First of all I want to say that the methods that are used always work in the background as a palette of tools and knowledge that I use to work with you.
I want to meet you as a person in the first place, where you are in this moment.
Somatic Experiencing and NARM are body-oriented modalities of therapy that work with shock trauma, developmental trauma and stress in all areas of us as humans. By that I mean physical, emotional and cognitive. Trauma and stress is stored in the body, in how we deal with it emotionally and how we think about ourselves and the world around us.
We have three survival mechanisms:
Fight , flight and freeze (collapse and fainting are related to freeze)
Animals have the same mechanisms.
When there is no way to fight or flight, we freeze.
The break is on it with a lot of survival energy under it.
In an SE (Somatic Experiencing) session, the survival energy that got stuck in the nervous system is dosed in a titrated way and discharged. In very small steps we go in and out of the tension. This ensures discharge of the stored energy. We work with physical sensations, such as tingling sensations, heat and flow, you can track step by step what is happening inside of you without being overwhelmed. This also helps to have a greater sense of control and manageability over the body. SE helps you become aware of what your resources are that support the processing process.
Examples of internal resources are:
Your sense of humor, contact with the ground, sense of strength, creativity, your intelligence, your breathing, where it feels good and pleasant in your body.
External resources can be:
Friends, family, a nice place, positive memories, nature, music, art. But also objects with an important value to you such as a ring, a statue, a doll, a work of art, etc.
With various trauma's it often happens that we are no longer aware of our borders. We are irritable quickly, have trouble saying no. We are constantly looking behind us, so that we no longer know what is happening in front of us. Our resilience is declining. With SE and NARM you learn to be more present with the inconveniences in your system without running away from it or suppressing it. As you become more aware of how sensations and survival mechanisms work in the body, you can also discharge and regulate yourself better. The moments of tension will be in your system for less time and you will also be able to react more resiliently to situations.
Somatic Experiencing is made to carefully, without reliving the trauma, helping the body to release the frozen tension little by little. The completion that could not be made in the past can be finished in the here and now. This discharge can finally, often after many years, restore peace of mind and body.
The Neuro Affective Relational Model, is based on 5 core needs :
- Connection with yourself and others
- Being able to express needs
- Having trust, being able to be volunarable and ask for help
- Autonomy, being able set clear borders
- Love and sexuality, healthy relationships
When these core needs are not properly addressed by our caregivers at young age then our basic needs cannot move freely. Problems can then arise in feeling connection with ourselves and others. A feeling of mistrust and insecurity can arise, we cannot express our needs or are unable to set clear boundaries. Our love life can get confused because we don't experience a healthy love-sexuality connection.
Together with you, we explore the dilemma's you may face.
You would love to connect with someone but have difficulty with it.
When i express my needs, i will loose my partner.
You have trouble trusting yourself and others, but you would like to.
You want to stand up for yourself but have difficulty with that.
When i say how i really feel, i will be rejected
When i say no to my boss i will be fired
With these dilemma's i work on a cognitive, emotional and body oriented level so all parts of your inner experience will be adressed in small steps.
This theory, developed by Steven Porges, is based on three states we can be in:
Safety, danger or life threat.
In safety, a part of our nervous system is active that ensures social involvement, rest and homeostasis.
When there is danger, there is fight and flight.
We freeze in case of life threat.
What Steven Porges discovered was that the parasympathetic nervous system is active in safety and life-threatening situations.
The vagus nerve is 80% part of the parasympathetic nervous system.
The vagus nerve consists of two parts: the ventral and the dorsal vagus.
In safety, the ventral vagus is active (from diaphragm to head).
When life is in danger, the dorsal vagus is active (from diaphragm down).
In case of danger, the sympathetic nervous system is active. (fight and flight)
When we are in fight or flight mode or when we freeze, the ventral vagus is pretty much out.
We are no longer able to move and connect socially.
This theory helps us see when we are in what state and what helps us get out of the freeze.
Mobilization is often an important part of this.
In the sessions we do that in a way it is manageable for you.
Somatic experiencing and NARM both work with the knowledge from this theory.
Click here for more info on trauma and stress.