22 Jul 2020

An interview with Lorna Evans

Lorna will be with Wimbledon Guild Counselling Training to deliver two workshops in 2021

Lorna Evans is a Clinical Psychotherapist, holding an MSc in Body Awareness & Psychotherapy. Proudly integrating Psychotherapy and body work with a focus on Body, Breath & Movement for treatment of Trauma, anxiety & depression. Recently working with The Discovery Channel, BBC & SKY on documentaries to promote her passion for this area. Alongside her clinical practise, Lorna is very proud to teach Trauma Sensitive & Informed Yoga at NHS Recovery College, Mind & Blue Sky Trust HIV Charity.

For over 20 years Lorna has been a yoga practitioner and teacher, due to experiencing the positive psychological benefits of yoga for herself. Lorna now works with leaders in the field of trauma informed / sensitive yoga & neuroscience, Lorna is passionate about educating people about this work.

We are very excited to be holding two CPD events with Lorna in 2021. 

You were the first trainer to run an online CPD with us during the C-19 lockdown what was the experience like for you?

I would like to say “thank you” for asking me to work with you on your first online CPD during lockdown, it was a test for us both and we learnt so much. It was a very positive experience for me that so many people wanted to learn how to work with the body and trauma in a time of crisis.

Of course I  was nervous as hell and also excited to be making the shift to online delivery.  It worked really well. I do miss the energy and feedback I get working with groups of people with a shared interest, however, we all now have more choice and flexibility in our CPD which I love.

My biggest learning from the online sessions was how much people enjoyed the Trauma Sensitive Yoga movement practice over Zoom and hearing that therapists and yoga professionals are now integrating these practical somatic tools into their client work.  This makes me very happy. 

 

What are your feelings about the body in therapy?

We exist in the world through our bodies, in fact we are our bodies, yet so often in our training the body is missed out, it was in mine.

I feel that working with the body, by noticing, tracking sensations and integrating the use of breath and movement to counteract the “numbness” and “frozen” we are all working with is so valuable for therapists to integrate into their therapeutic work.

These tools are also empowering for our clients, giving them choice and knowledge about their body, breath and use of movement as powerful tools for healing and staying well.  Post lockdown these tools are very important to share, not just for trauma and PTSD but for anxiety & depression.

Why is this important for therapists to understand?

Our bodies hold baffling, intense nonverbal memories that tell our stories without words and time.  As therapists what we notice in both our clients body and our own bodies is valuable information to deeply understand this narrative. By working with the body we quickly move into the dimension of making the unconscious, conscious and are able to work with this in therapy.  I am also thrilled that neuroscience now supports our learning of working with the body and I am keen to share this knowledge with mental health and yoga professionals, as it can profoundly impact how we work and our treatment models. 

 

Do you feel that therapists’ awareness of their own body in the therapeutic space is valuable?

In my CPD workshops I shine a bright light on the therapists body, highlighting there are two bodies in the therapy room.  As a profession we are ironically, pretty bad at self care and we have all been through lockdown and now live in a new world with Covid-19. It is essential we begin to notice ourselves first. Yes it is a great thing we are all now super keen to learn and work more about trauma, however, burn out if never far behind.  This is heavy work.

By turning our awareness inwards to ourselves, to notice our own breath, holding of tension and being curious about what is ours and what is our clients is a healthy starting point.  Countertransference is strong over Zoom, so I encourage you to engage these tools as we continue to work online.

 

Your second workshop for us in 2021 is a weekend on : Integrating Body, Breath & Movement within our Therapeutic Relationships using Trauma Sensitive Yoga

 

 What are your hopes people will take away from this 2 day CPD experience?

My hopes for the 2 day CPD is that you will gain a practical understanding of the core pillars of working with the Body, Breath and Movement in therapy, focusing on treatment for trauma, anxiety & depression.  

You will gain practical tools to integrate into your current clinical and therapeutic practice. These tools include the power of the breath and Trauma Sensitive Yoga, which has foundations in Trauma Theory, Attachment Theory, Neuroscience and Hatha Yoga with an emphasis on mind body connection, breathing and movement. It is a clinically validated method of yoga researched by Bessel van der Kolk in the USA and the safest yoga I have come across when working with vulnerable and traumatised people.  

You will leave with a deep understanding of the importance of science in relation to bringing the body, breath & movement into therapy including neuroscience , the Autonomic Nervous System & Polyvagal Theory.  

 

How do you feel trauma sensitive yoga can inform therapists work with clients and yoga teachers work?

It is important to remember our clients are already on their healing journey and it is so important we are able to share ways to safely befriend the body, empowering people and giving them choice.  Offering here and now tools for healing, being mindful, grounded and steady rather than being hijacked by their bodies. So often we all hear the words “numbness” and “frozen” as clients talk about their bodies and we can, with these tools, begin to counteract these states with movement, grounding, lengthening the spine and working with the breath.

What I hear from Therapists is that they want to learn tools to work with the body in therapy and what I hear from Yoga Teachers is that they want to learn how to work clinically and safely with their students, so we have a space of interest where the breath, movement and trauma sensitive yoga fit perfectly for both sets of professionals.

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