Description: Individuals who experienced trauma, and especially those with complex PTSD, can become disconnected from their somatic experience, which decreases their ability to regulate internal states. A growing body of research on the psychology and neurobiology of trauma supports the value of yoga practices on healing the physical, visceral and body-based dimensions of trauma. Talk therapists, however, often lack the confidence or skills to do this. In this workshop, Barbara Vosk makes yoga accessible; therapists do not need to be yoga masters to draw from these practices, and clients do not need to be able to put an ankle behind their ear to reap benefits.
Dr. Vosk will introduce yoga practices of breath work and mindfulness meditation that extend what you might already be doing as a mindful therapist, and demonstrate how to use these to help ground individuals in the here and now. Drawing from a trauma-sensitive approach, she will also model the teaching of physical movement and forms that support the development of a friendly and non-demanding relationship with one’s body, using language that encourages choice and gently invites exploration and experimentation.
The first half-day workshop includes research on trauma and yoga, the principles and practices of a trauma-sensitive framework, and experiential practices involving breath and techniques that can be done while sitting or standing.
Yoga mats come out in the second half. Dr. Vosk will lead participants through gentle physical movement and poses, modeling a trauma-sensitive approach. Participants will also have opportunities to apply and teach each other in dyads, with feedback.
Barbara Vosk, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Raleigh with more than 30 years of experience working with individuals with trauma. She began practicing yoga in 2001 as part her commitment to exercise, and soon became passionate about it when she discovered yoga’s deeper healing qualities–reducing stress, expanding mental flexibility, and cultivating resilience in the face of life’s challenges. In 2011, she completed the 285-hour teacher training at Blue Lotus Yoga and Movement Arts in Raleigh, and completed an additional 300-hour training there in 2017. She completed Level 1 of Judith Lasater’s Restorative Yoga Relax and Renew ® training program, and training in Therapeutic Yoga. She currently teaches Restorative Yoga classes and workshops in several settings in Raleigh. She also co-developed, and regularly offers, a Yoga for Anxiety Relief program, geared towards novices who are interested in exploring how yoga can help manage anxiety symptoms. She is well versed in the work of Bessel van der Kolk, a leader in the research and treatment of PTSD, and has received training in Trauma Sensitive Yoga from David Emerson, who developed, and has published widely, on trauma-sensitive yoga practices. She continues to deepen her practice and understanding of these connections in both her clinical and teaching experiences.
By the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to
- List at least 4 benefits of yoga practice on physical symptoms commonly experienced by individuals with complex PTSD.
- Describe language used when working with the body that is sensitive to and appropriate for individuals who have experienced trauma.
- Explain the use of at least 1 grounding practice that can help individuals with trauma histories to stay present.
- Theory and rationale
- Gentle movement exercises with grounding and mindfulness of language
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Clinical Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work