Knowing what to expect makes a big difference in your ability to feel comfortable in your first session
After I welcome you in, we will usually begin sitting and talking through your goals for working together. I’ll explain more about the way I approach somatic trauma-work so that you have some clearer understanding of the process. The first session usually includes some somatic experiencing work, but it’s akin to dipping one’s toes in the shallow end of the pool, rather than diving in head first. We don’t try to get to the bottom of anything in the first session, and we don’t dig deep into past events.
My interest in the first session is to begin to understand not just your story, but for us both to understand your nervous system a little better. I’m interested in getting a sense of how you operate: how getting revved up, or “activated” shows up for you in your body, and the ways you know to settle down.
If reducing chronic pain is your main goal in working together, we might also spend some time for me to better understand what you’re dealing with and to begin to form a picture of patterns of movement that may be contributing to that pain. I may invite you to do some gentle, slow movements drawn from the Feldenkrais Method to begin to find the first steps towards learning new patterns that work better for you.
Going forward, a few important terms for how we will work together are titration, and pendulation and resourcing. Titration, refers to working in small manageable amounts that aren’t overwhelming. Pendulation, describes the pendulum-swing our nervous system makes from revving up with activation, to settling down with feeling safe and grounded. Pendulation isn’t a technique to learn, so much as something to become more aware of as we learn to observe the subtle shifts in our body sensations. As we follow the pendulations of your nervous system in a titrated way, one of the very first outcomes is often that we discover body-sensations that are settling or grounding. This, in SE terminology, is resourcing. Finding the land-marks in the body that send a signal to your nervous system that you are safe and settled can be a profound step in feeling not just calmer, but more in touch with yourself and connected to others.