Today was the first day of level one Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy training. It was wonderful to be back into an environment where people are open, accepting, and positive.
There were 10 students who participated today. Four of us came from the mental health field. We spoke at length about being drawn to mind, body, and spirit building resources. Personally, in choosing a profession that helps others, there is no doubt that our current mental health profession is in need of a huge shift!
Maybe my experience as a licensed clinical social worker who has been working with “emotionally disturbed” labeled students in the education and residential system is skewed. I feel that most of my job has been in labeling others so that they may receive the help they need. If I give them this label then they will get this support. However, the label does nothing but make a complex issue sound simple. I find that we are often expected to get the client to “do something else” rather than just listen and accept.
Many of my fellow therapists realize that it is counterintuitive to minimize students/clients differences or challenges, but in order to get the help many of our clients need we have to prove that what they are dealing with is a “problem”. We are expected to formulate goals, write mental health assessments, and talk about the clients “identifying problems” more often than not. It often leaves me exhausted and feeling that I did little to help my client. A sad reality especially when it is regarding a young child.
I have found that yoga creates the exact opposite. It looks at us as whole being and encourages us to just show up as is. What a concept. Today our trainer, Soleil, reminded us of acceptance. She recognized our “glitches” and welcomed them. She reminded us that we don’t have to change anything. There was little do’s or don’ts presented to us today.
Soleil had us pair up and start touching each other right away. So different than in the “therapy” world. We practiced assisting each other in about 6 different poses. It was experiential with a little processing. Having the experience of being in Bioenergetics for several years, I was comfortable allowing others to hold me and it appeared that others were as well. However, I could see that someone who held an experience of trauma in their body may be uncomfortable.
Overall, the first class of PRYT provided me with many tools. My intention going into this program was to build/rebuild my confidence in working with people in their body and to be reminded of the beliefs of yoga. I look forward to the next three days!
As therapists, it is important to take care of ourselves. The last time I went on an interview it was also one of the questions that was asked by the interview team. “How do you take care of yourself?”
I take care of myself in a few ways. One of those ways is by expanding my knowledge base by staying updated on current research and by attending trainings that interest me. Over the past 5 years, I have been drawn more and more to body and mind psychotherapy approaches. For the past 5 years I have been part of some sort of training to increase my understanding and awareness of body-mind approaches. For two years, I found myself drawn to the knowledge of Bioenergetics.
“Bioenergetics recognizes that our experiences leave physical imprints from our earliest days of childhood. Our physiological responses to events in our lives are stored in our cells and muscles as well as our minds. Negative stored “memories” can manifest in a range of problems in adult life, from patterns of failed relationships to illness and chronic pain. Bioenergetics also recognizes that difficult childhood experiences occur in the context of close relationship with parents and caretakers, and that healing from them requires a nurturing and safe relationship in the present. Bioenergetics invites the release of unconscious holding patterns in the body through breathing, movement and emotional expression while being supported and protected by a trained and caring therapist.”
Along with Bioenergetics, I had completed my 200 RYT yoga certification through YogaWell. Yoga has given me many useful tools as a clinical social worker. These tools are not only useful when working with my clients but also for my own well being.
As my job has become increasingly more stressful, I begin to reach for those things that help me stay motivated. This time, I am drawn to a combination of psychotherapy and yoga. The program is called Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy.
My training starts this Wednesday (November 3rd, 2010) for a four day intensive practice. I will post each day regarding my experience and how I see this fitting with the world of psychotherapy. My hope is that other therapists find their balance as I continue to work on mine.
Bioenergetic Analysis is a dynamic psychotherapy that blends traditional modalities with a body-oriented approach. Based on the interconnection of mental, emotional and physical health, Bioenergetic Analysis focuses on the expression of unexpressed emotion which can lead to symptoms of unhappiness and stress such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or decreased sexuality. Learn how working directly with the body to relieve chronic tensions and release blocked emotions, one can become more free, more relaxed, and more able to enjoy life. In this workshop you will learn to theoretical basis of Bioenergetic Analysis, experience “grounding” exercises and observe a live therapy demonstration.
It’s all about integrating mind, body and emotions…
When: Saturday February 28th
9 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. before our adjustment training
Location: Swedenborg Hall
1531 Tyler Ave. San Diego 92103
Between Cleveland and Campus near 163 Fwy.
Cost::: :FREEEEEEEE if you have a LCSW or MFT you can earn CEU’s for 25$
Call Diane Devore if you are interested in attending— (858) 444-7126