Somatic Resilience and Regulation

Cinnamon Cranston

Somatic Resilience and Regulation (SRR) Therapy was created by Kathy L. Kain and Stephen J. Terrell, senior Somatic Experiencing Practitioners and Teachers of Peter Levine’s work.  They developed Somatic Resilience and Regulation  in response to the need to develop new techniques and approaches that work better for people who have experienced early developmental trauma. Kathy and Stephen co-authored the book Nurturing Resilience: Helping Clients Move Forward from Developmental Trauma.

Early developmental trauma occurs within the first five years of life when the neural platform – (the place in the brain where our sense of safety vs threat is developed and associations are made that set the groundwork for the rest of our life) is being developed and attachment style is established. SRR brings together Attachment, Polyvagal, Neuroscience, Child Development Theory, Trauma and Somatics to provide practitioners a new way to understand and work with safety and regulation.

In this therapy touch has an important role in restoring and repairing relational well-being. The approach to touch is very similar to Rosen Method Bodywork but with less demand on the verbal or social engagement system,  and a specific intentional attention and attunement to the threat response system (HPA axis, Kidney /Adrenals, Brain Stem) as well as other effected systems (skin, digestive and musculo-skeletal : fascia, muscle, bone). Early developmental trauma has a profound effect on our bodies physiology.  The bodies nervous system grows and learns to adapt and support the complexity of trauma symptoms that present later in life. This can result in a complex response to relational connection, and difficulty experiencing feelings of safety. SRR therapy has a profound impact on a persons capacity to experience a happier, healthier life.

What qualifies as early developmental trauma? You might be surprised! Anytime a child feels overwhelmed and helpless and lacking the support of a parent or loving caregiver to assist in co-regulation ( a parent or caregiver who has a regulated nervous system), a child’s nervous system will be in a situation where flight/fight is activated but with the only real option of freeze available to them, and if that is not remedied a shut down or collapse response will occur. Different situations feel more or less life threatening at different ages. The epigenetic trauma of parents and extended family, as well as cultural and societal trauma is also a factor. If a parent has a dysregulated nervous system and the child is trying to attach with this parent they will naturally develop a dysregulated nervous system. Certain styles of parenting that may be socially acceptable can also be traumatizing; such as, sleep training and time out discipline when the child is sent to their room alone. Children are not capable of self-regulation when they are five years or younger. They need a parent to be present supporting them with their big feelings. This often does not happen in our society. Shock traumas, such as, hospital procedures, other physical trauma, birth trauma, verbal, physical and sexual abuse also have an incredible impact on the neural platform if they occur within the first five years of life, and are now considered a part of developmental trauma as well.

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