Using a trauma-informed approach we work from a whole brain based perspective. Once we understand the neuroscience and history of the brain, how it develops, why secure attachment relationships in childhood are so essential for healthy brain development, and how early trauma (including in utero, birth and sensitive periods of brain wiring) impact brain development, we can learn strategies to help manage our behavioural ‘symptoms.’
These include Mindfulness, Somatic Experiencing, Play and Sandtray Therapy, Creative Arts Counselling and Trauma Sensitive Yoga that work with early traumas, sensations, and stresses that are stored predominately in the right and lower brain regions. We focus on building our resiliency and capacity in these symptoms, cultivating self-compassion, rediscovering the language of the body and using it to guide our healing, and creating our own sense of safety – within ourselves and with others.
Trauma processing and integrative approaches may include:
– Creative arts counselling: sand tray, art therapy, drama therapy, music therapy and journalling.
– Mindfulness and Trauma Sensitive Yoga Practices
– Somatic Experiencing to build resiliency in the nervous system and help the body release stored trauma
– Psychoeducation about the brain, behaviour, memory systems and the way trauma affects our operating systems
– Exercises and techniques from trauma processing models such as Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, SMART (Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment) and Theraplay. These approaches focus on a bottom-up approach – rebuilding safety and resiliency in the brain stem and limbic systems first (the regions often affected by complex trauma). Focused on sensory experiences, assessment, coregulation and attachment, arousal regulation, trauma processing, and psychoeducation. Suitable for children and teens these treatments also encourage caregiver involvement in the therapy process.
– Child Centred Play Therapy – directive and non-directive plus Filial Therapy training for parents (teaching parents how to use CCPT techniques with their children in their own homes) to support the treatment process.
– TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)- a structured, intensive integrative model including cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation training, coping skills/resources and creating a trauma narrative, suitable for children and teens.
– TF-IPT (Trauma Focused Integrative Play Therapy) – a structured intensive trauma processing model combining non-directive and directive play therapy, sand tray, art therapy, genograms, cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness training, assessment of functioning, exploration of trauma narratives, psychoeducation, parental involvement/education and support.