Tough times are reflected in our bodies. “The Body keeps score”, says psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk. In his book he describes the profound impact of trauma on the body and mind, revealing how emotional and psychological experiences can become stored within our physical selves. If unaddressed, people in societies affected by violence and conflict carry and reproduce “historical, intergenerational, persistent, institutional, and personal traumas in their bodies”, says Resma Menakem in his book “My grandmother’s hands”.


This month’s theme has become a reality for us. Two members of our team have experienced a traumatic event and are processing the physical, emotional, and mental impacts. 


“We are struggling with what I can only describe as ‘trauma brain’. We were unable to work, had difficulty sleeping, and had recurring memories and nightmares. Moving the body through short walks, some yoga, and cardio exercise helped to feel a little lighter.  Spending time with others, therapy, mindfulness, and physio, are helping to process thoughts, feelings, and body sensations”.


This experience shows the importance of somatic practices in trauma-healing, as highlighted by Candice Clark in her recent webinar “Bringing back the body into counseling”. 


Berenice Meintjes shared insights from her work in conflict  and peace-building in Africa. Stay tuned for her interview in our next Inside Look.


Interested in learning more about Somatic practices? Contact Delphine Oliver to join her “Do Life Better course” starting in October. 


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