Roots and Branches: Healing From Sexual Trauma
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This years campaign is focusing on preventing sexual assault. While I applaud them for working to prevent sexual trauma, I have also noticed a lack of information and resources available for those of us who have already experienced it. I know that when I was sexually assaulted, many of the resources I did find were either too clinical or too graphic for me to read without either disassociating from my trauma or being triggered by it. Over the past two years I have researched resources and exercises through trial and error have figured out which ones worked for me. Here will be sharing them as well as ones recommended by readers.
Dr. Peter levine: somatic experiencing therapy
I own two of Dr. Peter A. Levine 's books and both completely changed the way I view trauma. I would highly recommend reading Waking the Tiger and Healing Trauma and going through the Somatic Experiencing exercises.
I also enjoy watching his podcasts and YouTube videos which you can find for free. Here are a few of my favorites:
Devi Ward: Sex is Medicine
Devi Ward: Sex is Medicine is one of my favorite podcasts because it focuses not just on the physical aspects of sex but also the spirtual ones. Devi is also a woman of color and regularly invites other amazing women of color onto her show. One episode in partiular that really helped me in my healing process is Episode 121: Healing Sexual Trauma with Tantra.
Body Scan Meditation
Something I struggle with is disassociating with my body usually in an attempt to not process or feel my emotions. I have gone weeks even months without connecting to my body or my inward self. One practice I've started to incorporate into my routine is body scan meditation. Body scans not only help me come back to my body, but they also allow me to see where I am holding tension around my trauma, which allows me to focus on ways to soften those places. There are hundreds of different body scan meditations that can be found on YouTube or Insite Timer. When you feel disconnected from your body try doing a body scan meditation.
I will be adding to this list as I try and research more exercises. If you'd like to make a suggestion please email firstname.lastname@example.org