What is Sensorimotor Psychotherapy?
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy created by Pat Ogden, is a method that integrates sensorimotor processing with cognitive and emotional processing in the treatment of trauma. Unassimilated somatic responses evoked in trauma involving both arousal and defensive responses are shown to contribute to many PTSD symptoms and to be critical elements in the use of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. By using the body (rather than cognition or emotion) as a primary entry point in processing trauma, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy directly treats the effects of trauma on the body, which in turn facilitates emotional and cognitive processing. This method is especially beneficial for clinicians working with dissociation, emotional reactivity or flat affect, frozen states or hyperarousal and other PTSD symptoms.
What is Somatic Experiencing (SE)?
Somatic Experiencing, developed by Peter Levine, is a body-awareness approach to trauma currently taught throughout the world. Based upon the realization that human beings have an innate ability to overcome the effects of trauma, Somatic Experiencing has touched the lives of thousands. SE restores self-regulation, and returns a sense of aliveness, relaxation and wholeness to traumatized individuals who have lost these precious gifts.
(For more info, go to www.traumahealing.com)
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), developed by Francine Shapiro, is a form of psychotherapy that has proven effective for the treatment of trauma. It makes use of a structured approach to address past, present, and future aspects of disturbing memories. EMDR works by unlocking the nervous system and allowing the brain to process the experience and visualize disturbing material in a new, and less distressing, way. With EMDR, the process appears accelerated. Oftentimes, an upsetting memory can be worked to completion in one-to-three sessions. The results appear consistent, with symptoms most often completely disappearing.
To date, EMDR has helped an estimated half-million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distress.
(For more info, go to www.emdr.org)
What is Brainspotting?
Brainspotting, developed by David Grand, is an advanced form of psychotherapy that can access parts of the brain that are often hidden from our awareness.
Brainspotting is a simultaneous form of diagnosis and treatment for trauma. Resource Brainspotting, developed by Lisa Schwarz, strengthens and enhances internal resources and allows contained, gentle, yet deep processing work with attachment issues and dissociative disorders.
“I am impressed by and support the cutting edge work being done by Dr. Joanne Mednick at the Serenity Trauma Healing Center. I am honored that ‘Brainspotting’ is a premiere part of their multi-disciplined approach to resolving the underlying trauma that manifests itself in so many different ways in the lives of their clients and allows them to heal them at the deepest levels.” – David Grand, PhD. Author of Brainspotting The Revolutionary New Therapy for Rapid and Effective Change
What is CHRIS®-Technique?
CHRIS®-Technique (Cellular Harmonizing Reconstructive Integrative System), founded by Christine Schenk, is a technique that makes clients aware that they are two bodies: Physical Body and Energy Body. Ms. Schenk states, “Apart from the physical body, which we are able to see and touch, we have a second body, the Energy Body, with whom we share our life.” CHRIS®-Technique is especially useful in assisting traumatized people to become centered again. Most trauma patients become disassociated due to past events (e.g. near death experiences, difficult surgeries or births, or sexual / physical abuse). The disassociation happens when the Energy Body leaves the Physical Body. Many people relate to feeling as if they are watching themselves from above, or experiencing a sense of disorientation in the world. The result is continuous trauma, as the bodies are not meant to be split. Most people are connected at birth, and a trauma causes this split. A psychotherapist who is trained in this technique helps the clients to feel each body so that they may understand the difference between the Physical Body and the Energy Body. Therefore, the psychotherapist supports the client on the path of reunion of both bodies. The client experiences a sense of unity again, which is a basis for emotional, physical and energetic health.
(For more information and for the trainings offered in the USA, please go to www.christineschenk.com)
Group Therapy (Optional)
Group therapy is an optional part of the treatment at Serenity Trauma Healing Center when possible. The main goal is to raise awareness and address feelings of isolation by cultivating a sense of belonging to a group. In a therapeutic group setting, clients often feel a sense of connection with other members of the group, a feeling of mutual support and assistance, and experience a decreased sense of loneliness as they work together to form solutions as one united whole.
We offer the following groups: Mindfulness, Skills, Trauma and Addiction, Art Therapy, and Yoga
What is Art Therapy?
The language of visual art – colors, shapes, lines and images – speaks to us in ways which words cannot. Art therapy is a modality that uses the nonverbal language of art for personal growth, insight and transformation, and is a means of connecting what is inside us – our thoughts, feelings and perceptions – with our outer realities and life experiences. It is based on the belief that images can help us understand who we are and enhance life through self-expression. It can be a spiritual journey where the unconscious mind helps to create visual images to facilitate thoughts and feelings to gain new insight.
Carl Jung, known for his interest in visual symbols in dreams and art, noted the importance of images in therapy. He observed that by allowing a mood or problem to become personified or by representing it as an image through dreams or art, we can begin to understand it more clearly and deeply and to experience the emotions that are contained within it. Art making can help us express fear, anxiety and other stressful emotions.
