Updated: Aug 24
Dr. Emily Bullock, PsyD
Five years ago, I started working with a client who struggled with PTSD. She experienced lots of panic attacks that were so debilitating she would not even leave her house. I worked with her on diaphragmatic breathing, but it was not having the desired effect. In fact, she hated it because she would work herself up into panic attacks just trying to practice the breathing. We did years of therapy with some improvement, but still the panic attacks were happening.
As a clinical psychologist, I had some experience with clinical and trauma-informed yoga, and was interested in learning more. I was looking for a basic yoga teacher training so I could learn how to implement the principles and practices into my sessions and for my own self-care.
REDUCED ANXIETY AFTER EACH SESSION
After taking the yoga teacher training from Clinical Yoga Institute, I was able to implement new tools and techniques immediately in my sessions with patients and also in my own life. I had a core group of women attending a mindfulness group I ran, and when we began incorporating clinical yoga into the sessions everyone loved it. After every session they experienced a noticeable positive shift in their anxiety levels.
And my client who could not previously leave her home? In just a few months of attending my yoga group she became so proud of her increased confidence and ability to calm herself. She could practice the different pranayama’s and diaphragmatic breathing without getting worked up. She was also able to take care of herself in new ways.
TRAUMA-INFORMED YOGA HAS MANY POSITIVE BENEFITS FOR NOT ONLY THE CLIENT BUT THE CLINICIAN AS WELL
I never realized yoga principles and practices could make such a dramatic difference for myself and my clients. As a clinical psychologist, I had some experience with yoga and its benefits, but taking the Clinical Yoga Institute training has opened my eyes. There are so many personal benefits to both the clinician and the client when trauma-informed yoga is introduced into the therapy sessions.
Dr. Emily Bullock, PsyD, is a practicing Psychologist in Utah.