Gentle Changes

Gentle Trauma Therapy & Mental Health Support
Beyond Mindfulness

Gentle Trauma Therapy & Emotional Healing

Gentle Trauma Therapy

Are you living with the after-effects of trauma? Accidents, abuse, childbirth, domestic violence, workplace incidents, military combat, bullying, rape & sexual abuse, institutional abuse, childhood neglect and abuse … these are just some of the possible causes.

According to world-renowned trauma expert Bessel Van Der Kolk, “drugs and talk therapy … do not truly bring the person out of the trauma and into reality. Trauma treatments needs to be holistic, and access the brain, mind and physical body .”

Effective help is available

I use gentle, somatic and psychosensory methods, in a three-phase approach to trauma therapy that is tailored to your needs. In this way, I support you to bring safety and stabilisation into your autonomic nervous system, which is the ultimate goal of any trauma therapy. Once you are freed from the symptoms of trauma, which may include distressing flashbacks, nightmares, dissociation and the feeling of always being burdened by the past, you can move forward with a new sense of purpose, confidence, peace, embodiment and integration.

In the first phase, we address any immediate needs arising your trauma.
I also teach you how to use gentle, somatic and psychosensory methods for you own self-help, to address difficult feelings as they arise and apply them to any of the symptoms of trauma you may be experiencing, such as dissociation, hypervigilance, emotional reactivity, shame, anxiety and depression.
In this way you can begin to build a relationship with your felt sense, confidence and belief in yourself.

You will experience for yourself that it is possible to begin to access feelings of calm and safety. Parts of yourself that have felt as if they are working against you can be met in a safe and healing context, facilitating healing shifts towards greater self-knowledge, wholeness and integration and this aspect of the be brought into any of the phases.

When we both judge that is is an appropriate time to turn our attention to specific events which have traumatised you, the advantage of my somatic and psychosensory methods is that they are gentle and very flexible – so if and when it is safe and appropriate to address specific traumatic memories, we work together and adapt the methods to suit you.
I place a great emphasis on you feeling safe and in control throughout.
My methods do not require you to re-live the full extent of the original distress in order to feel that the past has been put to rest and that you can move forward from the past.

Trauma is not always attributable to known events. Trauma may be felt and held in the body and autonomic nervous system, but not linked to specific memories. This is sometimes referred to as endogenous trauma, and it can arise from early childhood or pre-birth trauma.
Gentle somatic and psychosensory methods can be used to release the embodied trauma response and establish feelings of safety and calm.

The second phase of trauma therapy can involve further exploration and therapeutic working with inner parts. In my sessions we can use movement, creativity and engaging with inner metaphor and meaning.

The third phase of trauma therapy involves consolidation and integration of the healing changes and where it is helpful we may make use of my embodied coaching approach in planning and moving forward, working gently with your inner felt sense.

There is no set timescale for each phase and earlier phases can be revisited at any time. I will be flexible and sensitive to your needs and do not impose a schedule. The length of therapy can vary considerable, depending on your level of need.

Trauma arising from one event or a small number of separate events often be resolved in relatively few sessions.
I would generally suggest a minimum of three sessions, to allow enough space to adequately assess, process, reflect and consolidate on the changes experienced.
Where there is a formal diagnosis, this type of trauma would usually be diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Other times, where there have been multiple and ongoing traumas and particularly when this occurred in childhood, clients benefit from longer support over a period of time to establish in themselves a safe foundation from which to move forward in life. Therapists such as myself often refer to this as complex or developmental trauma.

It is still rare that clients come to therapy having been given a trauma-specific diagnosis, but this type of trauma presentation would fall under the category of complex post-traumatic stress disorder or CPTSD.

Whatever your needs, I will always aim to offer support is that is safe, gentle, appropriate and beneficial.

During our first session, I will undertake a thorough consultation and assessment of your needs. I do not diagnose PTSD, CPTSD or any other disorder and it is not necessary for me to do so in order to help you heal your trauma. I will, however, take into account any formal diagnosis and treatment you have already received. I would like to know what has helped you or not helped you to date. I also wish to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing in your own words.

At this stage, I will not ask you to tell me in detail about what traumatised you, just an overview. We will spend time in therapy building safe feelings before accessing any traumas in a safe and therapeutic way.

After this initial consultation, I will explain to you my understanding of your needs and how I can help you with Gentle Trauma Therapy. I will teach you my gentle methods for increasing safety and stabilisation. This will help you with triggering situations you may encounter and any distressing thoughts and feelings that may arise. The length of this stabilising stage of the therapy varies and I will always adapt our work to suit you.

Some clients are able to move on to the reprocessing of traumatic memories fairly soon into the therapy. We will only enter into this phase of the work when you feel ready. My gentle methods help you feel safe and in control at every stage.

The ending phase of trauma therapy is as important as the first two. We will continue to use the gentle psychosensory and somatic methods at your pace, to help you integrate the healing changes, reconnect with your life, set goals and support you in moving forwards.

The length of Gentle Trauma Therapy can vary considerably from client to client. In some cases clients find that they feel much better after a very short number of sessions. Others may need support over a longer period. I will always aim to help you in as few sessions as possible.

Why Gentle?

• I work supportively with your inner process, and your autonomic nervous system
• I do not impose treatment protocols to get the therapy done
• I listen, respect and validate your experience, even if it is very different to my own
• I will not tell you that your perspective or your beliefs are wrong and I support you to formulate your own meaning of your experiences
• I recognise that all people exist within a particular context and this has a bearing upon recovery