The Efficacy of Somatic Therapies in Trauma Recovery

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Waheed, Misha
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The neurobiological mechanisms by which toxic stress affects the mind offer anecdotal evidence for body-oriented therapies, however, due to a paucity of evidence-based research the efficacy of somatic therapies have not been well established (Almeida et al., 2019; Grabbe & Miller-Karas, 2018; Payne & Crane-Godreau, 2015; Tantia, 2019; Williamson et al., 2015). It is, therefore, my intention to review extant literature on somatic therapies in this paper and explore how such alternative approaches can contribute to the development of the trauma counselling field. The research on TI care has also attempted to understand the mechanisms by which people can experience positive psychological changes after trauma exposure (Nakagawa et al., 2016). Such benefits are referred to as post-traumatic growth (PTG) in the literature and include higher resilience, empathy, and an appreciation for life (Nakagawa et al., 2016). The prevalence of PTG factors amongst individuals who experience trauma have been associated with better life outcomes, and fewer long-term consequences (Linley & Joseph, 2004). Some neuroscientific evidence indicates that body awareness in trauma survivors can increase resiliency (Haase et al., 2015; Haase et al., 2016). As a prospective counsellor, I seek to understand the neurobiology of trauma and explore the relevance of body-based therapies in promoting healing among individuals with severe or complex presentations of trauma. As such, the topic for my research is an investigation into the efficacy of somatic therapies in treating trauma and fostering resilience.
somatic therapy, trauma
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