Psychotherapy is a process that allows you to explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviour with the non-judgmental presence of a therapist. At Turning Point we practice the following aspects of creating a safe therapeutic space to explore your experience together.
How we create safety in the therapeutic relationship
You decide what you are willing to share
The focus of the sessions is up to you. There may be times that you might refer to something that we had addressed previously. If you don’t want to talk about something, we will endeavor only to focus on what is emerging in the session. In other words, your physical and emotional boundaries are respected.
We go into material that you can tolerate
We work at your speed and rhythm. It is important that you do not feel overwhelmed by emotions and painful feelings. Otherwise, you will just shut down again. So we keep assessing what seems tolerable as we go along. You will not have to tell the ‘story’ over and over again. Research into trauma clearly shows you do not have to recall or explain all of the details to release traumatic material.
You are not alone in your experience
We strive to be a safe and compassionate companion to understand what your struggles. Even if we don’t always get it right, we will listen to you and strive to be present to what is coming up for you. We have experience and skill in being able to be present to intense feelings, and to the dark side of human experiences. Knowing that someone is beside you can bring comfort and acceptance that makes it easier to bear sensitive and challenging material.
Process experiences in the therapeutic relationship
Relationships are where your reactions, fears, and defenses get activated. The therapeutic relationship provides an experience, where you can safely become conscious of, and explore, relational patterns and reactions as they occur in the therapeutic relationship. As you feel more comfortable sharing what you are experiencing towards your therapist, trust develops. This process may well positively shift your experience of relationships and responsible, caring communication.
What does a mind – body approach to trauma treatment mean?
Trauma affects the body and the mind. We hold traumatic energy in the body from unreleased traumatic responses of fear, helplessness, tension, shame and anger. This energy forms patterns of response to the world if it remains unexpressed that keeps the body in a crisis state and can cause illness. The mind develops beliefs and thoughts associated with the emotional and physical responses to the trauma. A therapist who takes a mind-body approach can help you release traumatic experiences safely. Chronic effects of trauma cause difficulties with emotional expression, relationships, concentration and memory, depression, dissociation and physical illness.
Trauma separates you from your body when you are unable to discharge your emotional pain. 80% of your experience of the world is communicated from your body to your brain (called bottom-up processing). If we have cut off from our body, then we are missing most of this information, which makes it difficult to trust ourselves and make decisions. A brain-based approach sees connecting with the body as essential to a healthy life. Reconnecting with your body involves learning to regulate overwhelming emotions so that you can tolerate them and process trauma safely.