*No intervention that takes power away from the survivor can possibly foster her/his recovery, no matter how much it appears to be in her/his best interest. (Judith Herman)
Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) is an empirically validated, evidence-based treatment. It was developed as a complementary therapeutic intervention for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or chronic, treatment resistant and complex trauma (K-PTBS).
TCTSY was developed at the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, as a program for Trauma and Embodiment at Justice Resource Institute (JRI).
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, professor of psychiatry, and yoga teacher David Emerson, researched and developed TCTSY in many years of collaboration at the Trauma Center/JRI, a treatment center for traumatized people in Boston, USA. Since 2017, TCTSY has been acknowledged as an evidence-based treatment modality for trauma disorders.
The foundation of TCTSY is based on trauma theory, attachment theory, neuroscience, and hatha yoga.
Guiding principles for TCTSY from trauma theory in this regard are, first Judith Herman's statement:
"*No intervention that takes power away from the survivor can possibly foster her/his recovery, no matter how much it appears to be in her/his best interest."
And second, the goal of trauma therapy stated as essential by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, to remain in the present moment to avoid to be repeatedly overwhelmed by experiences of the past.
Attachment theory describes the basis for the importance of social interaction, companionship, and support among people, on which we as social beings absolutely depend in order to survive, grow, and heal.
The concept of interoception (the ability to perceive, interpret and respond appropriately to bodily sensations) was taken from neuroscience and adapted for TCTSY. It forms the essential main element in connection with Hatha Yoga.
TCTSY is now provided worldwide for veterans, in women's counseling centers, with children and adolescents, with refugees, as part of trauma therapy, and in many other settings in individual or group sessions.
In 2021, a study validated TCTSY in a comparison with CPT (cognitive processing therapy), the gold standard in therapeutic treatment in the United States, in the treatment of women who had experienced sexual assault during military service.
TCTSY uses simple yoga forms with a focus on mindful awareness of body sensations while moving.
Through awareness of the body's movements in the present moment, a relationship with one's own body can gradually be developed (again).
The practice can be very challenging for trauma survivors who avoid perceiving the trauma physically.
These are the core principles of TCTSY:
The TCTSY Facilitator also practices and chooses for himself in which way he would like to move. By this the sessions are experienced as a process of shared authentic experience, where everyone is allowed to remain in responsibility of the own body and perception.
It is more important to be and remain in this self-determination and self-responsibility for the own body than, for example, learning certain exercises or breathing techniques for self-regulation.
Rather, the facilitator's role is to create a mindful, compassionate, safe environment for whatever may arise during the session to support self-regulation through co-regulation by the facilitator and his or her own self-regulatory capacity.
TCTSY in English in Berlin
As one of the very few providers of TCTSY in Germany I offer TCTSY online and in my practice room both in german and in english.
If you are interested in TCTSY, please contact me.
It is not possible to participate in my TCTSY sessions without prior contact or conversation.
Classes are provided either live in my private practice and online via Zoom.
If you would like to learn more about TCTSY, please also visit:
TCTSY 1:1 is also available in English.