Healing Modalities

Below is a menu of modalities for healing trauma. Most may be used by themselves or in conjunction with therapy or coaching.

These are what I consider to be the top modalities for healing; there are many others that can be effective as well. Further description of each of these will be included in future articles. In addition to these modalities there are dozens of exercises which fit into one or more of these categories and which will be described in future posts.

It merits pointing out that talk therapy (CBT. DBT, and interpersonal) are not listed here. This is not because they are not effective in appropriate situations, it’s that body-based therapies are sometimes underused  in treating trauma.

Body-based approaches are not focused on the past, but on the present. They facilitate tapping into the trapped energy of the trauma and learning to process and integrate it so that the nervous system becomes well regulated. Greater relaxed alertness rather than fatigued anxiety is the result.

Note that a few of these should be used in later stages of treatment for severe cases as they can be re-traumatizing. Also, there are a few modalities that are best started with guidance. For example, even something as seemingly innocuous as meditation can be harmful if not approached properly. Meditation that is not body-based (is only in the mind) can cause or reinforce further dissociation rather than connection and awareness of the present moment.

  • Meditate with the Body – This is a link to the website
  • iRest Program
  • Facilitate feeling safe – By the coach / therapist or for yourself
  • Shrinking the inner and outer critic
  • Managing flashbacks – Sometimes the lens through which life is experienced
  • Connection to self and others (relational)
  • Regulation of nervous system
  • Identity – Working on self-image
  • Focus on present
  • Integrating emotions – And awareness of affect
  • Grieving and angering
  • Re-parenting – Later in treatment in some cases
  • Somatic Mindfulness
  • Somatic Experiencing
  • Guided Imagery and evocative imagery
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Deep Relaxation practices
  • Breath work – Some types are best done later in treatment for severe cases
  • Shadow work – Owning the disowned and unacknowledged parts of self
  • EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
  • Yoga and somatic types of meditation
  • Feldenkrais principles and work
  • Trauma toolkit lists for awareness
  • Heart Rate Variability measurements as a self-training tool (type of biofeedback)