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What is Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY)?


TCTSY is the first yoga-based empirically validated, clinical intervention for the treatment of trauma, specifically complex trauma, developmental trauma or chronic, treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). TCTSY can be practiced on its own or in conjunction with other forms of therapy and could look like:

  • Practicing TCTSY at the beginning or end of a traditional talk therapy session

  • Weaving TCTSY practices throughout a traditional talk therapy session

  • A one on one full TCTSY practice for 45 or 60 min

  • A group TCTSY practice for 60min

Where can I find research on effectiveness?

Do I need a diagnosis of PTSD to participate?

You do not need to have a specific diagnosis to participate. If you are someone who self-identifies as having experienced interpersonal trauma (e.g., physical, verbal, or sexual abuse or neglect, intergenerational trauma, social trauma, etc.) TCTSY may benefit you. 

Do I need to be in therapy to participate?

It is not a requirement that you are in therapy to participate, however, it could benefit your overall healing journey. As TCTSY is not a replacement for professional therapy/counseling services, having access to other support systems or services that offer space to verbally process anything that comes up during TCTSY is highly recommended. For example, a social worker, community leader, coach, somatic practitioner, support group, or faith-based leader.

Do I need yoga experience?

No prior knowledge or experience with yoga required! TCTSY is designed to be accessible for all abilities and bodies, therefore practice can be held seated (chair or floor) or standing based on individual needs. 

How is TCTSY different from other yoga classes?

While TCTSY has roots in Hatha Yoga, elements of standard hatha yoga are modified to maximize experiences of empowerment and to cultivate a more positive relationship to one's body. There are no physical assists or adjustments in TCTSY as the goal is not to master yoga form but rather to explore sensations and stay in the present moment. 

TCTSY is informed by 5 core elements:

  1. Invitational Language - Each cue is preceded by an invitation, such as, “maybe”, “possibly”, “if you like” to enable you to travel at your own pace and work out what works for you.

  2. Choice Making - You have the ability to make your own choices with how you would like to shape, move, or engage your body and breath throughout the practice to support your sense of agency. 

  3. Interoception - Present moment experiences will be created through cues to notice sensations or lack of sensations in your body to oppose potential dissociation. 

  4. Shared Authentic Experience - Your facilitator will be practicing alongside of you rather than acting as “the expert” on your body and experience.

  5. Non-coercion - Individual choice will be prioritized. You can decide for yourself what feels useful in your own body and experience.

What should I expect in an individual session?

Individual sessions will be tailored to your needs and may serve as preparation for participating in group TCTSY classes. Individual sessions can be provided in person or through telehealth. If you are participating through telehealth it is recommended that you have access to a private space where you will not be interrupted.

What should I expect in a group session?

As TCTSY is a therapeutic intervention, groups will be run as a closed program with the same participants throughout each 6 week series. There will also be no more than 8 ppl per group series. At this time group sessions will only be available in person. Confidentiality will be expected from all participants to provide a safe space both inside and outside of the group. 

What do I need to bring to my session?

While you are not required to bring anything to class, you may choose to bring any or all of the following:


  • A yoga mat

  • A refillable water bottle

  • A yoga blanket or towel

  • Yoga blocks

  • A journal/notebook and a writing utensil


What should I wear?

You may wear anything you feel comfortable in that does not restrict movement. 

What are the effects of TCTSY?

While traditional talk therapy has proven beneficial, sometimes it is not is not enough to fully reconnect to ourselves. Trauma and chronic stress can cause significant disruptions between out brain and body leaving us feeling as though we are moving through the world never feeling fully grounded. Trauma can also alter our perception of the world and those around us distorting feelings of safety and control over one's body and mind. Through the practice of deliberate present moment breath and movement, TC-TSY provides an opportunity for clients to develop a more positive relationship to their body and increase feelings of empowerment through healing on their terms.

While I cannot guarantee 100% satisfaction to all, I can guarantee that I will always work with you and in your best interest as we navigate through the therapeutic process. This includes a mutual understanding that if there is a chance that we as therapist and client are not a good fit, that I will work with you to provide resources and referrals to find the support that you need.

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