Learn About Our Approach of Somatic and Trauma Informed Coaching
Most everyone we work with has been in traditional talk therapy, counseling or coaching before… and didn’t see the results they were hoping for.
The reason for this is likely because those modalities are not trauma informed or effective for healing trauma. They are only focused on working with the cognitive part of your brain (your beliefs) and/or changing your behavior.
In the communication between your brain and body, your body is taking up 80% of the conversation.
Did you know that 80% of the information exchanged between the brain and body comes from the body ➡️ to the brain?
So when you’re working with the neocortex, i.e. beliefs, you’re only working with 20% of the “problem”.
A “top down” approach only works with 20% of the problem.
Traditional talk therapy, counseling and traditional life coaching are referred to as a “top down” approach or modality. They are attempting to work with the cognitive brain (think willpower, changing your beliefs, talking about your past, etc) to change behaviors or get the desired result. This has a place and can be beneficial, as long as your cognitive brain (neocortex) is online. But it’s not always effective, because it’s only working with 20% of the problem and because the cognitive brain is "offline" when we are triggered.
The moment our nervous system feels unsafe (ie we are "triggered") our "survival brain" (Reptilian brain) takes over and begins running the show. This is when "top-down" approaches lose their efficacy–it doesn't matter what your cognitive brain KNOWS. Our survival brain will override it every time.
Working with the body/nervous system/survival brain are considered a “bottom up” approach, because we’re working directly with the 80% that’s activating those undesired behaviors. You can think of it as working with your subconscious.
To keep it simple (it’s much more complex than this), the brain is made up of 3 key regions:
- Neocortex/Primate/Logic & Reasoning
Willpower is no match for survival instincts.
Traditional talk therapy, counseling and coaching are all targeting the Neocortex (where logic, reasoning, analytics, cognition, beliefs, communication, language and perception are stored) to change your behavior in order to get you the desired result.
You can make some great progress working with this part of the brain, which typically looks like trying to change your beliefs and therefore your behaviors with willpower.
However, willpower is no match for our survival instincts.
This part of your brain (neocortex) is completely offline anytime you experience trauma, or when your body is reminded of past trauma, for example, when you’re triggered.
During trauma, your body, nervous system and brain are too overwhelmed and flooded to make sense of what is happening.
Working with the body/nervous system/survival brain is considered a “bottom up” approach, because we’re working directly with the 80% that’s activating those undesired behaviors.
Trauma creates reflexive and protective response patterns
In those "unsafe" moments your survival/reptilian brain is calling the shots based on primal instincts (think fight, flight, freeze or shutdown). It’s not until your body senses that the event is over and you are back to safety that it will bring the cortex back online to make meaning (create a belief) about what happened.
So if you’re trying to change reflexive, instinctual responses and behaviors (like anxiety, over analyzing, hypervigilance, people pleasing, procrastination, overreaction, defensiveness, etc.) you’re going to want to work directly with the Reptilian brain and body/nervous system.Ready to start healing?
Our Unique Approach
In our practice, we use a combination of “top down” and “bottom up” approaches, resulting in lasting change and transformation. We prioritize working with the nervous system through a modality called Somatic Experiencing® which emphasizes the body.
If you’ve tried life coaching or talk therapy and didn’t get the results you wanted, our program may be just what you’re missing.
FAQs about Somatic Experiencing
I’ve already done talk therapy or I’ve already worked with a life coach. How is this different?
Sounds like this is going to take a lot of time I don’t have. Is it worth it?
What is Somatic Experiencing®?
What is the Stress Response Cycle?
How is Somatic Experiencing® different from other somatic approaches?
How long have you been in practice?
What is your training in?
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