58. katy adams
[00:00:00] Y'all, this episode is everything. So if you're new here and you didn't know this, Welcome. But this podcast I really love featuring people who are just living out their dharma, like doing their life's work
[00:00:15] a way that's so aligned for them and is like off the beaten path. They're like following their own true dream and this episode is all that and more.
[00:00:24] So not only do we get to hear the awesome story of Katie Adams, who is. Somatic psychotherapist.
[00:00:32] we're gonna talk more about what that means and what her practice is like. In the episode, we get to hear the story of how she went from growing up on a cattle ranch in Texas to kind of, you know, I. Living among the hippies to cattle ranchers doing the somatic experiencing work from the body of work of Peter Levine, if you're familiar with that.
[00:00:53] If not, don't worry, we'll explain it. But also she shares in this episode so many
[00:00:59] research back tips behind the work of somatic therapy, which is basically mind and body therapy, linking mind and body to heal trauma. What she does now, and we just talk about so much in this episode all along the lines of her story.
[00:01:18] So if you've ever wondered about the difference between emdr, somatic experiencing all the other forms of somatic
[00:01:25] therapies that are used for trauma and also yoga, we talk about the role yoga plays as an adjunct treatment and why it can be essential. As a part of this process, and you know, kind of how to stay in your lane as a yoga teacher, if you are one right?
[00:01:42] In the role of how yoga teachers can work with
[00:01:44] therapists, or if you're a person receiving therapy for this kind of thing, the role that yoga can play. If you've ever wondered about the process of changing your career after your 10 years in and have a graduate degree and then. Multiple other certificates and hefty credentials
[00:02:02] 10 years into your career.
[00:02:04] Katie pulled that off really well.
[00:02:05] it wasn't an easy process, of course, but so tune in to
[00:02:09] hear the story of how, and if you've ever wondered about self-publishing a book,
[00:02:15] despite not having a social media following that kind of stuff, Katie Adams is just a shining light of
[00:02:23] what can happen when you really work through your own stuff, your own deep layers of healing.
[00:02:29] And she shares about that process for her in a way that's very, like, we don't do any trauma dumping. We don't do that around here. We don't share about the trauma itself because that's not the important part. The important part is how you came out of it. Since she's a somatic psychotherapist, she also shares in a really succinct and easy un to understand way,
[00:02:51] the research behind why this stuff works and how it works and,
[00:02:55] just how it all works together.
[00:02:56] What a fun conversation is packed with research and tips and tools, and it's just an interesting story to listen to. So I'm glad you're here.
[00:03:05] And I'd like to extend you a very warm welcome to the science of light podcast. I'm your host, Rosemary Holbrook, your friendly neighborhood, Vedic, astrologer, and yoga teacher training to become a yoga therapist. So this is. My jam. We're here to demystify the Vedic sciences. So you can add a little more magic to your mundane, always with a lens of research backed and evidence-based practices so that you can heal your trauma, manifest your dream life. All the good fun stuff. Welcome. I'm glad you're here without further ado, let's jump into the interview
[00:03:37] Hello and welcome to the Science of Light. I'm your host, Rosemary, and today I'm joined by Katie
[00:03:42] Adams. Hi. Hi.
[00:03:44] So what you do is super cool and we're gonna get there, but do you mind starting off just telling us your story and if yoga fits into that story or not? You know, like what is your
[00:03:56] story? Okay. I grew up, um, in a small town in Texas on a cattle ranch.
[00:04:04] My family had a bunch of cattle and kind of stereotypical, you know, where my dad wore a cowboy hat and a, a belt and boots every day and all that. And so we, we had a lot of cattle and we also had, you know, I had horses growing up and friends had horses, and so I was around a lot of big animals and . I would have to go before school and, you know, feed the cows and then we would have to sometimes herd the cattle into different pastures, um, for different reasons.
[00:04:39] And I didn't, you know, I didn't realize it until much later, you know, until recently, maybe five, 10 years ago, that that was the beginning of my story as a somatic psychotherapist, because I think that, Being around those big animals with those big nervous systems. I had to learn how to move those animals and that herd with my own nervous system.
[00:05:07] And so, you know, yelling at a cow isn't really gonna do much to move them. You have to kind of feel your own energy and use that energy to move the herd. And you know, that was never spoken, but that's just how you do it, you know? Right. And. So that is the beginning of my story. I, you know, I wanna put that in there because I, you know, I, I often forget that that's really how it all started.
