Trauma Process Yoga Emerges at Lancaster YWCA

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Therapeutic Program Integrates Yoga, Counseling, and Education

For several years, yoga has been employed in Lancaster County to support the healing process of trauma survivors. Now, the Lancaster YWCA introduces a novel program that combines physical yoga practice, counseling, educational, and meditative elements to specifically cater to sexual trauma survivors.

Certified yoga instructor Katie Sina Kindig and sexual assault counselor and educator Wendy Gaunt have initiated the Trauma Process Yoga Group program at the YWCA. This innovative group consists of six women who have experienced sexual trauma.

Trauma Process Yoga: A Holistic Approach

Kindig and Gaunt underwent training in Harrisburg last summer to facilitate this group program. The model was developed by Amy Battersby, a counselor in Rhode Island.

“This therapeutic group aims to foster a supportive community and provide an avenue for reconnecting with their bodies,” says Gaunt.

The program’s unique elements differentiate it from “trauma-informed yoga,” which focuses on compassionate yoga practices adapted for trauma survivors. Trauma Process Yoga involves a comprehensive approach that integrates psychological, educational, and sharing components.

A Safe and Empowered Space

Kindig emphasizes that the Trauma Process Yoga Group is based on choice and autonomy. Participants are encouraged to engage at their own pace and comfort level.

“I am here to assist and guide, but ultimately, it’s their body and their choice,” says Kindig. “Even if they choose to sit and not participate physically, they are actively participating by being present and brave.”

Survivors of sexual trauma often experience dissociation from their bodies. Trauma Process Yoga aims to address this by facilitating a gradual reconnection and a sense of safety.

Program Structure and Benefits

The group sessions follow a consistent structure:

* **Rock Ceremony:** A meditative practice that provides a tangible focus and grounding.
* **Education:** Topics related to trauma, such as safety, boundaries, and self-regulation.
* **Processing:** Participants can optionally share their experiences and insights.
* **Yoga Practice:** Tailored to the specific topic discussed.
* **Journaling:** A time for reflection and debriefing.

Participants learn about the impact of trauma on the brain and the potential of yoga and meditation to rewire neural pathways.

“It’s an opportunity for actual healing and empowerment,” says Kindig.

Pioneering Program with Promising Results

The Trauma Process Yoga Group model originated in Rhode Island. Battersby, its creator, reports that participants who completed the program’s three levels have experienced significant reductions in trauma symptoms.

Currently, there are certified instructors in four states, including Pennsylvania. Gaunt and Kindig are among those who are working towards their certification.

“The program is truly exceptional and has the potential to transform lives,” concludes Gaunt.

**For further inquiries, contact the YWCA of Lancaster at 717-393-1735.**

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