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Cheryl Smith

I'm a mother, sister, daughter, friend and mental health professional. I'm also a settler in the territory of the Sinixt, the Ktunaxa, and the Syilx peoples. I've always had a keen interest in human behaviour, having found myself gravitating to psychology, philosophy and spiritual texts as a teenager. These interests lead me to study psychology, counselling and leadership. In addition to traditional Lakota practices, Yoga, Buddhism, Christianity, Vipassana and other forms of meditation. My personal healing journey has extended over many years, and has included understanding my own and family members developmental trauma. I've worked in the mental health field for 10 years. Previously, I had a career in the avalanche industry, where I enjoyed exploring and working in the mountains of British Columbia. I have raised two grown children in Nelson, BC, where I continue to live today. 


     I have been training with Somatic Experiencing  International for three years, having completed their most advanced training. I will obtain my designation as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) in the spring of 2023. Developed by Peter Levine Ph.D., Somatic Experiencing (SE) has been used clinically for 45years. The therapeutic model brings together multiple disciplines and includes the study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, and medical biophysics, in addition to indigenous healing practices. 

     When we encounter stress and trauma, our nervous system springs into action to attempt to bring us support, or protection, through the most effective and efficient means it has at its disposal at any given moment. Sometimes, when dealing with shock traumas or even developmental trauma, these responses can get somewhat ‘stuck’ in our physiology and play out in our present lives, long after the trauma(s) are over. SE works to bring regulation to our nervous systems through consolidation of past traumatic experiences. Enabling our present nervous system capacity to have full range, and only resort to fight, flight and freeze responses when they are necessary. 

     Working together in the SE approach, I will guide you to an understanding of how your nervous system functions and reacts to different stimuli in your environment. You will learn a new language to describe and notice the inner workings of a ‘felt sense’ of your body, the soma. This experiential process will lead us to discover your trauma patterns and ranges  your nervous system operates within. Resolution of these trauma patterns is the goal and greater capacity in your nervous system and everyday life will be the result. 

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