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Trauma therapy methods

Trauma therapy methods
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I love the trauma therapy methods I work with. Why? There are many reasons. These trauma therapy methods have profoundly changed my own life, my being, on all levels. They have brought me back into contact with myself, my innermost being. These trauma therapy methods became my passion. I work differently. No talk therapy. Because your trauma is stored in your body, not in your head. The methods I use for trauma therapy therefore directly involve your body. 

What happens in trauma?

At the moment of the event, your system is completely overwhelmed. You do not have the resources or coping strategies at your disposal. As a survival strategy - and yes, it is about your survival - you split off what happened - and everything that is connected to it - from you, the strong emotions, the images, smells, voices, sounds, the part of you that was hurt.

You put all this into a box, and then you push this box into a dark corner inside you. Your conscious memory forgets what you have experienced in order to protect you. Your subconscious, however, has stored every single second, as well as the fear, the powerlessness, the anger, the sadness. It is all stored in you.

You lose the connection to yourself, your innermost core.

You put everything you don't want to feel in a dark cellar

You can imagine that you are a house. This house has a dark cellar. You put everything you don't want to feel into this cellar, then you close the cellar door and spend your whole life desperately keeping the cellar door closed.

Your basement contents are knocking from the inside all the time.

Do you feel that?

What did you put in your dark basement?

Emotional abuse

What actually is trauma?

Trauma is an event that overwhelms your existing coping strategies at the time.

Types trauma

There are different types of trauma, depending on the cause.

Shock trauma

Shock trauma results from violent one-time events such as.

  • Accident
  • Death or loss of a relative or loved one
  • Disasters
  • War
  • Acts of violence

Developmental Trauma

Developmental trauma results from many small successive micro-injuries. Those affected often do not know for a very long time that they have been traumatized because "nothing bad" has ever happened to them.

For example, emotional or narcissistic abuse often goes unrecognized for decades.

How good was your childhood really?

You always thought that you had a good childhood because materially everything was available and your parents functionally took good care of you?

Nevertheless, somewhere deep inside you have a feeling as if something is not right with you?

However, if your parents - for whatever reason - were emotionally unavailable to you or were even the people who hurt you, this may be

  • deep anxieties
  • Uncertainty
  • Not feeling lovable
  • Not feel good enough
  • Deep uncertainty
  • Fainting

and much more have triggered with you.

From an adult perspective, you might say that what happened to you wasn't so bad.
Slip into your 6- or 7-year-old inner child who experienced the emotional injury.
How did you feel?
Have you ever wondered why you can't remember so many years of your childhood at all?
Why there's just a big, black hole there?

This is not a reproach to your parents

Your parents were also just traumatized children. Hurt parents hurt children.

Be the person who breaks this intergenerational cycle.

How you can tell that you are traumatized

There are very many clues as to how you can determine if you have experienced (developmental) trauma. These can be roughly divided into the following categories:

  • Trauma responses, these are unconscious, unhealthy, "automatic," dysfunctional patterns of behavior that you have established as avoidance strategies for feeling emotions
  • Therapy-resistant physical symptoms and diseases
  • Mental symptoms and disorders
  • Psychosomatic complaints
  • Deregulated nervous system
  • Emotion dustiness/dissociation
  • Flashbacks/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Very detailed examples of how you can tell if you are traumatized can be found on my page Working with the inner child.

In which examples do you recognize yourself?

What are the consequences of trauma?

You put your emotional hurts into your dark cellar. Everything you didn't want to feel, couldn't stand, you put into your dark cellar and closed the door.

The content of this closed cellar determines your life, your partnership, your professional life, your communication, your relationships with other people, also with your children.

Do you feel that?

  • Your fears
  • Your dysfunctional behavior patterns
  • Your outbursts of aggression
  • Your psychological and therapy-resistant physical symptoms
  • The flashbacks

are all clues to your basement contents.

Your basement content influences you all the time, your whole life.

