Return to blogs
How I Can Help

Why Somatic Therapy for Trauma in San Diego? I Wasn't Abused.

Why Somatic Therapy for Trauma? I Wasn’t Abused.

Often clients report a deep sense that something is wrong with them and they don’t know why. They are confused because they had a “good childhood” and no memory of abuse. However, they are unable to apply for the job, focus at work, feel safe in relationship, or feel safe in the world. Some clients don’t feel anything except numb. Trauma often manifests not only in the events that scar us but also in the absence of what we needed. As Gabor Maté notes, “Trauma is not what happens to you. Trauma is what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you.” Trauma happens in our bodies as much as it does our minds. That is why Somatic Therapy for Trauma is so important. To be clear, I’m in no way blaming or shaming parents who tried their best. For generations, professionals instructed parents to “let their babies cry it out”. Today parents work long hours, deal with chronic health or mental health issues, and at times are unable to attune. If this happened to you, the good news is I can help.

Who Can Benefit From Somatic Therapy for Trauma?

Dr. Aimie Apigian has come up with what she calls Six Attachment Wounds to describe how the lack of consistent, empathetic caregiving at critical times manifests in our bodies, our functioning, and our health. Following is a video where you can hear more: The Biology of Trauma
What I have found is that most of my Trauma Therapy clients in San Diego have at least one of these attachment wounds and lots of somatic symptoms. They have been in therapy for years and want to know how Somatic Therapy for Trauma works.

Wound 1: Hold Me: Finding Safety in Vulnerability

From the very beginning our nervous system craves the soothing touch of another to regulate our emotions. For some, this fundamental need is unmet and the result is always having your guard up, being unable to relax, feeling all alone even with others, always in your head because that is your safe place. Clients often are unable to relax into someone else’s hold because they can’t trust that someone has really got them. Their body is the last thing they want to connect to. Dr. Aimie shares that often these clients suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Functional Abdominal Pain, Autoimmunity, and Fibromyalgia. These clients have little tolerance for stress and when they do experience stress they freeze. Through Somatic Therapy for Trauma we can work with this need to be held and help your body/mind find greater safety using somatic interventions in trauma therapy.

Wound 2: Hear Me: The Foundation of Trust and Love

Trust, the cornerstone of Love, begins with being heard. During the first year of life a child is completely dependent on an other for survival.For many, the silence or anger surrounding their needs breeds mistrust and perpetual anxiety. The child grows up not knowing what it would be like to completely trust someone. The body becomes programmed not to trust and in the nervous system it feels like there is danger all the time. Adults with this kind of attachment pain usually give and rescue others, feel empty inside, want their needs to be met but don’t want to say what their needs are, and try to meet others needs so that they won’t be abandoned. Food issues may develop due to feeling empty inside. With Somatic Therapy for Trauma I really listen to clients to provide a safe space where clients express themselves and rebuild the foundation of trust.

Wound 3: Support Me: Navigating the World with Stability

In infancy, movement is not just exploration but a pathway to regulation and connection. Secure attachment develops when caregivers provide the support needed to navigate the world safely. We move to regulate, we move to connect, we move to learn. Without this ability to move, explore, and navigate it feels overwhelming to connect to the body and to process input. I hold myself back because I don’t feel supported and I don’t trust myself to follow through. Often this looks like anxiety or ADHD. Somatic Therapy for Trauma can help clients build their ability to experience themselves and their surroundings by building a sense of inner support. Somatic Therapy for Trauma can help clients find their value and discover their likes, dislikes, and boundaries.

Wound 4: See Me Be Me: Seeking Authentic Connection

True connection and self love flourishes when we are seen for who we are, not who others wish us to be. For those unseen and unheard, a sense of smallness pervades, driving them to seek validation through external achievements. We question: Who am I? Am I worth it? Often clients with this attachment wound have chronic fatigue, chronic pain, and work themselves to exhaustion. Often they hold on tight to people, places, and things. Or they are so exhausted they just want to be alone. In Somatic Therapy for Trauma we work toward self-acceptance and finding your authenticity. Trauma therapy can be a place where you safely discover yourself and new ways to be with others.

Wound 5: Understand Me: Embracing Uniqueness for Stability

In the quest for stability, understanding and acceptance of us as a unique individual is paramount. Yet for those who get the message that they are not enough or need to change to be loved and accepted they often develop people pleasing behaviors, internal ambivalence, feel drained by others, apologize a lot, resent how much others take, and feel if people really knew them, they wouldn’t like them. Dr. Aimie reports that often these individuals develop high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, colitis, neck pain, and back pain. Somatic Therapy for Trauma can help clients find themselves and learn how to be seen as their authentic self, letting go of the self judgment and doubt. Trauma therapy can bring real change in the body, mind, and brain of clients.

Wound 6: Love Me: Empowering Agency Through Love using

Love is our foundation for agency- the sense I can do anything in the world. This need is to be loved not because I accomplish things, but just because I am me. This attachment wound results in feeling I am unloved and unlovable, I have to be perfect, Fear to open up the heart, and difficulty maintaining relationships. These clients push themselves harder than anyone else does. These clients are constantly doing. They appear calm on the outside but have anxiety inside. These clients often have lower serotonin and dopamine. In Somatic Therapy for Trauma, we dismantle the barriers of perfectionism and the inner critic, paving the way for clients to embrace vulnerability and self-love.

Overcome Anxiety & Trauma with Shay, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, P.C.

If this resonated with you, please know, I can help. I use Somatic Therapy interventions to help calm your nervous system and allow you to reconnect to yourself, your world, and with others in new ways. Somatic-Focused Therapy Take the first step toward healing and reclaiming your life. Contact Shay, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, today to embark on a journey of self-discovery and transformation. With compassionate support and evidence-based techniques, you can overcome the challenges of trauma and anxiety, and step into a life filled with resilience and purpose.Please use the link at the top of the page or email Shay@OvercomeAnxietyTrauma.com Healing is possible!