What is Therapeutic Soul Tending?

Therapeutic Soul Tending” is the creation of a safe space to help people heal at their deepest level.  Too often we equate “being well” with our physical health and appearance (ie. our hair, body shape, the absence of a physical illness, etc.). When we are struggling emotionally, it is often hidden from the outside world and even from those closest to us.

All too frequently, individuals hide their deepest pain and trauma because they haven’t had an emotionally safe space to process and move through their feelings.  Unfortunately, buried feelings tend to rise, often resurfacing at less than ideal times. More often than not, unprocessed emotions spawn dysfunctional coping strategies that result in failed relationships, compulsions, and physical or behavioral addictions. 

At the healing center, we tend to our clients as they face memories too painful to confront alone.  Individuals who are struggling with core life issues need compassion, acceptance, patience, empathy, and most importantly, a safe space to share their story. Therapeutic soul tending provides a holistic approach to healing that facilitates personal growth.

Our therapeutic soul tending approach includes intensive individual and group therapies utilizing evidenced-based techniques such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing ), trauma stage processing, yoga therapy, group acupuncture, art, walk & talk sessions, and movement. These integrative approaches support the healing of the whole person.  

What do you mean by trauma?

Traumas can be events that exceed our capacity to cope, and which cause a disruption in emotional functioning. These distressing events are not life-threatening but perhaps are better described as ego-threatening which can affect our ability to have a healthy relationship with ourself and others.

  • Family conflict
  • Infidelity
  • Divorce
  • Conflicts at work 
  • Abrupt or extended relocation/move
  • Adoption
  • Grief  
  • Legal trouble 
  • Financial stressors

The aforementioned examples of traumas tend to be downplayed by the individual who has experienced the difficulty. This is sometimes due to the tendency to rationalize the experience as common and therefore tell themselves they “shouldn’t” need to ask for help. This issue of asking for help is sometimes the most difficult step a client takes.

At times, an individual does not recognize just how much such an event has affected their life’s and relationships.

Other types of trauma are often distinguished as an extraordinary and significant event that leaves the individual feeling powerless and possessing little control in their environment. Such events could take form as a natural disaster, terrorist attack, sexual assault, combat/war zone, car or plane accident, etc. Helplessness is also a key factor and are more readily identified by the client as well as those who have any familiarity with their plight.

Some traumas are differiented by avoidance. The individual tends to more overtly and decisively engage in actions that are classified as avoidance. They may deliberately avoid phone calls from investigators, bury their military uniform and memorabilia in the attic, or avoid crowded places. Their attempts to minimize distress and reduce reminders of the traumatic event are time and energy-consuming. For more information on trauma, visit Psychology Today.

Complex Trauma is the accumulation of trauma that takes place over a lifetime of severe and ongoing abuse.  C-PTSD involves deep and extensive treatment. FCTHC specializes in this deep traumatic work. 

What is the difference between PTSD and C-PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often defined by a variety of behavioral & physical symptoms such as nightmares, avoidance of certain sounds or situations, jittery behavior, flashbacks and/or trouble sleeping.  PTSD is traditionally the result of one traumatic event.

Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is often the result of a trauma or abuse that happened repeatedly over the course of several months and/or years.  The symptoms of PTSD occur with additional symptoms such as disassociation, negative self-perception and/or difficulty with relationships.  

For more information on Complex Trauma.

How is a day program different from residential healing centers? 

Because participants get to go home each evening by 5 pm, Family Counseling & Trauma Healing Center allows an individual to have the integrative support of a high-end residential-type program at a fraction of the cost.

The average quality residential program offering similar services costs between $30,000-$70,000 for a four-week program.  Our overhead is kept low by not providing meals and housing. An out-of-town client who rents a hotel room and attends our program will still spend thousands less on our program than they would at a residential facility.  

We encourage clients to explore our beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.  Hiking, bicycling, unique shopping, fine dining, horseback riding, hot air balloons, glider rides, and many other activities are preferred activities after a day or week of healing.

Can I continue with my individual therapist after the program?

At the client’s request and with written consent, we work very closely with the referring therapist during the participant’s time in the program. Additionally, clients leave the program with a continuing care plan. We understand that trauma, especially complex trauma, is an ongoing healing process. 