You split off a part of yourself with every injury

Not only did you put the painful experiences in your basement, with each emotional hurt you experienced, you also split off the part of you that was hurt and put it in your basement.

This means a part of you is stuck in your basement. You have lost access to a part of yourself.
What is in your basement?


  • Self-confidence
  • Self-love
  • Basic trust
  • Joy
  • Connectedness
  • Courage
  • Security
  • Self-confidence
  • Creativity
  • Voice
  • Force
  • uvm

These parts of you are not gone. They are in your basement.

Are you suffering from the effects of trauma?

With my Emotional Release sessions and inner child work, you slowly begin to feel the repressed emotions in a safe environment and with companionship. You are safe now. You are no longer alone. 

You have lost yourself

If you suppress and split off feelings, and thus parts of yourself, you lose contact with your innermost being, with what you really are. You still function more or less well, run on autopilot, but you don't live.
Your life has lost the beauty, the color, the depth.

Because you're busy keeping the cellar door shut all the time.

Trauma therapy methods

I have always been so

No, you have not always been like this. You are caught in a trauma reaction without being aware of it. You were not born this way.

Your nervous system is in permanent survival mode

When we are overwhelmed by strong feelings and do not have an adequate coping strategy, automatisms, trauma responses of our autonomic nervous system kick in to protect us. This proceeds in different stages. As a first stage, the sympathetic nervous system is activated, this can show up as:

Battle Mode

  • aggressive behavior
  • Tantrums
  • controlling behaviour
  • condemnatory behavior

Escape mode

  • Fears
  • Perfectionism
  • Workaholic
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Hyperactivity
  • Tension

Fawn - kindness at any price

  • People Pleaser
  • Overcare for other people
  • Not being able to set limits
  • Co-dependent
  • Harmony at any price
  • Submissive behavior
  • Over-adapted
  • You no longer know who you are
  • You no longer know your own needs
  • Your focus is always on the others, not on yourself

If the activation of the sympathetic nervous system is not sufficient to cope with the traumatizing situation, our nervous system activates the posterior branch of the vagus nerve, the parasympathetic nervous system. We go into freeze/rigidity mode.

Freeze/stare mode

  • Shutdown
  • Solidification
  • Social withdrawal
  • Feeling dust
  • Dissociation
  • Introversion
  • Depressed mood
  • Helplessness
  • Hopelessness
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Self-sabotage
  • Deep exhaustion
  • Not being able to make decisions

You go into a "dead center" mode, you freeze. This is a survival strategy. This happens unconsciously, you cannot control it.
If you do not process the trauma you have experienced, the trauma remains stuck in your body. Your nervous system remains in a deregulated state, it is permanently in survival mode because the trauma is still stored in you.

Trauma phases in shock trauma

In shock trauma, the following phases are usually distinguished:

  • Shock phase
  • Reaction phase
  • Processing phase

These phases cannot be directly applied to developmental trauma, since the traumatizing events often continue for years or even decades until the affected person manages to "get out" and get help.

Therapy phases in the processing of trauma

When processing trauma, the following phases are usually described:

  • Stabilization
  • Confrontation
  • Integration

What is the best way to process trauma?

Trauma is best processed where it is stored, in your body. Your trauma and your emotional injuries are stored in your body, not in your head. Therefore I work with body-oriented trauma therapy methods, so that you can gradually reintegrate your injured and split-off parts. What you can feel, you can heal. You will learn that in a safe and protected environment it is safe to feel again, at your own pace.

The trauma is in your body, not in your head.

My trauma therapy methods for dealing with trauma

I accompany you to help you process your shock trauma or developmental trauma with the following body-oriented methods, which are incorporated into my sessions as needed:

  • Emotional Release to free your repressed feelings (Journey® method and others)
  • Inner child work
  • Screen technology
  • Trauma-sensitive exercises and techniques to help you get back in touch with your body (Peter Levine et al.)
  • Regulation of the nervous system (polyvagal theory)
  • Change limiting beliefs
  • Kinesiology
  • Tapping
  • Breathing techniques
  • Neurogenic tremor

In order to meet you exactly where you are, I incorporate different body-oriented methods, techniques and modalities into my trauma therapy sessions, or combine them depending on what you need right now to process your trauma.

