Pamela Singer, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Call Now For a Free Phone Consultation: 650-933-3016
Therapeutic Yoga Practices
Yoga can be integrated into individual therapy, paired with trauma releasing exercises (TRE), or taught in private yoga sesions. Live sessions are currently on hold, but private sessions can still be conducted via Telehealth.
Yoga in Individual Therapy
Yoga can be a powerful tool in healing the mind and body. Research has shown yoga to be particularly helpful in the treatment of PTSD, and more work continues to come out on its effectiveness in helping individuals who struggle with eating disorders. For some, the body has been in overdrive for so long that the nervous system is out of balance and results in insomnia, pain, and tension. Others have disconnected from their bodies as a way of numbing or escaping painful situations. For other individuals, negative beliefs about and behaviors toward their bodies have made it difficult to stay present in their own experiences. Yoga is a uniquely impactful way of healing these disconnects and the associated ailments.
For articles discussing the benefits of yoga in treatment of PTSD, click here .
To read about the benefits of yoga in treatment of eating disorders, click here.
If you are seeing me for therapy, some basic yoga tools may be incorporated into your individual therapy if we decide together that it can be beneficial. This would include giving you some physical techniques to use between sessions and practicing some in session, with an emphasis on pranayama (breathing).
Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE)
Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) are a form of exercises developed by David Berceli, Ph.D., that activate a natural reflex mechanism of shaking or vibrating that releases muscular tension stored in times of stress or trauma. When the body experiences trauma in nature, this mechanism serves to discharge the energy and, in so doing, prevents the development of physiological trauma symptoms. Humans learn almost from birth to override this natural mechanism, and PTSD is one of the consequences. By activating this muscular shaking/vibrating mechanism in a safe and controlled environment, the body is encouraged to return back to a state of equilibrium. The method of TRE that I offer pairs the tremor response with yoga for the benefits of both yoga practice and trauma release.
Private Yoga Sessions
50 minute private yoga sessions are also available separate from psychotherapy. Yoga sessions are designed to be trauma-sensitive and are individually adjusted to meet a person's specific psychological and physical needs.
*Note: Yoga is a phenomenal adjunct to treatment. However, it is important to know that private yoga sessions are not meant as a substitute for psychotherapy, and will not include psychotherapy.
If you wish to have private yoga sessions, we will first meet for a single intake session so that I can take a thorough a psychological and physical history, make sure it is a good fit for you, understand what your specific needs will be for the yoga instruction, and lay out goals and expectations. I may request to speak with your physician, or ask that you provide clearance from your physician, if there is any reason to believe you may have medical risks that could impact your ability to benefit from yoga (especially if you suffer from an eating disorder, physical complications make this a vital step in determining whether yoga is a good fit for you). If you have a therapist or psychiatrist, I may also ask to speak with them to get information that can help me tailor the yoga to your needs. If you do not have a therapist or psychiatrist, then after our intake session I may suggest that you establish care with a therapist or a psychiatrist in addition to the yoga if I believe it is necessary. The goal will be for us to begin your yoga sessions with a strong foundation to make them a helpful addition to the work you are doing.
Typically, we will then meet for 3-4 private yoga sessions in which we will focus on the goals outlined in our initial meeting. I will provide you with exercises to practice during the week, and encourage you to journal about your experience of them. At the end of our time together, you will have the tools to continue your practice on your own or--if you prefer to do yoga in a group--know what to look for in a teacher/setting and how to best utilize the techniques.