For children with various challenges in school and at home, I am creating and working in the field of Somatic Play and Learning™.
Being a Somatic Play and Learning Practitioner™ includes observing, analyzing, engaging, and resolving behavioral and socio-emotional challenges and issues with children of all ages through therapeutic play. The objective of the activities I create and use with the children are to utilize a child's imagination and creative energy to build resiliency and self-awareness as well as enhanced attunement to others.
Many of the Nepali children in the photos below live in extreme poverty or are orphans who have witnessed some horrific things, such as the death of a parent. I created games which playfully renegotiated some of the children's fears, experiences, and feelings of helplessness. The children were very engaged and found the games to be empowering and fun! In several of the photos below the children are drawing and acting out their Confident Protectors, a tool Somatic Play and Learning Practitioners™ use to help children renegotiate helplessness by imagining the support of a protector. They start with an external representation of their Confident Protector and begin to internalize it through structured games and free play. Then, by focusing on settling and integration of the newly embodied experience, the results become a part of their nervous systems.
This work results in permanent resolution of symptoms of trauma, in some cases within as little as one or two play sessions.