The role of trauma in community health: A somatic perspective.

Mischke-Reeds, M. (2013). The role of trauma in community health: A somatic perspective. In D. Maller, K. Langsam, & M. Fritchle (Eds.), The Praeger handbook of community mental health practice, Vol. 1. Working in the local community; Vol. 2. Diverse populations and challenges; Vol. 3. Working in the global community (pp. 167–184). Praeger/ABC-CLIO.

In community mental health practice, trauma recovery is a critical component. The therapist who can be present with the suffering of their client by listening empathically to the story told in words as well as the story told by the body can be of great service. Emotional warmth and empathic attunement is critical to understanding the inner world of trauma, as well as the ability to assess and intervene to alleviate symptoms. By carefully tracking the language of the body, the therapist will learn how the trauma event has shaped the client from the inside out. In teaching clients to use mindfulness, as well as being mindful themselves, therapists are able to accompany clients on their healing journey as they uncover their own resources and recover emotional stability. A crucial element in the recovery of trauma is how the client regains embodiment. What has been taken from them is essentially how to be in their bodies in a safe and stable way. "Embodiment is about gaining, through the vehicle of awareness, the capacity to feel the ambient physical sensations of unfettered energy and aliveness as they pulse through our bodies". It is this sense of embodiment that has been disrupted through trauma and that can be restored by learning how to safely return to the sensations and emotions of the body. Because most trauma occurs in relation to others, it takes a safe and nurturing bond to reverse its devastating effects. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)


Trauma States, Mindfulness and the Body

The Role Of Trauma In Community Health: A Somatic Perspective


Treating Collective Trauma with Hakomi: Listening to the Body

The Hakomi Method is a multidimensional somatic approach to deep healing rooted in an understanding of the silent language of the body. In the moment-by-moment unfolding of their somatic awareness, clients learn to access the unconscious core beliefs that shape their response to trauma, even when it’s woven within the larger context of collective trauma. Discover how the therapist’s own somatic awareness can help clients untangle the complex area where individual and collective trauma meet, and learn techniques to stay attuned and somatically grounded to effectively work with trauma. In this recording, you’ll explore: 

  • The key Hakomi concepts of applied mindfulness and somatic awareness to help clients change rigid mental models 
  • Attachment- and compassion-based skills that facilitate a gentle inquiry into the body’s messages 
  • How to apply gentle interventions that can yield clients’ emotional defences and trauma identities  
  • How to stay self-regulated, somatically grounded, and open-hearted when working with trauma-sensitive processes 


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Manuela Mischke-Reeds interviews for the Somatic Movement Summit 2023

These interviews are part of the Somatic Movement Summit 2023 a free online event. For more information, please visit These recordings are a copyright of The Shift Network. All rights reserved.

Fluid Movement, A Shift in Consciousness and Trauma Healing.

Somatic Movement: From Stillness to Dancing for Healing and Expression.