[00:05:33] So then, you know, fast forward, I was in my twenties and I was in grad school and I have an undergraduate degree in writing and I was in a master's program in writing, and I decided for my, uh, thesis to do. A series of personal essays and it was entitled Daughter, Essays on Land and Body Image. And so I really started going deep into what it meant to be a female on a cattle ranch, what it meant to be a female, and, you know, in all these different ways and how I was feminine and not feminine, and how femininity was portrayed in my family.
[00:06:15] And, and about, you know, that connection to land. And I developed, uh, chronic fatigue. And cuz I realized, I was like, Wow, I knew my family wasn't perfect but wow, I have some trauma here, . And so just that process kind of laid me flat and I didn't know it was happening.
[00:06:34] So you realized the trauma at the same time you developed chronic fatigue syndrome?
[00:06:39] Yes. I think there, there was a connection there of kind of allowing and knowing. My, my trauma history to come to the surface and having acknowledgement of it and not overriding, not suppressing anymore. Right. And so then kind of the, the floodgates were open. Mm-hmm. and I, you know, I would wake up in the morning at one point, I remember, and I would walk from my bed to the bathroom sink to brush my teeth, and I would brush my teeth and I would be exhausted from doing that.
[00:07:12] And I would have to go back to. Wow. And so that whole thing, you know, from getting sick and writing my thesis to getting better was a period of seven years. And in that time I had all these different kind of doctors. I went to every kind of body work practitioner, you know, I did yoga, I, you know, just everything that I could possibly try to get better.
[00:07:40] I wanted to do that and I, I went to a rheumatologist and for six months they drew 13 viles of blood for me every month to test all these different things that were going on with me. Right. And so I had very real markers that there was something wrong, but I knew that it came from my psychology mm-hmm.
[00:08:00] And after six months I said, You know what? I don't, I don't need. These tests anymore because I'm not taking the medication. You say you're gonna give me for this cuz it causes blindness and I need to focus on getting better, not coming to the doctor all the time. And my gp, my general practitioner, uh, he said, You can do that, but at some point I'm gonna wanna get these numbers back.
[00:08:27] So a year later. My numbers, which they said it's called an ANA titer, that they said would never go back to normal, went back to normal. And it is because I really focused on, you know, the, the mind body connection and I'm gonna get myself better physically, but I know this is psychological. Mm-hmm. . So, you know, I found something in that which helped me the most, which was something called somatic experiencing.
[00:08:54] And there's a branch of SC that's table work. And you're on a table and you're being touched by the therapist. And so that is actually what I do now and what I've been doing since 2007 ish. Um, because that worked for., so
[00:09:06] in that time, were you kind of just like trying different things? That's how you found it?
[00:09:10] Yes. Yes. Okay.
[00:09:11] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it was a long process and, and in that I learned a lot. Um, I also, you know, when in being sick, the first thing that actually happened was I started doing shamonic work. I didn't know that I was doing SHA work, but I'd have people over and I would. You know, just, just work on them.
[00:09:32] And they were claiming I was healing them of all these things like infertility that they had been had for three years of cancer, of all these physical things. And I wanted to know why it worked scientifically, cuz it seemed very, very woo woo. And I wasn't gonna stand for that. I was a skeptic of my own process.
[00:09:51] I, and, but I was also like, this is working, so why is it working? What's the science? So se actually seemed. You know, provide the closest explanation. Um, so I'm gonna pause there cuz I see if you have any questions cuz I'm just going on and I could keep going. .
[00:10:08] No, that's so cool. That's, I love that. I, I feel like I see parallels all the time.
[00:10:14] That's why I always ask people to share their story. It's like, we have this quote unquote regular childhood right? Or whatever. Yes. A lot of folks. Like American normal and. Get to adulthood and either you're already on track with what you wanna be on track with in life or the shit hits the fan and you have to figure it out.
[00:10:32] And we try different things. For me it was yoga, you know, for somatic experiencing. That's so cool. So thanks for sharing that, , nitty gritty part of your story. So then my question is how did you go from, um, Kind of that, you know, you were trying different things how did that lead into what you do now?
[00:10:51] Because I assume you weren't, you know, you were, your degree was in writing, not psychotherapy, right? Like what was that
[00:10:57] process like? Yes. So, uh, while I was sick, I was teaching, uh, English literature and composition at, um, the community college. So I was teaching college English, and because of that, I had a flexible schedule.
[00:11:15] You know, I could make appointments for office hours with students. All I had to do was just show up for the class and teach the class and. So I was, you know, it was the most flexible job I could have had while I was in that situation. So it, it worked out. Yeah. But I, I realized, you know, I act, I teach, I taught for 10 years and I got burnt out.
