Our counselling practice combines somatic, mind-body therapy techniques to find balance within our Autonomic Nervous System.
Our clients can choose for their therapy sessions to be delivered outdoors where we can draw upon our natural world, horses, dogs, birds, lambs / pet sheep, beautiful outdoor spaces surrounded by gum trees and gardens. Alternatively, in a comfortable and safe space that suits them, in person or via telehealth.
Autonomic Nervous System
Our ability to respond to and recover from the challenges of daily living is a marker of well-being and depends on the actions of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). A 2013 Article in the Journal of the American Medical Academy states that four out of five visits to Doctors are stress related and directly linked to the ANS.
The thing about our ANS, is we can't see it as such, its not like a bone that we can x-ray or a tendon or ligament that we can scan. The true indicator that our nervous system is overwhelmed is through our behaviour.
When our external experience is not in alignment with our internal experience. When what used to feel safe, for example going to the shops, now fills us with fear, dread and anxiety. We know cognitively that leaving the house and going to the shops is safe, however biologically our ANS is unable to move and adjust accordingly to its environment so the world feels overwhelming a lot of the time. Or another example is what used to bring us joy and energy, now feels empty and hollow to us.
Our counselling sessions are aimed at supporting your ANS to be able to move through and recover from stress again and fundamentally build capacity and resilience again in your life. We call what we do at STABLE physio-therapy for your nervous system and flexibility with stress as opposed to rigidity is our goal.
At STABLE we work with clients to understand and tap into all of their intelligences, head, heart, gut and be in relationship with different parts of our brain, our reptilian /or survival brain, is where we start. I believe , we can learn a lot about how to find balance again in our mind and body from tuning into and connecting with our natural world.
Soma is a Greek word meaning “the living body” therefore Somatic counselling techniques add a significant dimension to verbal or talk based counselling. Trauma impacts the body first - it’s a biological experience that then impacts and affects our psychological experience, our mind, and our thinking. Therefore, to release trauma we need to start with the body - a bottom up approach regulating the body and nervous system first which in turn regulates our psychological experience
Our horses offer a unique insight into our inner world by being able to mirror us. When our mind and body are overwhelmed and out of balance and our ANS is stuck in fight , flight or freeze, the horses and animals around us are a little more wary of us, basically if our body is behaving like it’s under threat then the horses and animals will be looking out for a threat as that is the message they are getting from us.
Defining & Recognising
the Signs of Trauma
Stress and trauma are not actually the events themselves, but the impact they have on the body – they activate a cycle of survival, or self-protective responses that don’t switch off, and result in a dysregulated nervous system. Since the nervous system controls every part of our bodies – including and especially our brains, we need it working efficiently for optimal mental, physical, and emotional health.
When your body’s survival cycle is continuously activated – our brain is also flooded with chemicals that cause it to seem foggy and conventional talk-therapies are therefore not very helpful. We must first release some of the discordant energy and restore balance to the nervous system.
Trauma is fundamentally a biological stuckness in our ANS so just talk based therapy alone will have limited effectiveness on rebalancing the ANS and moving through and out of trauma. Working with both the body and the mind is a fundamental pathway back to feeling back in balance again and being able to cope with stress again in our day to day life.
If you have experiences a one off significant traumatic event or ongoing stress and trauma and your ANS is feeling overwhelmed, rigid and stuck and you have symptoms such as:
fidgety and restless
prolonged guilt, fear, shame and anger
emotional flooding, teariness, and a general inability to regulate your emotions.
Then your ANS sounds like it is getting stuck on or off and is not operating in alignment with day to day pressures.
Programs & Sessions
All our programs and sessions are determined on an individual basis according to your level of risk and progress through your program.
Sessions run for 1 hour. Typically there are three phases:
Safety & Stabilisation
These three phases are not worked through in a linear way , we normally start with Safety & Stabilisation and then move backwards and forwards between the 3 phases accordingly to your biological story. We ask that all our clients commit to a minimum of 10 sessions and then we look at a maintenance program from there on. This can be continued sessions weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Either in person or via telephone or video link.
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