If you have used as a survival strategy to escape into your head and make yourself numb, at the beginning of trauma therapy you need something different from someone who has already been able to tear down his protective walls a bit.

Core elements of my methods for trauma therapy are always techniques for releasing the deeply repressed emotions and feelings of your wounded inner children.

We always proceed at your own pace. You decide what happens and what doesn't happen.
Everyone has his or her own pace in overcoming trauma.

Want impulses on how to get back in touch with your feelings?

I send you exercises and impulses that can help you get back in touch with your feelings. There you will also find the dates for my trauma-sensitive online group coaching. 

Getting back in touch with the body

When I accompany you over a longer period of time, I gradually show you exercises and techniques to gradually get back in touch with your body. This is an important part of overcoming trauma.

Gradually relearning that it is safe to be in your body.

Because feeling the emotions takes place in the body. If you do not feel your body, you cannot feel the emotions stored in it.

Regulation of the nervous system

Due to the experienced traumas and the suppressed feelings stored in your body, your nervous system is deregulated, out of balance. You are in a constant fight for survival.

By releasing the suppressed feelings, your nervous system can slowly, bit by bit, come back into regulation.

A regulated nervous system - combined with the experience of how to feel strong emotions in a healthy way - can handle strong emotions much better, meaning you don't get out of balance as easily.

Activation of the anterior vagus branch

By releasing the repressed feelings in conjunction with exercises, your nervous system can gradually shift from activating the posterior vagus branch to activating the anterior v agus branch.
Activating the anterior vagus branch can be seen as

  • Feel safe
  • Feel connected
  • To be turned towards life and other people
  • Feel in the river
  • Satisfaction
  • Happiness
  • Lightness

be experienced.

This takes time.

Neurogenic tremor

The neurogenic tremor goes back to Dr. David Berceli. The energy accumulated in the body due to trauma can be discharged by trembling. This is a natural process that is only suppressed by humans. In animals, this trembling reaction starts completely automatically as soon as the dangerous situation is over. The stress reaction is terminated by the trembling, and the muscles, which are permanently tense due to the stressful situation, can relax again. The psoas muscle, our hip flexor, plays a central role in this process.

You can find detailed info in my article "Trauma release - reducing trauma through tremors".

I only offer the neurogenic tremor on site in my practice in Frankfurt.

body-oriented trauma therapy

How does trauma therapy work?

Trauma therapy using Emotional Release techniques works differently than talk therapy. In our sessions, you begin to slowly - step by step - feel again the repressed feelings and emotional injuries that you have split off due to the traumatic event, in a protected setting. This happens in a safe environment and in company. At your own pace. What you can feel, you can heal. Your hurt parts will be heard and felt. In this way you bring them back to you, you can integrate them again.

I work differently

In the first sessions we do not go through your entire life story, as you might know from talk therapies or classical psychotherapies, but the individual painful experiences are addressed in detail one by one in the individual sessions.

Your body determines what and in what order something can be released and not your mind. Therefore, we always speak only briefly at the beginning of the session, because speaking is done with the conscious mind, my method of trauma therapy works beyond the conscious mind.

We find out at the beginning of each session what is emotionally stressing you at that moment, because these are feelings that are just below the surface and therefore usually easily accessible.

You start a journey inside

Then I invite you to close your eyes and I guide you through different layers of emotions as best as this is possible for you at this moment. This goes at your pace. What you feel are long suppressed emotions from your childhood or the trauma event. You feel the anger, sadness, powerlessness, shame, guilt, fear and much more.

Often, while feeling these emotions, images, words, memories or scenes from your childhood or trauma come up that are connected to these feelings. We process these by means of inner child work, so that your inner child, your wounded parts, can let go of the pain.