[00:11:35] And I also realized, cuz I was teaching the same classes, you know, every semester for 10 years, that's a lot of, you know, of teaching the same class over and over. And what was interesting is that, When students would come and they would read these short stories, of course they would have things happen where they would make parallels with their life and the story.
[00:12:01] Mm-hmm. . And it was this thing where I ended up being a mentor for people, um, about really big changes in their life. And I realized that's what I love about teaching was being a mentor and helping people navigate those, you know, life transitions. And so, That at the same time with learning all these techniques, learning about how I help myself get better, I was like, you know, I, I want to, I wanna offer this to other people.
[00:12:32] What helped me and. So se is a program, it's three years. You can, you can do it on your own, um, without having, if you're a body worker, but you have to have a body work license or a therapist's license. Okay? So I really wasn't that excited about being a therapist. I didn't really care about being a therapist because I, I wanted to do this.
[00:12:50] I wanted to, So something unusual happened, which did, which is when you're getting your hours, um, as a therapist and you're in school. Um, you know, you're not paid and you just, you, you, you know, I, I happen to work in an agency and I was so. You know, like, this is what I'm doing, This is who I am. And very confident about that.
[00:13:12] That I told the agency, I'm bringing a table into the agency and I'm gonna offer this. So while I was still a student, I was doing table work with people. So I got to, you know, I was doing the training and in school at the same time. So that was, So you were
[00:13:29] in school for psychotherapy and somatic experiencing at the same
[00:13:34] time, you.
[00:13:35] I was doing the training and in school at the same time, so Okay. I'm a licensed professional counselor. I'm also a licensed marriage and family therapist, and I'm a somatic experiencing practitioner. And so that's a three year program. And then on top of that, I've done multiple, um, Separate additional training and se table work.
[00:13:56] That's awesome. And then other types of body work, but I, you know, I'm not a body worker, but I'm very familiar with it. Um, and then I also have helped, um, assistant teach the SE trainings.
[00:14:06] So was there like a moment, so you said it se was like instrumental in your own healing. Was there like a moment where you were like, I feel better, I need to like, take this to other people?
[00:14:17] Was was that a moment or did it happen slowly over time?
[00:14:22] I mean it. It was both. I mean, it was more like it was a moment and then other things would happen and it would solidify that I needed to do that. You know, it was incremental, it was accumulative and an additive, you know? Yeah. So that's how that happened.
[00:14:37] Um, That's awesome. Yeah, and I, you know, I was at the point, you know, at one point where I couldn't walk around the block and then, Slowly, you know, I got to walk around the block and then I started, you know, walking a mile, and then I started running a mile. So it, you know, that's how that happened and that's how I, it feels like it happens all at once, but it's incremental.
[00:15:00] So that's kind of how healing happens, right? You build up all the stuff and then all of a sudden it just kind of is there. Yep. That's how it happened for me. That's
[00:15:10] So just for another piece of clarification, can you say a little bit more about what somatic experience. What, like what it is, how you brought it into your practice at that point?
[00:15:20] It's, it's a natural, it's a naturalistic approach for healing trauma. So the way we look at it is that, um, trauma isn't a thing that happens. It's the meaning we make of it. And so the founder Peter Levine, he, this is from watching Animals in the Wild. And so in our trainings we actually do watch a lot of videos of animals.
[00:15:43] And it, it's really kind of tracking the nervous system rather than working on, you know, other therapies. You know, you have C B T, which is cognitive behavioral, a lot of therapies are psychodynamic, uh, or working on the emotions. So SE really, you know, you're working with cognitions, you're working with emotions, but you're also adding the somatic piece.
[00:16:06] So, Is to me, you know, like when I started this way back, it was kind of cutting edge. Yeah. And it seems silly that it was, but we knew it was like, this isn't mainstream and now it is more mainstream and kind of everybody knows that you have to add the somatic piece to, to your healing. Um, so that is just, you know, it's, it's interesting, um, how.
[00:16:33] You know, and if you think back, you know, in Freud's time there was, uh, Freud and then Wilhelm Reich. And, you know, he really, uh, also was big about bringing in the somatic piece, but there was all this kind of, you know, he got in trouble for some stuff that he shouldn't have done, but he was experimenting at the time, you know, And so it kind of shut out the somatics of psychotherapy early on.
[00:16:58] Right. And now it's just, now it's taken all this time for it to come back and be mainstream again. Yeah.
[00:17:04] Yeah. So that's awesome.
[00:17:05] So, just a sidebar question, Isn't that also what's kind of behind, EMDR . No. In that one, I,
[00:17:13] I am not a fan of emdr.
