Welcome to ALIGN! ALIGN, Yoga for Mental Health is an original and innovative program at Yoga by Sarah that specializes in Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY). There are two components to the ALIGN program: TCTSY and counselling/psychotherapy. Often people who have experienced significant trauma feel a sense of fragmentation and disconnection from their bodies, therefore it is often necessary to receive treatment that addresses both the mind and the body. In fact, TCTSY is safest and most successful when individuals are receiving counselling or psychotherapy in conjunction with TCTSY. The ALIGN program holds space for people to explore making peace with their bodies.
*Individuals participating in TCTSY also need to be receiving counselling or psychotherapy from either ALIGN or another service provider outside of ALIGN.
“With TCTSY, I reclaimed my body. That is a gift because I so hated my body. Or I claimed it, not reclaimed, because I was so young. I claimed it. It was a long process to consider myself not an outline…. I think TCTSY helped define me. Just inhabiting my own skin is a major step forward.”
—PARTICIPANT IN TCTSY STUDY, FUNDED BY THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
DEVELOPED at the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) is an empirically validated, clinical intervention for complex trauma or chronic, treatment resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The TCTSY program earned inclusion in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) database published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the United States. In addition to yoga, TCTSY has foundations in Trauma Theory, Attachment Theory, and Neuroscience.
The TCTSY methodology is based on central components of the Hatha style of yoga, where participants engage in a series of physical forms and movements. Elements of traditional Hatha yoga are modified to build trauma survivors’ experiences of empowerment and cultivate a more positive relationship to one’s body. Unlike many public yoga classes, TCTSY does not use physical, hands-on adjustments to influence a participant’s physical form. Rather, TCTSY presents opportunities for participants to be in charge of themselves based on a felt sense of their own body.
Although TCTSY employs physical forms and movements, the emphasis is not on the external expression or appearance (i.e. doing it “right”), or receiving the approval of an external authority. Rather, the focus is on the internal experience of the participant. This shift in orientation, from the external to the internal, is a key attribute of TCTSY as a complementary treatment for complex trauma. With this approach, the power resides within the individual, not the TCTSY facilitator. Further, by focusing on the felt sense of the body to inform choice- making, TCTSY enables participants to restore their connection of mind and body and cultivate a sense of agency that is compromised as a result of trauma.
TCTSY classes are taught by Certified TCTSY facilitators (TCTSY-F) who are in good standing* with the Centre for Trauma and Embodiment. At Yoga By Sarah, our TCTSY-Fs are all professionals in the social service field. Classes are held at the studio as well as off-site. Group classes can be customized to consider the needs of the participants.
TCTSY INDIVIDUAL SESSIONS
Certified TCTSY-Fs can offer individual sessions for individuals who may benefit from a one on one setting verses a group class. Length and content of individual sessions will be customized according to the individual.
INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING & PSYCHOTHERAPY
The Align Program at Yoga By Sarah also offers individual counseling and psychotherapy provided by individuals holding a Master of Social Work degree who are registered with the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and/or Registered Psychotherapists.
Counselors and Psychotherapists are trained in variety of treatment modalities including TCTSY, Trauma Treatment, play based methods, CBT and TF-CBT .
1/2 DAY TRAINING & IN-SERVICES
A brief overview of key TCTSY theoretical underpinnings and practices provided by a certified TCTSY facilitator in your area.
TCTSY is an evidence based adjunct therapy for individuals struggling with:
In addition, TCTSY may be helpful for individuals struggling with:
*In order to maintain their on-going supervisory relationship with The Trauma Center, certified TCTSY facilitators are required to meet established criteria for both professional development and integrity of their TCTSY practice. Only certified facilitators who are compliant with these standards are authorized by The Trauma Center to represent themselves as TCTSY-Facilitators.
April discovered yoga 9 years ago when she was pregnant with her first child. With the busy responsibilities of being a working mom, April took a break from her yoga practice and picked it up again a few years later after the birth of her third child. After that first Vinyasa class it was love at first sun salutation!
Being a social worker in the field for almost 15 years, April started to see a need for body based trauma treatment. She began to see the value in merging the benefits of yoga with traditional treatment for trauma, anxiety and depression. This ignited her desire to pursue her training as a yoga teacher. She became a certified yoga teacher, completing 500 hours of Yoga Teacher Training.
To enhance her clinical skills as a Registered Social Worker and her understanding of how to use yoga as a treatment for trauma she completed 300 hours of Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga from the Center for Trauma and Embodiment at The Justice Resource Institute under the leadership of David Emerson.
April provides vision and leadership to the ALIGN program. She also teaches group TCTSY classes both at the studio and off-site.
Nicole began her yoga journey in Pre and Post-natal yoga and Yoga by Sarah.Yoga remained a a part of Nicole’s life through different seasons before she decided to take her 225 hour Yoga Teacher Training and then her 95 hour Kids Yoga training.
Nicole is a Registered Social Worker and has worked in the field since 2006 with children and youth who have experienced developmental trauma. Over the years she began to notice the limited treatment options available to help support the body’s reaction to trauma. This led her to complete her training in Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY), a 300-hour program through the Center for Trauma and Embodiment at The Justice Resource Institute under the leadership of David Emerson.
Through the ALIGN program, Nicole provides TCTSY and Counselling services to youth, children and adults, running both individual and group sessions at the studio and off-site. She also developed and runs the Yoga for Kids program at YBS where she focuses on helping kids use yoga to support their mental health and develop coping skills, while having fun and interacting with their bodies.
Brianna is a Registered Psychotherapist and Certified Trauma Practitioner. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Master’s Degree in Counselling. Brianna is a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, as well as a Certified Canadian Counsellor. Brianna completed her training to become a Certified Trauma Practitioner at The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children. She understands how trauma impacts the brain, body and behaviour of an individual and how there are important aspects to therapy such as a strong feeling of safety and sensory relief with a goal to help them feel empowered and in control.
Brianna has been working with clients of all ages over the past 10 years dealing with issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, and emotional regulation. She has worked with children and youth building self-esteem and social skills as well as managing difficult emotions. Brianna has completed additional training in several areas such as suicide intervention, grief and loss, mediation, and creative interventions such as play and art.
Brianna’s goal as a therapist is to work with clients to help overcome challenges and obstacles and make positive changes, recognizing their strengths and gaining a feeling of control over their lives. As a mother of three, she extends her passion for family into her work with clients. Helping others motivates and inspires her.
TCTSY is a program of:
For more information or to register for our services, please contact us: