Trauma Touch Therapy
What is Trauma Touch Therapy?
Trauma Touch Therapy is a body-oriented approach to trauma treatment. It is not meant to replace psychotherapy, but rather complements and enhances it. Where psychotherapy focuses on the narrative of a traumatic experience (in other words, the story of what happened), Trauma Touch Therapy focuses on the body memories associated with that experience.
What are body memories?
Trauma survivors tend to have two types of memories: those that they are consciously aware of, and those that may not be readily available to the conscious mind. Perhaps a trauma occurred when the survivor was too young to process it cognitively. Perhaps the survivor blacked out, or dissociated during the experience. Whatever the reason, the mind cannot access some or all of the memories of a traumatic experience. The body has its own memories of trauma that can be stored in a wide variety of ways, and can "talk" about them in its own way. The main purpose of Trauma Touch Therapy is to teach clients how to listen to the body, and understand the valuable information that it can provide. When this is accomplished, healing can happen.
What are some examples of traumatic events or situations?
-- Emotional, physical, mental, and/or sexual abuse
-- Military service
-- Death of a loved one
-- Experiencing or witnessing violence
-- Childhood abuse, neglect, and/or abandonment
-- Physical injury, severe illness, chronic illness, and/or surgery
-- Environmental trauma (living in unsafe conditions, such as war zones or violent neighborhoods)
-- Experiencing discrimination around race, gender, sexual identity, and/or ability
What happens in a Trauma Touch Therapy session?
Sessions are typically ninety minutes in length, though the client always has the freedom to end a session at any time, for any reason. The pace of each session is set by the client. Every session is different, and can include breathing exercises, work around body awareness, movement, practice in setting boundaries, and, if the client is comfortable with it, gentle touch. Sessions are primarily focused on building trust and a sense of safety, and on learning how to communicate with the body. Unlike massage therapy, clients generally remain fully clothed during sessions. Trauma Touch Therapy creates a safe space in which the client can slow down, breathe, and listen to the wisdom hidden in the body.