[00:17:15] I'm, I, Okay. I, I hate saying that, but I'm not, Say more that's, Yeah, I, I pro, I'm gonna probably get in trouble for this, but I'll, I'll say it. That's okay. I think that it's better now , So things that you can, there's a protocol and you can easily have control and variable for experiments. Those are the things that are more.
[00:17:39] Readily researched, and so we have more information about them. And so these things that can be researched, they get kind of better reputations, whether they are, you know, they work or not. You know, something like SE you know, I, I do SE but my SE is very different than somebody else's because I have different trainings that go into what I do and different, you know, all that stuff.
[00:18:03] So EMDR is a protocol that you apply, so it's easier to research it. So, About seven, eight years ago, emdr, you know, became very popular and all these therapists were rushing out to get the training. And what happened was they'd learn this protocol on a weekend and then they'd go to the office on Monday and they would start doing it with their clients without having a deeper understanding of the.
[00:18:32] Behind it and what they were, mm-hmm. were doing and why? They would just apply their protocol and the clients weren't necessarily ready, you know, or able to tolerate it.
[00:18:41] There's something called the window of tolerance, and you have to build that up before you can do trauma work with someone, and they weren't working with the person's window of tolerance and increasing that ability for that person to tolerate that.
[00:18:55] And so people were having psychotic breaks. They were, you know, just kind of, they would have breakdowns. And I, a good chunk of my practice at that time was putting people back together, quote unquote, after having EMDR sessions. Whoa.
[00:19:10] So I've never even heard of that dark side of, I've just only heard like it's a magic pill type stuff about EMDR.
[00:19:18] Yeah, no. Um, . Now I wanna say, I, I do wanna say, and this is my theory, I don't know this, and I'm just some person out here giving my opinion that isn't, you know, probably isn't valid at all. But you know, my opinion. from what I've seen anecdotally with people is that EMDR is not a good, uh, technique for people who want to grow and evolve.
[00:19:47] Mm. If you are someone who, let's say you're a veteran and you are suicidal and you're having really intense nightmares, ptsd, flashbacks, go get emdr because it will be helpful, quickly, right? If done correctly and quickly helping someone get out of that situation. Okay? What it seems to do in my experience is it will kind of move the, what's called the memory packets in a way that you won't experience the hypervigilance and flashbacks in the same way.
[00:20:26] But as a practitioner of somatic work, I, because of that, it's harder for that person to then access the trauma in their. Mm. It's like it separates it out and so in your head you feel better, but that trauma is still in your body and we can't access it to work on it as easily, because now those two things are kind of separated out, if that makes sense.
[00:20:48] That does make sense. It's possible, but for me to access it, it's it. I see that it's more difficult. I. Okay, so you mentioned something. I'm not saying to not do it, I'm saying right, it's something to consider. Make sure your practitioner understands polyvagal theory. The window of tolerance has a good understanding of the nervous system and neuroscience, and that they just didn't go and learn this over the weekend, and now they're giving you this basic 1, 2, 3, 4 protocol.
[00:21:15] You know, in doing that. That's
[00:21:17] interesting. Yeah. So because I've never like received emdr, , I'm not a therapist. So my limited perspective from, as a person who studies, yoga therapy for trauma, so it's, I don't know, Less official. Yeah. But still same idea of like, we're gonna.
[00:21:34] See where this stuff lands in your body so that we can release it instead of continuing to be trapped in those same cycles. And my understanding of EMDR from the outside was that it was like, The movements of the eye bring like the left right body brain hemispheres. And that was like how my understanding from the outside of emdr.
[00:21:55] Yeah. So, so, so can you say more about the, the science behind it that you started to touch on and maybe how like somatic experiencing does address that science that. Sometimes maybe glossed
[00:22:05] over, you know? Yeah. So again, I'm not against emdr, Right? It's more nuanced. Of course. I just thought, Yes, yes. Now emdr, you know, you can hold paddles.
[00:22:18] You don't have to you the eye movement, but you can hold paddles. You can tap people's knees while they're telling you the story. That is bilateral stimulation. Mm-hmm. . And when you're walking, right, If you're moving your arms and legs, cross collateral collaterally, that is bilateral stimulation. So that's why kind of walking, I think, helps people process things because anything that's doing bilateral stimulation is helping with trauma.
[00:22:47] Okay, And that is part of emdr. It's part of any kind. Trauma, technique, right? Trauma, healing technique. So with SE it really is about, setting the conditions for that person to be able to tolerate the trauma work you're gonna do. So I always start with kind of checking to see what is this person's sense of safety in their body?
