Feel to Heal is a somatically-oriented, trauma-informed program where we explore the connection between emotions and the body, especially as it relates to chronic pain. It is designed to introduce more ease into our physical structures by building awareness of how emotions and stress affect our body, and by gaining capacity for handling those things in a more embodied way. If you constantly have tension or pain and find yourself in the position of ever searching for how to find relief, perhaps you will benefit from trying this different and unique approach. Or, if you are someone who is simply interested to learn more about how emotional stress and/or trauma affects the body, come and learn with us.
Feel to Heal is a 8-week long program for a small group of 8-10 individuals, and is based on the premise that intense emotional processes that are thwarted or suppressed can lead to physical tension and pain felt in the tissues of the body. Many of us have grown up under systems that told us to "suck it up" when it came to our emotions, and true to their message we have learned to hold in our emotions and to fear them. We may think that they are bad, or that they will consume us, or show others that we are weak, or we may view them as simply useless and a waste of our time and energy. But the truth is that our emotions are incredibly important on multiple levels for our well-being and hold a very important function. Without them our vitality--the life energy to do and be what we most want for ourselves and to enjoy it--will suffer tremendously, as will our body. When we block the natural processes of emotion as we move through life--either consciously or unconsciously--the body will feel it, and it can manifest as pain in order to signal that something isn't right.
Who It Is For
The Feel to Heal program is relevant for anyone with a body.☺ It definitely will speak to those experiencing chronic pain that does not resolve (but for a few days or weeks) with traditional pain relief strategies such as massage, myofascial release, physical therapy, exercise, etc. It has a lot to say for anyone pursuing healing of their body and brain. Good candidates for Feel to Heal will have a curiosity about the connection between emotions and their physical body, and will have a willingness to explore their inner world of emotions and responses to stress/trauma in a small group setting. (You will never be forced to share anything during the group sessions.) Also, it is very important that participants have worked with their medical doctor to rule out any serious conditions that call for medical interventions such as surgery.
The Feel to Heal Program is also a great option for those waiting to become one-on-one clients at Studio A, as it serves as thorough education into the somatic process of our emotions, which is crucial to understand when doing individual work.
Instead of utilizing one-on-one appointment time at our current rate of $95/hour to learn about how emotions affect the body, why not spend less than $19/hour (which is what this program comes to)? Education and the learning of new information can happen in a group format and be less expensive; we can save the integration and application of the information into a client's specific situation and targeted interventions for the one-on-one sessions.
Spring 2024 round
Dates TBA (likely April-May)
Fall 2023 round
Oct 30 - Dec 18, 6:45 - 8:45 pm
Early Bird rate: $270 (10% off)
Regular rate: $300
Sliding Scale available; inquire below
(Early Bird deadline 9/18/23, must use coupon code EARLY-BIRD at checkout)
Price covers all materials and the 8 in-person sessions. Full payment is required at signup.
Studio A Body Therapy
554 Pit Rd. Suite #211
Brownsburg, IN 46112
Some reading and homework are assigned between sessions.
Participants will be asked to sign a commitment form at signup to demonstrate their intention to attend all sessions and to engage fully in the program.
If a participant cancels before 7 days prior to program start date, they will be fully refunded minus a $5 administrative fee. Cancellations between 4-7 days prior to program start date will be refunded at 50%. After that point, refunds are not possible.
Minimum number of participants to hold the program is 8. By 7 days prior to program start date, if there are not at least 8 people enrolled in the class, an email will be sent to each person notifying them of the cancellation of the program, and they will be fully refunded.
What We'll Do
The Feel to Heal program will give us a safe place to dive into the how's and why's of emotion, and its connection to the body and specifically to pain. During the 2-hour weekly in-person sessions, plus in the homework assigned between sessions, we will:
deep-dive into the somato-emotional connection
learn about the body's innate stress response systems and how it handles "threat" in all its forms, including the threat of difficult or painful emotions, and the threat that chronic pain presents
explore the function and value of emotions
gain capacity for moving through difficult feelings instead of repressing or stuffing them
practice sensing emotions in the body and begin to tune into our "felt sense"
seek to befriend our body and understand its messages
get curious about our personal relationship to emotions and what events in our life may have triggered our defensiveness towards emotions
identify what stressors or traumas we have experienced that still hold "charge" (intense emotional responses) in our system
find ways to safely and gently release the "charge" of the emotions from those experiences
discover accessible ways to introduce more flow and ease in the system, and specifically in the myofascial structures, for pain reduction
relate with and learn from others who have similar experiences and are on the same journey
Week 1 - Orienting, Intentions, Resources, SIBAM, Interoception
Week 2 - Pendulation, Capacity, Emotions & Their Roots in the Body
Week 3 - Befriending the Body, Fascia, Self-Treatment Lab
Week 4 - The Neuroscience of Pain, The Sense of Self, Proprioceptors, Grounding & Dissociating
Week 5 - Stress & Trauma, Safety, Body as Container
Week 6 - Anger, Boundaries, Communication, Shame
Week 7 - Grief, Acceptance/Surrender, Movement
Week 8 - Joy, Integration, Continuing Forward
Everyone receives a binder at the start of the program that is chock-full of resources, notes, charts, links to relevant articles, worksheets, journaling prompts, etc., divided into sections based on topics covered throughout the 8 weeks. Participants are encouraged to engage with the material and do the suggested reading and homework, but the homework is never turned in and is solely for the benefit of the participant as they seek to process the material.