Researchers have discovered recently that traumatic experiences become encoded in the mind in the form of images, almost like a camera taking a photograph. Therefore, visual art may offer a unique way to express traumatic images, bringing them to consciousness in a less threatening way than words.
Art Therapy is not about being an “artist”, (no artistic talent is needed) rather it is the willingness to express feelings and thoughts using materials such as markers, crayon, pastel, collage, and/or clay. It is a wonderful tool that helps us to tap into our intuition and problem-solving abilities.
EFT ( Emotional Freedom Technique)
EFT is a sophisticated cousin of acupuncture that has combined the best new knowledge about coping with stress and pain into a practical healing tool. It is a form of psychological acupressure that uses a simple, gentle tapping technique instead of needles to stimulate the traditional Chinese acupuncture points. Combined with verbalization of the identified problem, the EFT tapping technique balances the energy system and relieves stress and pain, in most cases. The body’s energy system, when balanced, has the ability to resume its automatic healing abilities. EFT can dramatically relieve emotional disturbances along with many physical symptoms. It often works in minutes with commonly long-lasting results, and the side-effects are almost always positive.
All forms of Yoga have profound therapeutic physical and psychological benefits. Restorative yoga poses have a particular ability to leave us nourished and well rested. Yoga produces anti-aging benefits by dramatically lowering stress, uplifting mood, and aiding in a more restful sleep. Restorative Yoga focuses on relaxing the body open in long passive postures fully supported by props such as bolsters, blocks & blankets so the body can easily let go without any strain. Note that ‘rest’ is different than sleep. This kind of rest provides the body an opportunity to replenish energies and heal. Countless studies have proven the physical and emotional benefits of this practice. Restorative yoga, as well as other forms of yoga, helps to trigger the Parasympathetic nervous system also known as the PNS. The PNS is responsible for balancing the body. Stimulating the PNS helps to lower one’s heart rate and blood pressure; it helps healthily stimulate the immune system and keep the endocrine system operating healthily. When you feel stress or overwhelm the PNS is tapped out or under-active, illness pervades. Thus, forms of guided relaxation such as Restorative yoga, Yoga nidra, Yin yoga and meditation help to stimulate the PNS & relaxation response, restore balance and Increase your chance for spontaneous health remissions.
We teach clients the art of mindfulness which is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.The practice of mindfulness can bring many benefits to your emotional and physical health, as well as to the relationships in your life. Mindfulness is an amazing tool for stress management and overall wellness because it can be used at virtually any time and can quickly bring lasting results.
What is Nia?
Nia is a sensory-based movement practice that draws from martial arts, dance arts and healing arts, empowering people of all shapes and sizes by connecting body, mind, emotion and spirit.
Nia encourages students to cultivate body-centered awareness, balancing form with freedom.
Influenced by the grounded non-impact movement of martial arts, Nia was created to self-heal the body using music and movement.
Through Nia, students can discover, explore, unleash and enhance their individual potential to live a fulfilling and meaningful life by engaging their senses and listening to their bodies.
Classes are 60 minutes long and are appropriate for any fitness level. Nia is danced barefoot to a variety of music.
Step into your own joyful journey with Nia, and positively shape the way you feel, look, think and live.
What is Neurofeedback Therapy?
Neurofeedback therapy is direct training of brain function, by which the brain learns to function more efficiently. Neurofeedback is also called EEG Biofeedback, because it is based on electrical brain activity, the electroencephalogram, or EEG. Neurofeedback is a non-invasive form of therapy that can be highly relaxing and pleasant for clients.
It works through electrodes that are painlessly applied to the scalp, allowing the clinician to listen in on brainwave activity. The signal is processed by a computer, and information is extracted by certain key brainwave frequencies. Through sessions, brainwave activity is “shaped” toward more desirable, more regulated performance. The target frequencies, and specific locations on the scalp, are specific to the conditions that are being addressed. Neurofeedback therapy enhances self-regulation which promotes better function of the central nervous system.
Neurofeedback addresses the anxiety-depression spectrum, PTSD, unprocessed trauma, attention deficits, behavior disorders, various sleep disorders, headaches and migraines, PMS, motion sickness, and emotional disturbances. It is also useful for organic brain conditions such as seizures, the autism spectrum, and cerebral palsy. To learn more, visit EEG Info.
One of the most important aspects of mental health and healing is becoming physically stronger and healthier. Our trainer will assess the client’s needs and build a fitness routine based on the client’s interests and desired fitness level. Exercise levels can vary from gentle to more rigorous as needed.
More athletic training includes: walking, running, basketball, and/or circuit training.
Gentle training includes: stretching, mat based Pilates, dance classes, and/or ballet inspired exercises.
Client’s are encouraged to let staff know their preference as these sessions are highly customizable.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, a growing body of research supports the health benefits of massage therapy for conditions such as anxiety, stress, fibromyalgia, headaches, myofascial pain syndrome, soft tissue strains / injuries, low-back pain and more. Adding massage to your health and wellness routine can greatly improve your overall physical comfort, enhance relaxation, and sooth the nervous system.