[00:23:13] Do they feel safe in their body? Cause most people don't even realize that they don't feel safe in their body. Yeah, so that's the first thing. So we kind of assess that and then it's like, okay, if you're not safe, we have to work on that first of all. And then if you are, then we move from there.
[00:23:28] In SE we call it the trauma vortex.
[00:23:31] And the counter vortex. So the trauma vortex is that, you know, you're pulled into your trauma whenever there's, you know, something kind of reminding you of that, you're gonna get pulled into it. You're gonna be triggered, you're gonna go back to that all behavior counter vortex is your resources and your strengths and all these things.
[00:23:49] So, We're always wanting to first like, is your life stable? You know, if your life isn't stable in a place where you can really go into your trauma, we need to, we need to, you know, make sure that that's solidified. Um, we want people to be able to learn, or me, I mean, I want people to be able to experience joy.
[00:24:11] Cause some people are afraid of being happy. Right? And if, if you don't have the tolerance for feeling good, how can we go into your. It's not talking
[00:24:21] about like that feeling of like when the other shoe's gonna drop, when you've been through like a bunch of bad stuff in your life and you're like, Oh, I just went, When am I gonna get that next terrible phone call or what?
[00:24:30] Like that kind of
[00:24:32] Yes, totally. Exactly. Things like that. Yeah.
[00:24:34] And you know, and this is where yoga comes in because it's a way to. When you're doing yoga, you know, you're, you're being asked to come into your body and you're, you know, you have to be in your body to do it, but some people they're not, you know, And so, Oh yeah.
[00:24:53] It's kinda, it's a way to kind of self select, like you're being invited to come into your body, but you're not being forced. And so you go to a yoga class, you're gonna start to learn. You're gonna, you know, you're gonna feel like, Oh, this feels pleasant. Oh, this feels good to do this movement. And then, you know, you, I always tell people your homework forever for therapy is if you're feeling good in your body, you stay and you track that feeling of good a second or two longer than you normally would have.
[00:25:23] Because if you keep doing that, you're gonna keep deepening your ability to, to have your, you know, your window of tolerance grow. Right? And so it's similar to journaling. I think it works in a similar way where. , if you don't have the ability because of your trauma or whatever it is to really write about the most difficult parts or whatever it is, you, you know, you need to actually process to work through it.
[00:25:52] Your brain will give you, you know, your own brain is giving you little bits of, of what you can tolerate, just like yoga's giving you little bits of what you can tolerate. And as you grow in tolerance, you can go deeper. In yoga, you can go deeper in your writing. Right. It, you know, And so whereas if someone's just doing EMDR to you, it's, it's not looking at that, Right.
[00:26:15] It's just kind of going in and, and applying something rather than like, what, you know, what can this person tolerate? Right. And I think now more EMDR practitioners are aware of that and they've changed and so it is more helpful. But, you know, I'm talking about years ago when it first came out, so, Right.
[00:26:33] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:26:34] Thank you for all that clarification. That's super, huge and important. So just a question related to that, that you just said, from your perspective as a, as a psychotherapist, what, like, you just kind of touched on it, like the role of yoga, how it works as an adjunct therapy.
[00:26:51] I have my opinions about how it works or like how I stay in my lane as a yoga therapist or yoga teacher. Right. But so for somebody who might be practicing yoga, like what are the nuances there from your opinion as a psychotherapist?
[00:27:06] Yeah. Um, well I actually am a yoga teacher. Okay. My yoga story is, um, actually, so I started doing yoga at the same time that I was writing that thesis.
[00:27:21] That the things you were trying or, Yes, it was one of the things that I was trying, So probably, you know, 1997, 1998 is when I started doing yoga. And of course I had no clue at the time that, you know, that I was doing it the same time that I was writing this thesis. Um, that was the thing that opened up the gates to my trauma.
[00:27:44] Um, so I wonder what it would've been like had I not been doing yoga at that time. So, I, you know, I've done all kinds of yoga. I started with just regular hatha yoga. I did Iyengar, Ashtanga , and I also, I traveled and stayed in an ashram, um, when I was, you know, in my twenties. And so that, all of that, you know, the pranayama, all those practices, I think, you know, I just wonder what it had been like for me had I not had that, um, right now to get to.
[00:28:21] To get to what, what we're getting to, which is, um, I, you know, there's only one of me. Um, I have my own experiences that are very unique to me, my own personal experience, just like everyone that kind of have come together, and that is the work that I do with people when they're on the table, we're doing therapy.
