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Mending Moments

Bodywork with Amy Pete

Writing Consolidates Insights

Sometimes I suggest clients make a few notes about their sessions but when it came time to leave Salt Lake City, I asked clients to write something they'd like a future potential client to read. The recovery from complex PTSD is a life's work, but this is one example of how it might look.

From client LP:

“I have been trying to keep a mental note of the things I have learned as a result of our work together.  I am beginning to think that there is no part of my life that has not been affected by my experiences in your office. One side-effect of the trauma that I experienced as a child is a profound feeling of worthlessness and self-loathing.  I still struggle with it. Working with you has helped me chip away at it.  I like myself more than I ever have before and am getting better at giving myself the regard and compassion that you have given me over so many sessions. Your ability to hold me, as a client, in high regard has been a powerful model for me.  I often find myself going back to that feeling of being held in kind regard when I am facing difficult situations.  It has become a new way for me to break out of intrusive thoughts and harmful patterns of behavior. I have learned that it is possible to trust someone in a situation where I am physically vulnerable.  I have learned through our practitioner/client relationship that being vulnerable is not the same as being threatened. 

I have learned to trust in your skill, your good will and in your ability to hold a healing space for me.  If that had been the only gift for me in our time together, it would be more than enough. I am beginning to feel that a way has opened and that trusting other people is a real possibility for me.  I can look for qualities that you exhibit in your practice as indicators that someone could be trustworthy.  Again, you have modeled something for me that I didn't get a lot of exposure to and helped me conceptualize a new mode of interacting with others. I have gone into some difficult and troubling memories, emotions and thoughts about myself while in your office and you have given me support.  With that support, I have gone into these experiences and come through the other side.  I feel less haunted by them every time I go in and come back out.  Having that support often makes the difference between being stuck in a flashback, and processing or re-integrating a painful experience.  Because of our sessions, I have less fear about continuing to work through these issues. It feels less like an abyss where I would be lost and more like a tunnel.  I know that there can be light on the other side. 

You have helped me open up to touch.  This is huge for me.  I remember that at the beginning of our work together that I would often feel claustrophobic or suffocated if physical contact with someone went on for more than just a few moments.  I was able to overcome it with my child, but it was still there.  The thought of physical contact with anyone else just seemed terrible and frightening. I have made so much progress since then. When I cuddle up with my child now, I actually notice the absence of that suffocating feeling and it is one of the best feelings in the world.  Contact with others is still a bit difficult, but I think in the right context, I will get there.

You have helped me to develop compassion for myself and especially effective ways to employ it.  Your suggestions and example have worked their way into my inner dialogue.  I am much more likely to take a moment and acknowledge that I am having some tough or painful feelings and not feel shame about it.  That little moment often makes a huge difference in how I feel about, and handle, a challenging situation. 

I think that learning about dignity may be what I value the most.  It is a topic that we have discussed during our time together and it has become a new way for me to view my feelings and choice of actions.  I have never felt before that dignity could be a quality that I could have for myself. My worldview consisted of avoiding possible hurt and finding ways to tune out from the anguish that I so often feel.  It seemed like dignity was a far-off thing that I could never have. Your poise and dignity have inspired me to value and develop my own.  It manifests in some of the most unexpected ways.  I find myself less likely to become twisted up in some argument or episode of self-destruction simply because I hold myself in higher regard and don't want to lose my somewhat tenuous grasp on this newfound feeling.  It is a struggle, but it feels worthwhile to me. 

Honestly, I feel that this time has put me on a better trajectory for my life.  I know that I have more work to do, but having your support, your kindness and your regard have been a great gift to me.  You gave me a place to work and helped me do that work.  You helped me see that I can't do this alone and that it is completely OK to let someone help me heal and become whole.   I know that I can reach out and that there will be people there to help me. 

Doing this work with you has helped me understand how much I can do for myself as well. I feel better about who I am, where I am headed and my ability to keep moving forward.  I don't believe that I would be at this point without you and the work that you do.  I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with you.  It makes my heart glad that you are in the world.  I'm sure that I am not the first person that you have helped.  I won't be the last either and that is something else to celebrate.”

More Words!

"Working with Amy has deepened my resilience. Her responsive hands and emotional intelligence are a fantastic combination. She helped me see patterns in my body and life. She helped me feel secure and supported. I am so glad I got to experience Amy's healing presence and body work." C.B.

"My experience in working with you was so mystical and amazing. And I want [my words] to be grounded and believable haha OMG what do you say about the person who helped me find that wounded little [child], travel into my frozen interior and help my nervous system return to normalcy.....work in progress!" P.E.