We can all find moments where we’ve been scared or angry. The adrenaline rushes in, and your body heightens awareness, blood flow, and breath. It’s a characteristic we share with animals, commonly known as the “fight-or-flight” response.
Once the threat has passed, animals can allow their bodies to work themselves out of this state, but as humans, we encounter difficulty recognizing when to let go because of the complex nature of the neocortex in our brains. Then our bodies absorb this stress, and we continue letting our nervous system engage in this experience. With the nervous system on alert, we don’t let our bodies recalibrate, potentially initiating physical and mental health symptoms.
This is where Somatic Experiencing (SE) steps in, with a fresh approach to healing that considers trauma and its effects on our physiology. As a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP), I’m not here to talk through your trauma; I’m here in a grounding partnership with you, to observe the whole picture and support the inherent regulation of your nervous system for holistic recovery.
I’ve been running my Somatic Experiencing practice for 7 years now. Throughout this time, I’ve seen the body do extraordinary things, just by supporting the natural regulation of the nervous system itself. As a SEP, I receive regular case consultations, and my work involves the key techniques and principles of SE, along with touch work. In time, you will find greater flexibility in approaching the stressors in your life and the freedom to live more fully with renewed awareness and resilience.
I’ve spent my entire career getting to the source of healing and great health. At Prescott College, I investigated the connection between our lived experience and nature, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology/Human Development with a minor in Environmental Studies. From there, social work became my calling as a Family Involvement Specialist at West Yavapai Guidance Clinic and later as an Independent Living Specialist and Family Educator at the Arizona Children’s Association.
Though I was on a path to expand how I could help heal others, nervous system regulation work through Somatic Experiencing and Transforming Touch made a personal introduction. In graduate school, I was on my way to becoming a psychologist. The classes and subjects were fantastic, and I was eager to learn more. Alongside this, I was working full-time, and while I pushed myself through the grad program, my body was breaking down. Soon enough, I was diagnosed with cancer, and later, my thyroid crashed.
At that point, I was ultimately experiencing underlying symptoms of something greater, as though my body was saying, “It’s me or nothing.” This was significant.
When it comes to the nervous system, we’re still discovering more information about it. I’m grateful we have the resources we do. No doubt, the traditional talk therapy I was receiving up to then had the best of intentions, but my physical being was reliving the stressors I had encountered in my life, resulting in nervous system dysregulation and endocrine imbalance. On top of cancer and thyroid complications, this trauma continued into chronic symptoms, and I’ve been diagnosed with a range of illnesses, including Hashimoto’s disease, Lyme’s, Epstein-Barr virus, and chronic fatigue.
What really changed my outlook was discovering Somatic Experiencing touch work, a foundational component of SE that goes hand in hand with Transforming Touch. I am grateful for this because it opened the door for the healing my body needed at that time and has expanded into the ways I manage my daily symptoms. Now, I want to support others who might be in the same situation I was. At a crossroads in my life, I held the power to choose how I wanted to be in the world, and I know you possess this, too.
I’m constantly curious and never assume anything; I seek to create spaces of non-judgment and relief. I enjoy establishing a grounding, resonant foundation for others.
I'm certified and trained in the following disciplines and healing modalities:
Somatic Experiencing is one of a few spaces and practices where the focus is on resilience and the innate healing ability in the human condition to heal vs. dysfunction. This work has expanded my understanding and improved my relationship with my body, trauma and well-being. Somatic Experiencing has provided a gateway for integration, healing and growth to occur that I have not had access to before. The benefits have touched every aspect of my life. Beth provides a safe, gentle environment and meets you, your system and your story with faith, love, understanding and support. There is no rush and no standard.
As a SEP, I’m trained in handling all realms of trauma and stress and can identify the protocols needed for each. It’s my goal to initiate a space for you that embodies safety and non-judgment. From our first session and beyond, we will get to know one another and begin to locate the condition of your nervous system and how we can bring in regulation and resources.
Regulation is at the heart of a healthy nervous system. The ability to flow between the sympathetic and parasympathetic, the two main branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), will transfer to coherency in other body systems and ultimately allow for greater resiliency in stressful situations and sickness. By bringing our intention to these overlooked areas of the nervous system, we can give your body the attention it needs to move forward and heal.
Though the path toward healing is unique for each person, I typically involve the Transforming Touch® technique from my teacher and mentor, Stephen Terrell, PsyD and SEP. This involves a seven-point protocol for addressing key areas of balance throughout the body and requires precision since we’re often working with a younger part of the self that needs this for building trust and stability.
In a sequenced and timed approach, we will bring our intention to the adrenals and kidneys for an equal amount of time. Then we will move to the brain stem, after that the ankles, and end in a limbic installation that seals the work. Through this, we will create neural pathways that may have never been there before.
From here, we will always be in a healing partnership together, whether you’re miles away or in-person, and I will move at a pace that suits you best. Along with Transforming Touch, I will provide key education pieces, offering awareness around the nervous system, regulation, and things like defensive accommodations, all to encourage and inform your path even more. We will also outline the internal and external resources you use for greater peace and relaxation in your daily life.
I would love for you to know that our sessions together can honor our current physical/social distancing rules. I’m currently accepting clients and am regularly available through video conferencing. I can’t wait to initiate this journey with you when you’re ready.