It’s Not in Your Mind
The Truth about Trauma
I spent over 30 years on and off in traditional therapy. I knew there was something wrong and I was determined to uncover the mental beliefs and triggers behind my ever increasing anxiety and discomfort with myself and my world. All those years never came close to revealing the truth about the reality of my chilldhood trauma, and I worked with some amazingly gifted therapists. In fact - they would tell you that my truth was so well hidden even they would never have guessed the real source of my stuff.
The problem is that Western approaches to healing trauma focus on the victim coming to terms with their story – whatever caused the trauma. We assume it’s in our minds…. Through the mind we seek to help the victim ‘survive” their reality. This approach has proven to be less than effective, as demonstrated by the proliferation of PTSD and associated trauma-related sickness in today’s society. We need only look to the increase in acting out in today’s world – school violence, adult rages and more – to know that trauma is on the rise. I believe that much of what western doctors diagnose as psychosomatic illness is indeed based in unrecognized trauma. That was certainly the case with me.
The Unstoppable U Foundation* - an in-development non-profit - will take a fundamentally different approach to trauma and healing. I am living proof that trauma survivors can and will transform to become thriving, empowered people - when they are guided to leverage the intrinsic energy created by trauma as the fuel for transformation and healing. Rather than focusing on the story and the mind – we must learn to focus on the natural trauma energy (created by our fight or flight instinct) stored within the body that creates the trauma response. Through feeling into and releasing this energy – trauma can and does empower transformation.
I was blessed to find the techniques and tools that guided me into and through my transformation. I’m determined to share those with others who suffer the debilitating and limiting impacts of trauma. We can and will transform - from survivors to thrivers!
Here’s a quick overview of some of the techniques and therapies proven (by others and by my own personal experience) to transform trauma into personal power.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR)
EMDR opened my body, mind and energy to the truth about my trauma. Until I began this powerful therapy - I would have argued and probably laughed if you’d told me I had been so horribly abused as a child. I blocked it completely - as many children do. We dissociate because we cannot possibly cope with what’s happening in our world.
EMDR is the leading therapy approach for PTSD veterans and other deep trauma healing. But it works on and and all trauma-related experiences, not just the Big Bad ones. To we humans, trauma is trauma and the impacts are the same. More trauma adds more stuck energy and increases our imbalance - which increases the impacts. But we all have trauma that needs to leave our bodies! Even having Mom yell at us in the grocery at the age of five creates a trauma response. WOW.
EMDR is based on the theory that people in high fight or flight situations - e.g., veterans, long term care takers, abused and battered folks - never reach REM sleep. REM is the time in our sleep cycle when our subconscious processes our daily experiences and beliefs into our conscious minds. Without REM, our subconscious beliefs and experiences get stuck as blocked energy and false beliefs that literally drive our behavior.
EMDR techniques create a waking REM sleep state - allowing the blocked energy and associated emotions, experiences and physical energy to surface and be felt. For me, it was as if a train came through my awareness. First an image, like a snapshot, would appear. Then, the knowing of what happened all around that snapshot would hit in one download - followed by the emotional experience of my little girl self. I felt every bit of her terror, powerlessness and worse - yet I never had a single physical memory reenact. What a blessing! The response to EMDR is different for every person - yet there is one consistent truth. We only remember and experience exactlt what we need to clear the trauma. No more.
Once the buried energy is released, EMDR therapy then reprograms the associated beliefs using the same REM-based techniques. After leaving a session I was exhausted, but everything I had brought up during that session was GONE from my experience. As with layers of the onion - EMDR helped to peel back the layers of trauma, powerlessness and pain that were my reality from 4 til 14 and into my adult life. Today - I’m on the Other Side, thanks to this amazing therapy and more…
Neural-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
NLP came into my life about four years after I brought up my memories. How I wish I’d had it sooner! This amazing therapy approach has been around since the early 70’s, yet it has only recently gained the widespread recognition that I feel it deserves. Many western practitioners still argue about it -let them. I am proof of the power of this technique. I was so impressed - I am now a certified NLP practitioner. I will bring the power of this amazing technique to trauma sufferers and demonstrate it’s amazing value!
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) began as a model of how we communicate to ourselves and others which was developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Their model focused on explaining how we process information and events that occur in our external world. NLP is based on the theory (which I find to be a fact) that our internal representations of an outside event are not necessarily true. No kidding!
We process every external event through our internal world, applying our own left and right brain filters. These filters shift the representation of that event based on a number of dynamics. We apply our physiology and mental beliefs to that external event and create a state, where state refers to our internal emotional state.
In the process - everything can become skewed based on our experience, our presence in our left (logical) or right (emotional) brain, our own physiology (aka trauma energy stored in our body) and more.
NLP uses simple techniques to shift our state surrounding a specific event or events - from imbalanced and inauthentic to empowered and authentic. I am astounded at the simplicity and effectiveness of NLP - and its application to transform everything from habits and addictions to trauma energy itself.
I use this technique every day with myself - and with friends, associates and clients. The results have been nothing short of astounding. I am so blessed to share it with everyone reading this page.
Equine-Facilitated Therapy and Coaching
Horses are energetic beings, free of judgement and emotional programming. They rely on pure instinctual wisdom, responding to their world based on the energy they sense all around them.
Humans mostly live in our heads. We’re trained that way. As babies, we’re in our bodies and emotions, but it doesn’t take long for society to program us with shoulds and musts and fears. This creates an incongruence between our energetic truth and our emotional vibration.
Trauma creates even more incongruence - and we all have trauma of one form or another. The energetic incongruities we create over our lifetime are held in our physical bodies, not just in our conscious and subconscious mind. Until we release those physical, energetic impressions - we will remain in imbalanced vibrations with all our negative programming. This is what many call our false self.
Since horses live on an acoustical, energetic level, sensing vibrational waves - they guide us to find the real trauma energy in our bodies - and release it. When they are with humans, horses sense the energetic frequencies - what we we call emotions - through our physical bodies. They respond to our frequencies/emotions based on our congruence, or lack of, with our true self.
- If we’re feeling an emotion based on our scary voices, horses will shy away from us. You would too. They feel our incongruence as contracted energy - nasty stuff. They’ll send messages to us lighting up the incongruence, but they won’t dance with us. Until we begin to shift back into congruence.
- When we’re feeling an emotion in an authentic way, when we’re congruent with our truth, horses share wisdom, offer support and send us powerful knowing. In our congruence, we’re much more open and able to accept their wisdom.
And so goes our dance with Equus. I’ve learned it’s a powerful dance in the journey to transform Trauma into personal power.
* The Unstoppable U Foundation is a non-profit in development, dedicated to transforming trauma for kids and adults alike, as well as their parents and partners. I’ve been on this path for a while now with my local Unstoppable U program for kids. But in the last two months the vision of Unstoppable U has grown and expanded and I’m now taking the first steps to create this vision as a reality for trauma victims everywhere. Unstoppable U will include both Online trauma information and resources as well as a center for personal trauma transformation. I’ll share more details soon. In the meantime, if you want to know more about trauma or transformation - contact me please!