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Sexual Trauma: A Somatic Perspective

The embodied impact of sexual trauma is important for therapists to assess, explore and address in order to facilitate holistic healing with their clients. Feelings of isolation, shame, betrayal, anger, confusion, and fear are often present after the experience of sexual trauma. Each is held somatically within the client’s nervous system. Sexual trauma is a trauma of oppression, and survivors who are LGBTQIA, Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) experience additional challenges in coping with sexual trauma as they navigate the ongoing assault of systemic oppression.

This training will explore the impact of sexual trauma through the lens of somatic experiencing.

Participants will learn about dissociation in sexual trauma, memory work, internalized perpetrator beliefs, and reconfiguration of self after sexual trauma. The training will include somatic methods of guiding clients slowly, mindfully, and somatically through their trauma work. The training will also explore how sexual trauma impacts survivors’ sense of their sexual selves and sexual functioning.
Somatic sexual healing methods will be discussed. The experience of death, loss, mourning, and grief are woven through our clients lives and the lives oftherapists. Supporting the many types of loss and their different presentations is a crucial part of therapy work and embedded in trauma experiences. Supporting the body in grief can be a daunting task yet when done with attunement, presence and coregulation; can be incredibly transformative.
This training will include an overview of different types of losses and the various forms grief can take shapefor clients. Traumatic themes that emerge in loss will be presented in addition to the losses that result in embodied traumatic reactions, many of which are rooted in early attachment.
Participants will learn about the impact loss has on the nervous system and body and how to support resilience and regulation amidst grief. The concepts of death versus life force energy will be explored in addition to the transformative elements of grief.
Attendees will have an opportunity to re
flect on how their own experiences with loss impact their capacity to be an embodied support and witness to their clients.
Reflective somatic exercises will be included to assist attendees in gaining a deeper understanding of the somatic impact of loss and transformative healing for self, families, and communities.

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