What We Won't Do
This program does not place value on cathartic-type expression of emotions, meaning we're not looking for intense expression of emotions as a form of healing in and of itself. Do not read that to mean that emotions are not welcome; it simply means that when an emotion naturally arises, I teach us how to be with it in a way that contains it (NOT suppresses it, distracts from it, avoids it, etc.). It's a way of setting healthy boundaries that are honoring to what our system can handle in the moment. I provide a lot of support and coaching in this area, and this is precisely what this group is all about.
Also, no guarantees can be made of healing of particular ailments or traumas, as everyone is incredibly unique and complex, and learning how to allow natural, healthy emotional responses to things takes time. Feel to Heal is an educational and experiential program, and does not replace personal therapy sessions where those are appropriate, either in the mental health, bodywork, or medical fields. My training and background is as a clinical massage therapist and somatic trauma practitioner, not mental health, and as such, we focus primarily on the body and emotions as opposed to one's cognitive or behavioral aspects.
Under the Hood
For those who want to know the origins of this program... Feel to Heal is a program that I personally designed, drawing from many influences and modalities, including EET/EAET (Emotional Exposure Therapy / Emotional Acceptance and Expression Therapy), Somatic Experiencing, and NARM (NeuroAffective Relational Model), to name the most significant. The therapy program shown in the documentary film This Might Hurt and the training I received in that type of therapy (EET/EAET) influenced the creation of this program, although I have morphed it significantly to be more somatically-oriented and NARM-informed, as those trauma resolution modalities form the foundation from which I do all of my work.
We consistently receive ratings of 9/10 and 10/10 by participants who voluntarily fill out a feedback form at the end of the program. Here are some of the comments we have received from those who have completed the program:
"My life is infinitely better. My ability to process more input is hugely greater. My pain now has a voice... I have tools to deal with all aspects of life in a calmer, less harmful way... I am in less pain and far more centered. If I utilize the tools I've gained here, my life will be better than I could ever imagine." --Anna L., participant, Spring 2022 program
"I came into this group already having done quite a bit of research and teaching about trauma. However, I learned new things in this group every week! Allie has a gift for creating a safe space, inviting everyone to share without pressure, and weaving seamlessly between information/teaching and group processing." --Cara C., participant, Spring 2022 program
"This program has really helped me understand the missing part that doctors don't explain--how pain is processed and how our brain and body reacts to it, and how we can control some of the pain by changing how we perceive the pain." --Angela M., participant, Spring 2022 program
"One of the things the program has done for me is to help me understand the connections between my reactions and identifying them on the Polyvagal chart. And in that understanding, an awareness that there is room to move out of the state I'm in to a more restful state. I have also gained an awareness of and curiosity around what is going on in my body when stressors happen." --Emily S., participant, Spring 2022 program
"This experience was fantastic! So many valuable lessons!! Very well organized, and Allie is enthusiastic and relates well with all participants, with an oscillation between humor and depth." --participant, Fall 2022 program
"I loved the resource of the binder we were given, that I can refer back to when needed. Well put together. I have learned so much." --participant, Fall 2022 program
"I have learned a lot in this program to be able to continue on my journey of healing. The information is very valuable, and I will use all that was given. I feel it was the perfect amount given throughout the program and wasn't overwhelming." --participant, Fall 2022 program
"Allie being real with her own emotions truly made for a safe feeling in this environment." --participant, Fall 2022 program
"I have a bigger vocabulary for my internal life and how I relate to it. Having gone through the program helps me get more out of one-on-one sessions. I know I can start helping myself feel all the spectrum of feelings." --participant, Spring 2023 program
"This program has given me hope again. It has restored my faith in being able to overcome my past traumas and hopefully continue helping into the future." --participant, Spring 2023 program
"My biggest takeaway is a better understanding of emotions in general. I've come to have a better understanding of where my nervous system is at on the fight/flight/freeze scale. I'm starting to develop the capacity to feel emotions versus being numb." --participant, Spring 2023 program
"Extremely informative, applicable, and helpful. I enjoyed the variety of ways provided for learning--art, movement, self-treatment, videos, reading, interactive dialogue, etc." --participant, Spring 2023 program
"I feel capable and empowered to hold so much more of life's experiences and have gained the confidence and resources to better cope and thrive as well." --participant, Spring 2023 program