[00:28:43] A lot of people say, could you teach me this? And you know, I was taught by someone. Her name is Kathy Kane. , and she is a body worker. And she also wrote the manual for the SE trainings. So she's, she's amazing that she's my mentor. Yeah. Um, you know, and she does her type solid work. I do mine.
[00:29:01] Um, and people say, Well, can you teach me how to do this? And the answer is no, because you need to do your own, whatever. That is what, you know.
[00:29:11] I always thought I wanna do the work that comes out of who I am. Yeah. And I, and I'm doing that, you know, so it's kind of wild to realize that, Um, and. Because I can't really teach this.
[00:29:26] I've, I've always been thinking, well, what could I give to the general public that would be something that I can offer, even though they can't necessarily come to me for this table work and that sort of thing. Um, and I came up with something called somato Emotional Endurance. And that is, um, I'm writing a book on that currently.
[00:29:50] Um, I'm going to do my first, uh, online group with that in March. And then hopefully I'll do a retreat in the fall of 2023. Cool. But yoga fits into this. Um, there are seven practices of this, and the first one is self-regulation. And I think yoga is a way to learn self-regulation. Yeah, so there are all kinds of ways to learn self regulation.
[00:30:18] One of them is to do the work that I do, you know, to do trauma work, somatic experiencing table work with the people. But you know, you can, you know, we people put these things together. I really believe that physical strength, when you're physically strong, you have confidence in your. And if you have more confidence in your body than something like anxiety, you trust yourself to like, My body can handle this, it's gonna be okay.
[00:30:44] So I think that those practices are very important for self-regulation as well. Yeah, totally.
[00:30:52] Thanks for saying that cuz that was kind of my opinion, so I'm glad to hear that validated by you. Yeah, and I'm like, I know I stay in my lane. I'm like, I just led a meditation this morning actually that I was like, Oh, that might have been a little bit activating.
[00:31:04] And I checked in with the participants afterwards and I was like, but this is my opinion, just from my own practice and now from teaching it, I'm like, I, you might bring something up in yoga and that's where if it's like something too big to deal with on your own, then that's where therapy comes in. Just from my perspective, I'm like, you know, maybe not everybody needs therapy though.
[00:31:24] Maybe people are like, they can deal with whatever comes up on their own, but then when you find that it, whatever it brings up is like too much, then that's where therapy would come in, so, That's right. I'm glad to hear that validated that like, We're here to when in yoga you learn self regulation's like a practice too.
[00:31:41] I think, in my opinion, I'm like, it takes practice over the years. Mm-hmm. .
[00:31:45] Yeah. Yeah. It's um, I in, in SE there's this idea of pendulation versus titration. So pation is the natural movement of our nervous system from sympathetic activation, which is like excitement, joy, all those up feelings, right? Mm-hmm. to parasympathetic deactivation, which we, you know, rest and digest, that sort of thing.
[00:32:10] And so the course of a day, you're naturally gonna kind of go up and down mm-hmm. , but we want it to be. Wave kind of feeling rather than spiky where you hang out or you stay in activation or anxiety or you're always low and you dip down into depression. So I think, you know, like yoga, you are. If you're with this class, ation is the natural movement.
[00:32:34] Titration is either yourself or someone else pushing you a little bit up or helping you come down a little bit. Mm. So with yoga, right, you're doing that, You know, in a class, you're going through those different things, so someone can start to kind of have a little taste of coming down if they're scared of that or going up if they're scared of that.
[00:32:55] Right? Right. It's modulated in that way.
[00:32:59] I love that. Yeah. Thanks for explaining that that way. So, um, with that, I loved something you said earlier that you, uh, I might misquote, but you said like, you like to do work that feels like it comes from like who you are. So, I wanna hear more about the Somato emotional endurance.
[00:33:19] I wanna hear more about that, but can you also mention something we talked about before we were on recording? Oh, yes. Um, your book, Like, what's that been like?
[00:33:27] Cause writing a book is not easy and I've, that's one thing I like to highlight with the shows, like, people that are doing work of themselves, right?
[00:33:35] Like, we can all only follow our own best path and it's never easy. So can you say more about what that, you know, what that's been like and how you've been navigating that?
[00:33:43] Oh my God. Yeah. I mean, as you asked that question, it's like, wow, I, I just went back actually and asked, I, it just flashed into my mind for the first time, like, you know, I was talking to you about being in grad school and writing that essay, those, those series of essays, and I'm thinking, wow, maybe like right now, I've kind of come full circle and now I have this ability to write in a way that I, I hadn't, because in a way that was kind of, you know, I, I'm associating writing with trauma and a little bit there, right? Yeah. Um, I just had that realization. So, um, yeah. I be, you know, one of the reasons honestly, being a therapist appealed to me was because I thought, Oh, I can set my own schedule so I can write. And, and no, no, that's not how it happened. Um, right. Therapy doing, being a therapist, it is emotionally and physically taxing.
