- Are you feeling overwhelmed and anxious?
- Is anxiety affecting your work, relationships or health?
- Anxiety making you feel worried, negative, or tense?
- Does life feel overwhelming?
A little bit of anxiety can help mobilize us to meet our goals, or can be a sign that we’re trying new things, taking healthy risks.
But when it starts to interfere with your relationships, your work, your sleep or your health, understanding the neurobiology of the stress response can free you from chronic anxiety and stress. And help you not just feel better, but get better.
From the point of view of your nervous system, chronic or persistent anxiety signals that you’re stuck in a threat response pattern, showing up as the Fight, Flight or Freeze.
In it’s wisdom, your nervous system is trying to solve a problem that you may no longer be aware of, something stored in “procedural memory.”
For example, as a child Michael had extensive dental procedures that his little 5 year old body perceived as an assault. After struggling, he would collapse into a Freeze response. The ordeal finally passed and he forgot the scary hours in the dentist’s office.
In one session, he was tracking body sensation, and noticed remarkable tension in his jaw, like his jaw was clamping itself shut. As he was talking earlier, he made a consistent gesture with his right arm as if he was warding off an attack from his right side, even though he was talking about everyday life events.
When he let his attention explore with the jaw tension with curiosity, the procedural memory traces started to surface. And here’s what happened next:
We were both amazed as his jaw relaxed, his shoulders slumped and he felt an ease and safety that he didn’t realize was missing.
Unlike wild prey animals like rabbits, deer or beaver, who face serial killers like cougars, coyotes or weasels (all part of our urban landscape and sometimes right outside my office door!) and life threatening attacks regularly, humans override this natural wisdom and become traumatized. Though we are gifted with the same innate ability to rebound from danger and threat, humans silo their fears and discharge responses, and are left with an internal closet full of stress responses, looking for a way to complete.
In a Somatic Experiencing® session, the I create a safe space, keep watch, and supports you too tolerate unpleasant or scary sensations, images, feelings and memories, gently, in small doses.
Without this critical support most of us get busy, use substances, food or media to avoid the intensity of threat response and discharge.
As children we may have been shamed, judged, taught to fear these normal responses to danger, stress or threat. We may even fear our own bodies when they release accumulated stress and self-regulate, what can be disabling terror and helplessness.
Most Somatic Experiencing® therapists (including me!) have spent many hours benefiting from this kind of therapy personally and have restored their innate capacity for riding the waves of activation and deactivation and living a more resilient, easeful life.
This experience of growing nervous system regulation makes it a pleasure to support clients to do the same. I often often feel enlived and inspired from the enjoyment of this important work.
You may be surprised to discover the gentle, invitational process of Somatic Experiencing® therapy to help you resolve anxiety. This natural approach will help you complete and release stress and trauma responses from the past and help you feel more like yourself again, in a gentle sustainable way. You will live more in the present, where your joy and power shine.
You will learn to do this by bringing your awareness to what is happening now, with less focus on the past. You may be surprised to find that you feel a little bit better after every visit.
Skilled Somatic Experiencing® therapists know how to help your body return to a relaxed and rhythmic state after a stress. You will experience and then learn how to support your body to complete and chronic stress.
Your body is already designed to do this naturally, and Somatic Experiencing® simply helps uncover this innate response to stress and trauma.
You will experience resilience as having to use way less effort to experience anxiety, anger, and even joy and closeness and just let it pass through, like a buoyant raft on a wave. It might even be a little bit fun!
To find out how to join my waiting list, see the “Getting Started” page
Connecting During Coronavirus. I’m happy to offer secure encrypted video sessions covered by your insurance. . . with the press of a button, from the comfort of your own home.