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Conventional bodywork approaches (e.g. massage or chiropractic) address specific issues of pain or injuries in the body. The process in these practices is usually quick and driven by the expertise of the practitioner. There is also always an assumed and accepted power imbalance in client-practitioner relationship. In the context of these well-established practice structures the client does not normally have a say in how the session unfolds.
In contrast, my way of bodywork is slow, intentional, and transparent. This means I take the time to listen deeply and exquisitely to the body in order to grasp what it needs and how best to respond. In situations where trauma memories surface it is always critical to assure emotional safety and to find the deepest empathic response. In order to move towards resolution and integration of trauma the work must be done at a pace which suits the person and their nervous system. Healing cannot be rushed.
I combine my trauma expertise with my bodywork experience in Somatic Sex Education, The Wheel of Consent, and insight-oriented meditation (Vipassana) to address complex developmental trauma caused by chronic neglect and violation; negative experiences that impact the body and the mind and stand in the way of peace, joy, and bliss.
Ellen: I had a horrific childhood which left me dissociated and alienated.
For the last four decades I have worked to unburden myself.
I had no idea that working at age 72, with Mehdi, would bring me such significant results.
Nonverbal techniques and approaches which I am well versed in may be used in our sessions to help in exploration and expression of conscious and unconscious actions, patterns, and goals. These approaches include art therapy, play therapy, sand play therapy, creative movement, voice, Focusing, guided visualization.
Trauma and Touch
Touch is a powerful path to releasing trauma, memories, and to gain a positive relationship with one’s body. My expertise in trauma-focused bodywork enables me to facilitate the emotional release that may arise during this transformative work.
My unique approach to using client-directed touch in therapy can address personal trauma in an effective and efficient way; great distances can be covered in a few sessions with a lot less emotional pain, which is usually associated with the usual counselling practices. In fact, in my sessions, a sense of grounded peace and calm is common after an intense emotional release.
|Jennifer: Having been fortunate enough to do this life-changing work with Mehdi, I can honestly say that this seemingly small piece had, and continues to have, the greatest impact for me. There is not a facet of my life untouched by having found my No, and the same can be said, perhaps even more so, for my Yes. Truly a gift. (read more)|
How I work
My practice is client-directed and trauma-focused. If bodywork is clearly requested, it is introduced in the exact ways which you request. The touch may be felt as platonic, neutral, nourishing, relaxing, sensual, or erotic; and it may evoke memories stored in the body. In my work with individual clients the touch is performed in two fashions: one way, from me to you, and guided by you, OR self-touch, from you to you, decided by you. They are both safe and based on your deep and clear consent.
- The purpose of the bodywork is educational. You learn about your body, its blocks to, and its desires and capacity for, pleasure.
|LB: I was able to practice tuning into my body with more awareness of the feelings, emotions and physical sensations I was experiencing. He helped me become more able to recognize and voice not only my needs and desires, but also my boundaries and my body’s “yes” and “no” responses. He gave me tools to integrate, validate, and understand … (read more).|
I hold my work sacred and steer clear from dual and sexual relationships with my clients, current or past. Entering a romantic or sexual relationship with a client is confusing and damaging to the client due to the inherent imbalance of power in the therapeutic relationship.
- My role is to be in service to you.
In sessions with couples, the touch is given and received by each member of the couple to and from the other. The purpose of the hands-on practice is to gain healthier habits of self-acceptance, communication, boundary-setting, and intimacy.
- I fully apply the principles the Wheel of Consent to my work.
More About My Approach
If you are interested in working with me I highly recommend reading my chapters in the book “Healers on the Edge“. I have described the “Perfect Touch” approach in one chapter and the process of my work with a client in another.
- Read my chapters in Healers on the Edge
In November 2019 I was invited by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) to present my work on touch and trauma. You may visit this link for more details.
I feel proud to have received support for my method of addressing trauma from two of the world-renowned leaders in the field of trauma.
When we work together, my role is:
- To help you integrate (and master) the unresolved effects of your traumatic experiences and to regain your power and agency. I do this by:
- being in a grounded presence for you
- helping you stay in connection with your Self
- witnessing your authentic process without judgement
- responding to you as perfectly as possible by giving you the response you clearly and intentionally ask for, no more, no less. This response may take the form of words, touch, gaze, or witnessing.
The above can be achieved whether the session is held in-person or remotely.
Sara: I am thankful for having risked taking this. Having the support to listen to my inner voice about how I want to be touched which enabled me to climb to new heights of pleasure. Then in my vulnerable state of exposure, to risk even further, be held with loving and supportive words – such tenderness and validation.
The more vulnerable one becomes, the greater the reward of intimacy. (read more)
Here’s how we work together
If you are curious about my work and/or interested in working with me I will offer you a 30 minute phone or video call or face to face chat, free of charge, to see how I might be helpful to you. You can then decide on your next step. Contact me for your free session
Once you decide to begin working with me, I will ask you to answer some questions on my standard intake form, and then we will have an intake meeting.
This initial session helps me understand your history and your needs, as well as your specific challenges and strengths. Exercises on personal boundaries and mindfulness of body sensations create the foundation for healthy communication and further bodywork if needed.
You don’t have to undress in any session (whether in-person or remote). The body work can be done with or without clothes; the choice is yours.
Once the intake and the goals of sessions are accomplished and the fundamental topics (e.g. boundary exercises to gain a concrete grasp on your “Yes” and “No” ) are covered, the type of bodywork needed (if at all) will be discussed and decided upon by the client. The following are some options for the bodywork: breath work coaching (to expand the possibilities of pleasure), the Wheel of Consent (to make conscious and intentional the dynamics of give and take in any relationship), body mapping and/or genital mapping (to educate the client on their unique geography of sensations and pleasure), self-pleasure coaching (to shed shame and cultivate self-love), genital de-armouring (to soften what has become hard and guarded as a result of neglect or violation), and sexual relationship education (to practice asking for and listening to what is truly desired). Trauma Work (see next section) may form a part of any of the above.
Number of Sessions
A single session is usually a powerful experience that helps open your eyes to your personal desires as well as your personal power. The goal is to feel into what you want and to clearly ask for it. This first session offers an opportunity for us to establish rapport, boundaries, and a good level of trust which is necessary for deeper work.
A series of sessions creates continuity and connection in the personal process. Insights gained in one session make the path for the explorations in the next.
If exploring pleasure and achieving higher erotic states is your goal, then body-mapping of sensations and mindful receiving of pleasure can help.
There is a vast menu of offerings in this practice: from realizing personal boundaries to recognizing true consent, from simple sensations to the highest levels of pleasure, from discovering your grounded power to embodying divine presence. A longer series of sessions offers a great chance for a deeper journey.
I would recommend a set of 5 sessions for a firm foundation for trauma work.
Visit here to see regular or discounted rates (on prepaid packages of 3 or 5 sessions).
There are many books and resources available on the topic of trauma. The following three books are among the best and most accessible:
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
- Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine
- The Body Bears the Burden by Robert Scaer
- Watch The Pleasure is Ours, an episode of the Goop Lab on Netflix
- Watch short videos of women speaking about their unique desires
- Visit Betty Dodson and Carling Ross‘ educational page
- Read Marie I. Thouin-Savard : Erotic Mindfulness: A Core Educational and Therapeutic Strategy in Somatic Sexology Practices
- Read my chapters in Healers on the Edge
- OR purchase the whole book here: Healers on the Edge: Somatic Sex Education