[00:34:38] And I do not have the ability most of the time to just write, you know, very often because of that, you know? Yeah. Um, you really have to be in. In a resourced, rested place to write, you have to be in a resource rested place to be a therapist. And so that's, you know, it's a lot of work. So, Yeah. Um, so yeah, so my, as far as that, um, I, um, I've written off and off on and off over the years and like I was telling you before, Because I'm a therapist, because I see so much and learn so much from my wonderful clients, I've had multiple ideas for books, you know?
[00:35:22] Mm-hmm. and. It's cuz it's, it's so fascinating. I'm always learning. I'm always learning. And so it's just this like wonderful, like, oh my God, there's this thing. Oh my God. Now there's this thing about people that I know and I understand. So, uh, I have taken several of my ideas to agents and agents have said, Wow, these are great.
[00:35:42] Only a problem is you don't have a social media following. And nowadays, because there's so much competition, um, You know, it doesn't matter how good of a writer you are or how, you know, what the book is like, it's, is this book going to sell? For sure. Do we have a, a certain number of, of books that are gonna sell and they wanna know that going into it?
[00:36:07] I'm sorry, my dog is having an attack right now. happens. Poor babies. Um, so. Because of that, I got really disgruntled and I thought, I'm not a social media person. How am I gonna do this? So I went down this road for years of thinking I'm gonna do online courses, but my, my energy just wasn't behind it. I would start, and I would take all these courses about how to do courses, courses about how to do social media, right.
[00:36:38] And it just, I could not get it together because that's not really what I wanted to do. And so my. My web designer, we've been working on my web, my new website, and, um, we were talking about it and you know, I've, I've paid business coaches a lot of money and I'm just talking to my web designer and she said, Every time you talk about these courses, you're kind of like, uh, have to do the courses.
[00:37:05] When you talk about the book, you light up and you're all excited. She's like, What are you doing? And I. Thank you. Thank you. You know, like you are the first person who said this to me, right? And were straight with me about it, and it's like, now I'm like, You know what? Not a big deal. The other thing she said was, Why don't you just get on like social media and talk about your process of writing a book.
[00:37:32] Oh my God.
[00:37:33] It's like, people wanna hear about
[00:37:35] that too. How simple is that? Because honestly, I, I am turned off by therapist on Instagram and TikTok. I am like, it, it's very, I think it's good because it's opening up and helping people educate and making therapy more mainstream, but it's also very, you know, minimizing and Right.
[00:37:55] It, it feels kind of ick to me. Um, so I personally wouldn't have been able to do that. But sharing just who I am and this thing that I'm working on that feels more aligned with me and how I wanna do things. So I've started posting to TikTok. I have no idea what I'm doing, and I don't care. I don't care that I'm doing it well.
[00:38:16] Good. I don't care that I'm not doing dances and putting the little songs on. I don't care. Um, so, so
[00:38:23] now. You know, like we're talking about, because I. You know, like, not going against who I am. I'm working with who I am and what I am, and then just putting that out there. And now things feel easy. They don't feel hard.
[00:38:37] It's not like pulling this weight behind me, Oh, I gotta do this online course. And, and I love teaching. Um, but I would rather, you know, maybe do a hybrid, um, you know, maybe do it in person. That's what, you know, that that's more my thing. And rather than this pre-recorded thing, and I'm putting it out there only.
[00:38:57] To get, you know, people to follow me so that I can have that following from my book. You know, this is,
[00:39:04] it was all about the book in the first
[00:39:05] place. Yeah. No matter what, at the end, if I write a book and nobody reads it, it's okay. Like I feel fulfilled now, you know, regardless. Yeah.
[00:39:15] That's awesome. I love that.
[00:39:16] Thank you for sharing that, because I think that's also very insightful about like the process that most of us go through. We're like doing things because it's the way that other people tell us we should, and then when we finally realize like, Oh, I can just do it my own way from the jump and it'll be fine.
[00:39:32] Um, yes. But I also, , , so like you're writing this book now and it's about what you kind of do in your practice. Well, so can you, Yeah. Can you say more about that? Or you, this model
[00:39:45] of your Yeah. So what I do in my practice is I work with that window of tolerance and helping people.
