etc. My costs are very reasonable. I also offer a sliding fee scale for those in difficult financial situations, please feel free to contact me about this.
Until we feel safe enough, we will try to avoid pain which works really well short term, but not long term as we well know because of the issues that bring us to therapy. It is crucially important therefore that therapy include the body in its processes, as our body is where we feel our emotions and physical sensations. If we are not in our bodies, we cannot fully release the stress they hold.
When we are disembodied, what Tara Brach humourously calls leaving the premises, stress builds up and up and up, until our barrels become full and begin overflowing with symptoms. Symptoms are usually our first sign that something is amiss. They are the bread crumb trail that lead us to the root cause(s). There are some good questions we can ask so we get some clarity about what is really going on with us.
We cannot talk ourselves into feeling safe, we either feel safe or we do not. Our bodies are our litmus test in that respect: they cannot and will not lie. One of the most valuable skills we can learn is how to regulate our autonomic nervous systems, so we can release the stress that our bodies hold for us. Ideally we will have learned how to regulate ourselves at the start of our life by our caregivers co-regulating us, but with developmental trauma, this often does not happen. By regulating our nervous system, we resolve trauma, feel comfortable and safe in our own skin, and many of the chronic health issues that plague us, both physical and mental, fade away.