Welcome and thanks for visiting.
This website is a great place to start to get information about my work and resources that might be helpful for the healing journey you are on.
You really do have it in you to heal. Together, with my my experience and guidance and your engagement and curiosity, we can help support and encourage your capacity to flourish. Ultimately it's your body's built in readiness to heal that leads the way.
On this page you'll find:
-A very basic description of the process of Somatic Experiencing (SE)
-Information about what sessions are like
-What kind of stress and trauma is included in the work I do
-Ways to stay connected through email and Facebook
On other pages (see right side bar), you'll find:
-More about how SE works
-Very helpful resources by leaders in the field of somatic therapy if you'd like to learn more.
-Guided meditations and exercises you can use right now to help you settle. (Free Downloads)
-Information about my background and credentials. (About Brandy)
-A calendar of my available appointments, and available services. (Services & Scheduling)
-There's also information about yoga classes I teach and other yoga-related materials. (Usually people either work with me as a therapist or yoga teacher, not both).
Process of Somatic Experiencing (SE)
I work using a method called Somatic Experiencing, and we typically go through three phases to help improve your health and vitality, while reducing symptoms.
1. Stabilzing and Orienting - learning some tools to help reduce your symptoms and start feeling more ease. Reconnecting with your capacity for pleasure.
2. "Pendulating" - A term coined by Peter Levine. Reestablishing the rhythm of healthy processing of stress and building self-regulation.
3. Renegotation and Integration - As the system begins to trust the stability you've built, it begins to work through older, stored up physiological processes from past stress.
These phases don't always happen in a linear way - we are following the organic intelligence of your system. People typically find that things begin to get better fairly quickly, and continue to improve through all phases of the work.
What does that look like?
Depending on your goals, an SE session can look like a typical counseling or therapy session. One difference is that while we talk, I will be tracking the response of your autonomic nervous system to help facilitate the phases described above. I will also be referring you back to body sensations, because these sensations are crucial information to both of us about how to move through the phases. Don't worry if you don't always notice your body's sensations - it's something we'll work with together.
You don't always have to tell the story to heal. It is not about reliving the experience - it's about allowing your body to recognize that the event is in the past. This is done gently, so that your system's circuits don't get overloaded.
Another way it can look is, when appropriate, we do touch work. That could be with the two of us in chairs, or with you in a reclining position with my hands making contact in a still and intentional way. This work only happens if both you and I think it will be helpful to your healing process.
If you already have a trusted therapist, our SE work can be an adjunct to the good work you are already doing there.
What kind of trauma and stress can be worked with in SE?
Practically any kind. People typically seek my support for things like:
-A specific event that caused emotional, physical or spiritual overwhelm
-Ongoing stress from childhood, chronic illness, or any other ongoing challenge, past or present.
-Physical symptoms from accidents, falls, or any other injury or illness - whether or not it seemed to be emotionally stressful.
Read more about my work on the More About SE page.
For information on scheduling, fees, and such, go to Services & Scheduling.
Call for a free consultation appointment (30 minutes).
Licensed California Marriage & Family Therapist #49771
*Please see "About Brandy" for more info on trauma friendly yoga
**It generally works best if I am either your yoga teacher or your therapist/Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, not both.
Copyright Brandy Vanderheiden 2007. All rights reserved.