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Bringing Safety and Presence to Sessions

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

I did a workshop down in Torquay recently with the wonderful Steven Goldstein (IG @mrgowithease) from the Fascial Therapy Institute Australia. Highly recommended by the way!

The topic was applying the polyvagal ideology to how we work with clients. The concepts of 'Presencing' that we can bring to our therapies and Interoceptive Awareness both really stood out for me.

It means bringing presence, or really being with the client's experience, either through breath, words or energetic resonance. And bringing an intentional loving kindness to each and every interaction. When we practice presence, our client's nervous system can attune to ours and begin to settle.

Clinical hypnotherapy with Restore Wellness Services
Clinical hypnotherapy with Restore Wellness Services

Interoceptive awareness is about learning to be present in the work, both as client and practitioner! That work can and should flow both ways if possible, but does land squarely on the practitioner to bring to the table (or chair!).

It also means the bringing of awareness to aspects of our experience that often seem to be in the 'unconscious' realm. It is certainly true that many people can be out of awareness with their internal world. Either with intentional bodywork or hypnotherapy, we can co-create a relational field in which the client can feel safer experiencing their inner world.

And in the words of the founder of Polyvagal theory Stephen Porges "Safety IS the treatment".


Jodyann van Keulen is a practicing Clinical Hypnotherapist with a focus on women’s health, in particular fertility, birth, womb and hormonal balance.

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