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Trauma Informed Care & Pelvic Floor Therapy


Benefits of Out-of-Network Pelvic Floor PT or OT

Trauma-informed care has become a buzz phrase in recent years, but what does it really mean? At Embrace, we believe that all pelvic health care should be trauma-informed, due to the prevalence of trauma and violence in our society. Trauma-informed care must go beyond just being thoughtful and kind. How do we incorporate trauma-informed care into our practice? 


Thinking About the Context


We often take for granted how impacted we are by our surroundings. Many find that typical healthcare settings, with all-white walls and flooring, fluorescent lights, and strong cleaning agent scents, can feel dysregulating for the nervous system at baseline. 


One of the first things you’ll notice at Embrace Pelvic Health is the thought and care we put into our layout and environment. We don’t use overhead lighting, instead we incorporate soft, pleasurable colors.


An additional aspect of creating a safer context within pelvic care is the strategic use of time. Trauma-informed care means being able to go slow. This is one of the reasons why we are out of network. We never have to justify how we spent a session based on arbitrary standards that the insurance company sets for us. We provide full hour sessions, with breaks in between for our therapists. This allows our clients to have a well-paced session, and provides our clinicians with a moment to decompress and feel fully present and available for our next client. Additionally, we have space where we can sit and talk before any physical exam even begins.


Knowledge of the Nervous System 


At Embrace Pelvic Health, we incorporate into our sessions an understanding of how the nervous system plays a role in trauma, and the relationship between that and pelvic health. Understanding signs of nervous system dysregulation helps the provider assess what kind of intervention may be beneficial or potentially triggering at any given moment. We use many techniques to help clients enter into a state of more ease, including breathwork, mindfulness, somatic awareness, and manual therapy. 


Therapeutic Use of Self


It’s the therapists role to create a container for therapy where the client feels heard, valued, and important. The skills often referred to as “soft skills” such as active listening, compassionate inquiry, validation, and self-awareness are actually vital to the success of any therapeutic relationship. Our therapists work hard inside and outside of the office to develop a strong sense of empathetic presence and healthy communication skills. 


Anti-Oppression


For many folks, trauma is related to societal oppression and marginalization. Therapists at Embrace Pelvic Health aim to create an environment that is welcoming to all people who walk through our doors. 


The 4 C's of Trauma-Informed Care


Compassion, consent, collaboration, and creativity are essential components to creating an environment where people feel comfortable and empowered. We use consent throughout our sessions to check in about what a person feels comfortable with, how they want to be approached or touched, and what information they might want to share or not. We use consent as an active form of collaboration, building a session with the person in front of us, rather than assuming that we know what’s best for them. And being in true collaboration requires creativity, allowing us to think outside the traditional therapeutic box in order to meet each client where they’re at. We center compassion throughout our work, in order for clients to feel like they can show up as their full selves. 




Pelvic floor therapy can be scary if you have a trauma history. At Embrace Pelvic Health, we’ll do our best to create an environment of safety, relaxation, and ease.

Our goal is to ensure you feel great about the care you are receiving!


 

If you have pelvic health concerns and would like to see how our therapists at Embrace can help, follow the link to schedule your free discovery call.



This article was written by Mirah Sand OTR/L. They are a pelvic floor occupational therapist who is certified Pregnancy and Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist, and has received advanced pelvic health training through Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute.





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