What is trauma?
Trauma touches everyone in some form or another, whether through an acute situation such as a car accident, or a chronic one like living in an environment filled with conflict. When left unresolved, trauma gets locked in our bodies, resulting in a compromised nervous system that leads to both poor mental and physical health. Whether one is experiencing emotional pain, anxiety, eating disorders, chronic stress, OCD, depression, or any other maladaptive behavior, the cause is often rooted in unresolved trauma.
I am so grateful to have the opportunity to read this book. Ilene has opened my eyes to a whole new way of healing and approaching trauma. I never realized how significantly our nervous system is impacted by our traumas. I have been in talk therapy for years with many unresolved issues and this is the first time that someone has pulled it all together to explain trauma and healing. I loved the assessments in the book. They really gave me a roadmap to seeing how my nervous system is functioning. Ilene also gives corresponding exercises that really helped me to begin the healing process in a whole new way. – James C.
about the book
In Moving Beyond Trauma, Ilene Smith helps readers heal from the past by encouraging them to bring the body into the healing process.
Using evidence-based research, case studies, and personal stories, Ilene helps readers understand the nature of trauma, how it originates in the body, and how it adversely impacts the mind-body connection and nervous system functioning. She equips readers with tools to heal the nervous system using therapeutic techniques such as sensory awareness, movement, and self-observation.
Ilene Smith’s methods have helped individuals heal trauma and improve their quality of life by:
● Finding relief from depression and anxiety
● Creating meaningful connection with others
● Developing confidence
● Improving their capacity to bounce back from adversity
● Cultivating deep self-love and self-care
● Experiencing true joy and vitality
The book includes six original, cutting-edge assessments to help readers understand how trauma is impacting their lives. Ilene then leads readers through corresponding exercises to help them create a sustainable healing lifestyle. Throughout, Moving Beyond Trauma provides readers with actionable steps and clear entry points to start their journey to deeper healing.
This is one of the best self-help books I have come across in a very long time. Ilene makes all the information relatable. I was really able to connect to the case studies she shares in the book. For the first time in my life, I actually feel as though someone really understands my struggles. I love that the book went beyond explaining how trauma impacts our life. Ilene really did a great job creating the roadmap to healing beyond talk therapy. – Mara T.
so who would benefit from this book?
Despite having been in talk therapy for years, I knew there was a “missing piece” in my healing journey. Eventually, I realized that this missing piece was the presence of my body in the healing process. While talk therapy is of tremendous help, healing trauma takes place beyond a cognitive level. Memories of trauma – no matter how big or small the event – live in the tissues of the body; the body must be a partner in the process in order to truly resolve them and create everlasting change.
When we have experienced events in our lives that have made us feel unsafe, our perception of ourselves and the world around us becomes distorted. Whether you struggle with anxiety or depression, or feel as though you are spinning your wheels looking for solutions despite all your efforts, Moving Beyond Trauma will provide you with a roadmap to bring your body into the healing process. You will come away with a deeper understanding of yourself and your needs, while gaining the tools to heal a wide range of psychological issues. Moving Beyond Trauma will teach you how to create a “healing lifestyle” of ease and vitality and move beyond a life of surviving to a life of thriving.
Moving Beyond Trauma has been a life changer for me. After reading this book, I have changed my approach to resolving my anxiety and depression. Ilene does a great job at sharing about trauma healing and the importance of bringing the body into the healing process. I also felt the assessments and exercises in the book were significant. I have a better understanding of how I am functioning and now use some of the tools Ilene provides to help calm my nervous system. – Karen B.
Taking Your Assessment
You are invited to take a series of research-based assessments that will help you become better acquainted with your nervous system. These assessments are designed to help you learn more about your mental and emotional health and gain a clearer understanding of how your nervous system is currently functioning.
These assessments are a guide to help you become more attuned to yourself on a sensory level. From there, you can gain a better understanding of how your nervous system is currently functioning and take the steps needed to achieve your own healing journey.
How to Answer the Assessment Questions
Within these assessments, you will find a series of questions for you to answer. Do not get overly-analytical in doing so. Answer with the first thing that comes to mind. Your first answer will almost always be the most accurate. As you consider the statements in each assessment, consider your typical experience over the course of the past twelve months and choose the response that best fits. If the statement does not relate to your life in the past twelve months, you may think back to the last time you had a similar experience. If at any point in taking this survey you begin to feel uncomfortable, please take a break and come back when you are feeling better.
Take this assessment to better understand how much of your daily life is currently impacted by your past traumas. This is a great place to start.
FIGHT, FLIGHT OR FREEZE
This assessment will help you better understand which of these behaviors you move towards in your daily life when feeling unsafe or threatened.
There are two possible approaches you may take in accomplishing tasks: mobilization or disengagement. Learn your approach and the effects you may see when it comes to task completion and your overall productivity.
Take this assessment to better understand your nervous system’s tendencies to operate in the face of stressors and challenges. Working on your style will better guide you toward a sense of inner peace, confidence, and harmony.
THE SENSORY SCALE
Learn whether you are hypersensitive or hyposensitive to your body’s experiences. This will help you understand your nervous system’s tendency to react to the five senses and how you experience the world around you.
Interoception is the ability to sense the inner state of your body (some refer to this as the sixth sense). This is a skill that can be improved. Learn more about connecting to this state.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ILENE SMITH is a certified professional coach and Somatic Experiencing practitioner who is passionate about helping others explore life with curiosity and exuberance. Her research into Somatic Experiencing and eating disorders has contributed to the importance of Somatic Experiencing and body-based therapies in recovery. Ilene has also worked extensively with patients suffering from addiction. With master’s degrees in exercise physiology and mental health counseling, Ilene blends talking, touch work, and movement to create synergy between a client’s body and mind. In addition to her private practice, Ilene has developed a series of trauma healing workshops and lectures, which she hosts worldwide. Ilene lives in Arizona.