Areas of practice
- Abuse - Emotional, Physical, Sexual
- Anxiety and/or Panic
- Brain Injury
- Chronic Pain
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Trauma Counselling
- Somatic Experiencing
Counselling practice website:www.sherylthompson.com
You have numerous stories crafted over time through your relationships, life circumstances, beliefs, and values. Some of these stories are positive and some may not have ended happily ever after. Without much effort we recall the places and faces of our stories, but there is also another storyteller who has a deeper ‘felt sense’ of the events that occurred. That storyteller is your nervous system.
Your nervous system constantly takes in sensory information and responds accordingly. When there is no perceived threat to our safety we feel calm, can breathe easily and our heartbeat is slower. You may have heard the term ‘fight or flight’; these are the stress response states of the nervous system.
Sometimes fight or flight isn't an option when what we’re faced with completely overwhelms us. When this happens we can go into a freeze state or a state of mental and/or physical immobility. This inability to respond or complete a natural, self-protective response (fight or flight) can result in this survival energy getting trapped in our nervous system.
Over time our nervous system can spend so much time in fight, flight or freeze these states become the default making it harder to move into a state of rest and relaxation, even when we want to. So how do you know what state your nervous system is in? Symptoms of a dysregulated nervous system can include:
- Being easily startled;
- Feeling ‘numb’ emotionally or physically;
- Addiction including substances or behaviours such as gambling and shopping;
- Feeling ‘spacey’ or dissociative;
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
- Difficulties in relationships with others;
- Digestive distress;
- Chronic pain;
Trauma is one of the biggest causes of nervous system dysregulation. Trauma is not necessarily caused the action, situation or circumstance but an individual’s ability to introduce and complete a self-protective response in these instances. Trauma can emerge from:
- Childhood sexual, emotional or physical abuse;
- Directly witnessing the hurt or harm of others;
- Motor vehicle accidents;
- Near death experiences;
- Worksite injuries;
- Falls or near-falls;
- War and escape from war-torn countries;
- Sexual harassment;
- Sexual assault;
- Pre and perinatal (before and during birth) issues;
I take a mind-body approach to rewriting trauma stories and to do this I use Somatic Experiencing™, an approach to healing developed by Peter Levine. So why do I do this? I have my own trauma story and I have experienced the profound changes that can happen when the nervous system is introduced as a central character.
One of the tools I use in my practice is therapeutic touch. If appropriate, and with your consent, I may introduce this in sessions as a means to support your body in releasing deeper trauma energy, mobilize deeper self-protective responses, and encouraging breath through the body.
I hold a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology (MACP) and am a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (#12481). I am a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) with the Somatic Experiencing(R) Trauma Institute (SETI).
- Somatic Experiencing(R) Professional Training Designation: Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP)
Client fee individuals:$125.00 including GST