All Kinds of News for February 08, 2017
Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program for teens, highlights the work of Primary Therapist Ashley Brown, MSW, LCSW, LCAS. Brown received her Masters in Social Work from UNC Chapel Hill with an additional Substance Abuse Licensure. She has additional training in both Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and sensorimotor psychotherapy, which has its roots in somatic experiencing.
Somatic experiencing is a form of therapy which is aimed at relieving the symptoms of trauma and other emotional challenges by focusing on sensations within an individual’s body.
“When something really intense, scary or traumatic happens to us, we hold on to that trauma in our bodies,” says Brown. “This is why you see a lot of people who have had a traumatic experience with digestive problems, cramping or asthma. The idea is that there’s a very physical symptom to trauma. Those afflicted by traumatic experiences hold on to their trauma and it impacts their bodies and the way they hold themselves.”
Brown utilizes somatic experiencing techniques for students struggling with low self esteem, mild eating disorders and trauma.
“A lot of my students struggling with low self esteem and trauma have really isolated themselves from others and shut others out of their life,” comments Brown. “Many of those students have somatic complaints. For example, I see a lot of digestive issues among those students. They may complain about their stomach cramping or hurting.”
Brown works with these students to develop a sensory vocabulary. By using a sensory vocabulary, students can describe what is going on in their bodies and better understand how this relates to their emotional or behavioral challenges.
“Somatic experiencing is an effective way of helping students struggling with trauma and low self esteem overcome physical symptoms,” says Brown. “By developing a sensory vocabulary, students are able to make better sense of what is going on in their bodies. The theory behind building a sensory vocabulary is that once you begin to tap into what’s going on with physical symptoms, you can shift those negative feelings away from your body.”
Read more about Brown’s work with somatic experiencing on the Trails Carolina’s blog.
About Trails CarolinaTrails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Asheville, North Carolina that offers a multi-dimensional wilderness therapy model to troubled adolescents, ages 10-17. Trails capitalizes upon the profound effects of a student’s wilderness experience, and then combines that experience with strong clinical assessments and therapy.