April 9th First Hour – The Body Keeps the Score

“The body keeps the score.” Even dogs and cats have body reactions based on the difficult things that have happened to them. A dog that has been hit may duck, collapse, or bite if a person moves their hand. People have body reactions, too. If we have fallen or been in a car wreck, we may develop stress reactions to everyday experiences. We may experience negative meanings about ourselves, for example a loss of our sense of safety or competence because of these experiences. Understanding this can help us recognize trauma responses in ourselves and others. We may also experience anxiety and depression.

We hope you will join us for this discussion of Somatic Experiencing body work with Jill Archer, a longtime member of Second Unitarian Church. Jill has an early trauma background, herself, and has been a trauma therapist for 20 years. She uses inner child/parts work, EMDR, Sand Tray and other therapies and is currently training in Somatic Experiencing. Somatic Experiencing is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. It uses concepts from the study of stress physiology, ethology (the study of animal behavior), biology, neuroscience, psychology, and Native American healing practices. Peter Levine the author of Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma has designed much of this approach. The SE approach releases traumatic shock and restores connection, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of current and early trauma. SE offers a framework to assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight, or freeze responses and gives tools to move into calm safe states.

Jill will introduce a few simple tools to help ourselves and others to release trauma based body responses. Those, who wish, will have an opportunity to practice these tools when they join Jill for First Hour on Sunday, April 9th at 9 a.m. Jill will be in person at the church, but First Hour will be hybrid, as usual. Register for Zoom at this link so we can provide handouts to you.