Somatic Trauma Resolution (STR) is a trauma therapy beneficial for individuals suffering from symptoms ranging from anxiety to PTSD. This alternative approach benefits anyone who’s nervous system has been overwhelmed, regardless of the cause.
STR works by teaching the client to become curious about physical sensations in the body, thus engaging the hindbrain where our instinctual survival responses are stored. By doing so trapped survival energies can begin to safely discharge through the body.
Tracking sensations keeps the neural pathways open and releases excess energy that has been stored during a traumatic event or experience. Releasing this high level of activation, encourages our inherent ability to heal tissues, emotional patterns, and our relationships.
As we have evolved the analytical part of the brain has become dominant. This explains why humans remain traumatized while animals in the wild can more easily bounce back from an overwhelming experience. In times of crisis, our higher brain functions of emotional and cognitive responses take over and often interfere with the fight, flight or freeze responses, governed by the more primitive part of the brain- the hind brain. We need to involve the hind brain in order for our nervous systems to re regulate.
Along with tracking sensations, another key component to this method involves developing one’s own resources. A resource is something that empowers us by reminding the nervous system of what’s working well in the individual’s life and creates a relaxation response. The therapist guides the client between trauma and resource; a process known as titration. Waving between the trauma vortex and the resource allows for gentle release of stored energies while the system becomes more resilient and better able to handle, or even avoid, future traumas.
What is Trauma?
Traditional beliefs regard trauma as a psychological, medical disorder of the mind; it is now understood from a physiological perspective that trauma results from a natural process having been interrupted. Another misconception about trauma is that it is only suffered by those who’ve survived on a battlefield, lived through a natural disaster, or experienced other such life-threatening events. In fact, most people have experienced some type of trauma.
Sources of trauma have a wide range including accidents, abuse, falls, injuries, sexual trauma, violence, invasive surgical and dental procedures, loss, or even birth.
Often people who have suffered the effects of trauma may not even remember the original event. They may experience strange symptoms that no one is able to explain. When left unresolved, physiological reactions remain dormant in the body until triggered by a similar event.