What about my medications?

We do not prescribe any medication. Clients will continue with their psychiatrists or medical doctors to continue their medications.  Again, the therapists work closely with all doctors to make sure the client maintains stabilized care. We believe that adding yoga therapy, movement, walk & talk, art classes, acupuncture, intensive small didactic and process groups, together with individual, EMDR/Trauma Stage Processing, and addiction work (if needed) offers a strong jump-start on the healing journey.

Can I do just portions of the program?

We receive requests daily at Family Counseling & Trauma Healing Center to allow clients to just participate on certain days of the week or to do certain portions of the program.  While we understand that finding the time for healing Monday through Friday seems daunting, we believe each daily process works synergistically to give you a more complete experience of healing. We believe you deserve the entire healing experience; the best we have to offer.

As a counseling center we also offer individual, groups and family therapy in the traditional sense. Space is limited and we do, on occasion, have a waiting list or we attempt to refer to other like-minded therapists or agencies. 

But what if I only need group sessions and I already have an individual therapist?

FCTHC has an ongoing monthly intensive advanced group for those members who have been through the Center and/or have been assessed to be group-appropriate.  Such an individual must be working with a current individual therapist. Space is limited and a full assessment is required.

FCTHC has a once a week substance abuse group and a once or twice a week trauma intensive group open to participants once they have been through the center and/or have done extensive work with their own therapist and have been deemed appropriate for such groups. All addiction group members must be medically stable and at least 10 days clean and sober to participate in group. We do not offer detox or medical services. 

Healthy Relationships Group (HRG) is a weekly group for healing adult child and codependency issues.  This group is open to all who have an existing therapist, are deemed group- appropriate, and who want to deepen their process.

If you are interested in any group info, please call the center and see when the next group opening is available.

Do you take insurance?

Much like our decision to keep costs down by being a day program, we do not accept or bill insurance of any type.  We can, however, provide clients with a “super bill” at the end of each week.  You may submit the super bill to your insurance company in an effort to be reimbursed for out-of-network therapy and group therapy sessions.

 How can I pay for the program?

 We accept all major credit and debit cards as well as checks and cash.

 Family Counseling

 In addition to the intensive day program, Family Counseling and Trauma Healing Center offers individual, couples, families and children’s counseling by Master’s level therapists. Beverly C. Taylor, LMFT #41785  has been offering counseling and groups to families and individuals for over 25 years. 

 Addiction

Studies show that addiction is often the result of trauma that has not been properly healed.  We have targeted sessions for our clients who suffer from addictions such as gambling, food, alcohol, drugs, sex and/or shopping. Clients must be medically stable to attend counseling at the center. To start any group or program, individuals must be clean and sober at least 10 days. 

 Binge Eating Disorder

Our clients who suffer from binge eating disorder will benefit from sessions designed to address their situation.  A program specific to binge eating will be based on the non-diet/food addiction model. 

 EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an interactive psychotherapy technique used to relieve psychological stress. It is an effective treatment for trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

EMDR works quickly, is integrative, doesn’t necessitate prolonged re-exposure (which can feel like re-traumatizimg), and requires little homework.

EMDR activates natural processing capacities of the brain that are frozen and deactivated by trauma. 

EMDR re-establishes disrupted communication between the brain regions impacted by traumatic experience and enables the traumatized brain to heal.For more information on EMDR please visit www.emdria.org.

How can coaching help trauma recovery?

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and and creative process.  Coaching inspires clients to maximize their personal and professional potential.  It begins while a client is in the trauma treatment program and continues after they return home, offering clients additional perspectives, strategies, and accountability.  When coupled with the other healing center modalities, clients more quickly move forward to the future they desire.

What is the difference between coaching and counseling?

The counselor’s primary focus is on healing a client suffering from trauma.  In contrast, the coach’s primary focus is to help clients achieve their goals.  As the counseling frees a person to re-enter life, coaching helps them maximize their efforts.  The coaching work focuses on creating and maintaining motivation for change, exploring obstacles to change, and creating plans for change.  The synergy of combining the two modalities helps clients quickly shift from “surviving” to “thriving”.