Transforming Touch®

Transforming Touch® is an attachment-focused, neurophysiological treatment for Developmental Trauma. Transforming Touch® crosses the barriers of non-verbal and recognizes that through regulation, the client can begin to change their story about their non-verbal, early trauma and gain greater capacity.

Transforming Touch® uses a set protocol that speaks to the non-verbal part of the client. This set protocol strengthens the non-verbal relationship through exploring inherited trauma, conception trauma, utero trauma, birth trauma, and postnatal trauma. Allowing for a balance between the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual self. This includes working with primary reflexes, learning the language of early trauma, working with physiological regulation, understanding the neuro-sequential development of the brain, working with survival parts, understanding attachment in the somatic relationship, and more.

“Where intention goes, energy flows” is a key principle in Transforming Touch®.

Co-regulation is part of healthy human development and connection. We can support regulation in the nervous system and facilitate mind/body connection when we show up with non-intrusive touch support. Even if we are guiding a client to touch their own face, or arms or heart, touch is awakening our connections to the sensation of grounding, boundary formation, development of safety, and will support attachment ruptures. In a therapeutic setting, touch can restore nervous system regulation. Therapeutic touch reduces cortisol production and increases oxytocin. Untreated trauma that is pre-verbal is held in the implicit processes of the body. Co-regulation occurs when two people are connected via some form of touch, even intentional touch. This provides tools to build resilience and self-regulation when disturbances occurred in utero, at birth, or before age three.

Transforming Intentional Touch is an equally effective way of facilitating regulation within our client’s nervous systems.  All the protocol and enhancements have been tweaked to work without physical touch. This enables us to work together no matter where you are located. Guidance and support are provided via Zoom sessions.

Transforming Touch® was developed by Stephen Terrell during his over 20 years of experience in the field. He found that different known approaches (such as talk therapy and different somatic approaches) to treat developmental trauma weren’t as effective as he had hoped. He then developed a third way involving seeing the client’s body as being normal and capable of healing itself with the right support. He realized that there needed to be a way to reach non-verbal, or early developmental trauma, without spoken language. 

Transforming Touch® strongly relies on the work of John Bowlby who is often referred to as the father of attachment. Bowlby believed that there are four distinguishing characteristics of attachment: Proximity maintenance; the desire to be near the people we are attached to. Safe haven; returning to the attachment figure for comfort and safety in the face of a fear or threat. Secure base; the attachment figure acts as a base of security from which the child can explore the surrounding environment and Separation distress; anxiety that occurs in the absence of the attachment figure.

Transforming Touch Therapist® understand the importance of presence. They assume the role of Secure Base during the treatment which opens the door for repair of early trauma ruptures.  They provide “Trauma Informed Care” to their clients by listening to their needs and supporting them.  As studies have shown such as the Adverse Childhood Experience Study, without intervention there is a possibility of experiencing early disease processes that may lead to a shorter life expectancy.

For more information on Transforming Touch
Visit the website here

Stephen Terrell and Kathy Kain co-wrote Nurturing Resilience. Here is an interview about how this book supports understanding Early Developmental Trauma, Attachment issues, and physiological impacts of early trauma. Here is the link to the interview about the book’s material. Nurturing Resilience: A dialogue with Kathy L Kain YouTube

Nurturing Resilience: Helping Clients Move Forward from Developmental Trauma–An Integrative Somatic Approach by Amazon.com. Learn more here.

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