Your inner child, the wounded part of you, gets a voice. Your inner child speaks in the session, not you as an adult. Your inner child can say the words that it was not allowed to say or could not say, because

  • You lacked courage
  • No one listened to you
  • You were not allowed
  • You just could not

My practice room and zoom room are special rooms.
Everything may be said. Everything.

Each therapy session is different, because it always depends on

  • What very specific emotional issue you bring to the session
  • What your body allows to be released in this session

What if I don't feel anything?

It works even if you don't feel anything at the beginning. It just takes longer. You need patience. You too can learn to feel again.

I started the same way. I felt nothing. Nothing at all.

Being emotionally dusty is a trauma response. A protective function. To not have to feel.
You had to want it.
Really want it.

How many therapy sessions you need to process your trauma

Healing trauma takes time.
In each session we peel off a layer of onion. In the next session, another. And another and another.

The number of sessions depends largely on how

  • Big and loud your inner call for emotional release is
  • Very you are ready to feel again
  • deregulates your nervous system is
  • very you are ready to let your protective walls down and let your mind become quiet
  • how large or small the processing capacity of your system is
  • you are ready to let go of your avoidance strategies and feel what wants to be felt.
  • you are very ready to allow your feelings again in everyday life
  • very you are ready to use the exercises and tools you get from me for your everyday life. The single session is always just a beginning. Feeling is a 24/7 task.

Each person has his or her own speed here.
Your body must first relearn that it is safe to feel. Your nervous system has to regulate itself again. This takes time.

Your subconscious always releases only what you can process at that moment in a session. This can be a lot for one person and very little for another.

The number of therapy sessions you need to overcome trauma is completely individual and varies greatly from person to person and cannot be generalized. This is determined by your body.

Overcoming trauma takes time and patience.

At what interval should the meetings be held?

The sessions still have an effect for several days, so the sessions can take place at longer intervals. From experience, most people I accompany book sessions in two to four week intervals.
This is for you alone to decide.
What you need and what feels good for you.

If you need closer supervision for your trauma work, this is of course also possible.

What is different about my trauma therapy method than talk therapy?

In talk therapy, the conscious mind of the therapist talks to your conscious mind as an adult. The conscious mind is only 5% of us. However, we are controlled by the remaining 95% - our subconscious mind!

Talking is not feeling.

It is excellent to further suppress your emotional hurts and feelings while talking.

The trauma is in your body, not in your head

The trauma must be resolved where it is stored, in your body. I work with what is stored in your body.

What you can feel, you can heal.

Stefanie Heinlein

Naturopath for trauma therapy

As an alternative practitioner, I specialize in alternative trauma therapy. There are many treatment options and methods. Trauma therapy with Emotional Release became my passion, because I have experienced for myself how deeply liberating and healing it can be to process one's traumas with this method, what has moved in my life as a result, how profoundly my life has changed.

I have made it my mission, through my work as a healing practitioner, to contribute to the advancement of Emotional Release as a trauma therapy method.

To give hope. To give courage.

My mission is to accompany people who want to free themselves from their emotional hurts and traumas and all related undeserving and limiting patterns.

As an alternative practitioner, I take alternative approaches to trauma therapy, beyond talk therapy.

My work is not for everyone.

My work is for the brave.

Starting in 2023, in addition to individual sessions, I will offer trauma-sensitive online-group-coaching
With the group coaching sessions you can additionally support your trauma processing between the individual appointments or get a taste of my work.

Stefanie Heinlein

I am an expert on narcissism, healing practitioner & mentor. My mission: emotional release & working with the subconscious mind. I supported people to free themselves from the shackles of their emotional hurts and traumas, and related repressed emotions and patterns, regardless of the cause. My particular area of heart and specialization is supporting women in releasing their narcissistic trauma so that they can once again live a self-determined life with self-love, self-worth and self-confidence.

Stefanie Heinlein