"It starts with me. I do my work that I have to do, my healing--and I heal, I pass along some of it to you. And that's how this thing works. As I receive healing myself, and I facilitate your healing, we both heal."
I vividly recall my first session with Shea. We did an exercise to determine my boundaries. She encouraged me to envision my boundary, which looked like something out of Vincent Ward's motion picture What Dreams May Come, starring Robin Williams. I would later use art therapy to showcase that vision (as seen in the picture included with my testimonial). She then tested my boundary sensitivity. This revealed that I picked up on energy from far distances. I must admit, I was very skeptical about the therapy in the first session. The morning after, I awoke with such heightened environmental awareness that I thought I had COVID. Except, I had not lost sense of smell or taste, but rather things looked, smelled, and tasted different.
Old wounds and pain so deeply locked within were released. Shea helped me listen to my body, and it was given the attention it needed. Shea helped me see that my body had carried many wounds for a very long time. It held pain and trauma that my brain could not handle. Once it was given a chance to speak --there were releases of intense energy freeing my body from carrying it like Atlas holding the world on his shoulders. I felt the pressure on my shoulders like an invisible mantle of shame and guilt. There was nothing to figure out or analyze, only what to release through crying, laughing, and grieving of old pain…The child critic in me that worked all these years to keep me from more pain got a reprieve.
Working with Shea felt so different from the very first meeting. I felt like I was in a safe enough environment and that I could trust her enough to let go and trust the process of Somatic Therapy. I did not feel judged or anything negative about the experience.
I started to feel hope soon after Shea began working on me during my first visit. I felt the tightness and uncomfortableness I always seem to be carrying begin to release. When she started to work on the areas of my body that had suffered trauma, memories and realizations began to surface. I was able to connect the dots of why I dissociated from my body in the first place, and Shea allowed me to talk about what my body was telling me. It was the first time I was in tune enough with my body to listen to it.
As a recovering control freak with a fear of letting my guard down with other people, this was a welcomed boot camp. (Or maybe, more accurately, immersion therapy.) There isn't a manual. Everyone's experience is different. The shifts were subtle but powerful. And Shea didn't tell me what to do. I had to tune in to what I needed, learn to ask for it, and just practice BEING SEEN by someone else--really being in the room and the space and in connection with someone. Not while picking at my fingernails or thumping my leg or checking my phone or drifting away in my thoughts or compulsively talking or otherwise performing and distracting myself.
I tried traditional talk therapy, working out, yoga, and meditation. It felt like I’d have five or ten minutes of a breakthrough, but nothing lasted, and none of the good-feeling stuff translated off the meditation mat and into my “real” life.
It is almost unexplainable the difference I felt working with Shea. I felt a relaxation like I’ve never felt before. I went into what felt like an uplifting trance. I laughed until I cried. I cried until I laughed. I heard clear and loving messages. At a few points, it almost felt like I was levitating. Finally, at the very end of our last session, I took the biggest breath I’ve ever taken in my life and let it go. It was extraordinary. I said out loud, “That’s the thing. That’s what I came here for.” I didn’t feel like everything was going to be okay; I knew it.