Self-Regulation Training (SRT), known to some as the Melrose Healing Method, is a quiet, naturalistic way of healing the effects of stress and trauma. This method has been greatly influenced by the work of Somatic Experiencing (SE); the short-term trauma-healing approach developed by Dr. Peter Levine (traumahealing.org).
SRT, like SE, recognizes the limits of talk therapy and other treatment modalities that use catharsis and other activating techniques in order to “discharge” stressful or traumatic material. Such stimulating techniques may offer temporary relief, but their benefits are rarely long-term. These more activating approaches, in their lack of a complete understanding of the impact of stress and trauma on the brain, can overwhelm the nervous system and re-traumatize rather than heal.
Like SE, SRT helps “renegotiate” patterns of arousal and anxiety by carefully supporting the body’s natural ability to release over-activation. By combining and interweaving elements of stress and trauma with strengths and resources, a new, complete and more empowering experience is created, thus enabling new, more powerful neural pathways in the brain. This is when clients begin to notice a new and greater repertoire of emotional and behavioral choices. They move from being stuck in rage, helplessness, and anxiety to a fluid experience of empowerment, peace, and resiliency thereby strengthening and building resistance to future stress and trauma.
Adding SRT to my practice has shown life changing results for myself and my clients. It is my belief that talk therapy alone, without the integration of the nervous system, will for most people never be enough. It is truly the missing link to a complete mind, body and soul healing approach.
A body first approach to healing
“Trauma is about loss of connection, first to the body and the self, and second to others and the environment”. Peter Levine
Trauma is experienced, processed, stored, and relived through our body – or somatically. In response, we must show not tell, our protective parts that we are safe, through Somatic healing approaches. When someone is stuck in a survival response (ie. Fight flight or freeze/shutdown), they will constantly experience life through fear and danger even when the danger isn’t present. At other times they might shut down and lose capacity to live in the present moment, or constantly be on the run busying.
SRT – Breathwork and TEB are all somatic approaches that aim to help a person access the body memory of the event, so that they can safely and slowly complete the incomplete experience and renegotiate the experience in order to come back to present moment safety.