[00:39:53] Get a bigger window of tolerance so that no matter what happens in their life, they're able to handle it better and more easily and to kind of heal any past trauma. You know, people, I, a lot, most people I see, they have done therapy before, oftentimes for decades. And I, my referrals are largely from other therapists who say, We've done all we can.
[00:40:17] We've gone to this point. They need somatic work. So that's what I do. So the book is about just my observations. If you don't have access to someone like me or something like this or whatever, what can you do on your own to heal yourself? Wow. And this idea comes from the, the, you know, the, the thing is somato, emotional endurance.
[00:40:40] So for me, um, because of all the trauma that I've had that I actually haven't talked about, um, in my life, um, I thought you. I endured this life was suffering in the Buddhist concept and I endured it. Mm-hmm. . And there are times in life when it's not happy and it's not joyful and you must endure. So how do you use your, you know, your body, your, So, your somato, your, your soma.
[00:41:12] To make yourself strong enough psychologically and emotionally to get through those times. So to me, everything is about enduring, and when you have and you grow your window of tolerance, you can endure more easily. So what are the things we need to do to be able to endure the suffering in life? And that's what this is.
[00:41:34] So the first thing is self-regulation. And then once you're self-regulated, then you need to get your finances in order, because valid finances are survival. And if you don't have some sort of minimal stability in that, you're gonna feel dysregulated. You're not gonna feel right, because it becomes everything, right?
[00:41:56] It becomes that life becomes. You know, that song, Bittersweet Symphony. Like how do I, you know, how do I do this? So then once you have that, then creativity, and if you listen, um, there's seven things and they might align with the chakras, . Okay. Wow. And nice. And, um, yeah, so we, I think that, Creativity really, you know, enlivens us and brings joy and brings and helps us understand who we are as individuals and as communities.
[00:42:34] And then the next thing is correcting faulty cognitions. So this is, you know, you can use any kind of be, you know, cognitive work or therapy here. Philosophy. I think as a whole, our society is really far from, uh, philosophy and understanding. You know, we're not a society that studies this anymore. Right. Um, so going back and maybe having a basic understanding of philosophy, of logic, because if, you know, if you're someone who has trauma, Your brain lies to you and you see things, and you read things in ways that are not true.
[00:43:10] So you've got to correct that faulty cognition, right? Mm-hmm. . And so that takes work. And then the next thing is having healthy relationships and connection to your community, right? Again, this is about, you know, us as mammals. We need that, we need that connection. And then also the next one is connection to nature.
[00:43:33] I, you know, because I didn't have, um, the holding environment from my mother that I needed. I, I did from my grandmother. But, um, on a day to day basis with my mother, I turned to nature, Nature held me. Mm-hmm. . Um, and I, and you know, again, that feeling part of that, that, you know, there had to be something bigger than me holding me.
[00:43:57] And for me it was nature. So, Right. Yeah. Um, There's that, that's important. And that also is connected to I'm, I'm also an Echo therapist, so I have training in Ecotherapy for me, honestly. You know, it's that thing of how can we be sane in an insane world? We can all heal ourselves, be optimal functioning, all that sort of stuff.
[00:44:23] But if you know our planet is dying, we have overpopulation, we have pollution, we have all this stuff going on. We're not gonna be able to maintain that because we are nature. Yeah. And so to me, having that basis of I am connected to nature, I am part of nature, we have to have that in order to be psychologically well.
[00:44:49] And so I, you know, we're, we're getting far from that. So that's part of this. And then finally then giving. Because again, you know that that's like the 12th step. Um, and yeah, it's, again, that's another part of that connecting to not only caring about our own families or our own self. We are part of this whole matrix.
[00:45:11] Everything is interconnected and so we do need to understand that as well. And the thing about this is, you know, you start at the bottom with the self-regulation, finances, creativity, and you go up, but then what happens? You start all over again. So it's this all, it's this spiral that's constantly starting over again.
[00:45:30] Because imagine once you, you know, go through all these then. You know, and you give back, you start over and your self-regulation, you're gonna be able to get to a higher level, you know, more self-regulated. Then your finances are gonna go even to a higher level. Your creativity is gonna be a higher level, Your relationships are gonna be even better, and then you go up the spiral again, and then you start over at a higher level and you just keep going up and up in that way.
[00:45:56] I love that. That's what I see happen as, as a way for people to heal and to not get frustrated because, you know, it is like you have to kind of have these baseline things, a starting point, and then once you feel confident in, in that, then you can, then you make things better and, you know, refining your asana, refining your pose.
[00:46:19] Right. It just, it's always changing. It's, it's, you know, that sort of,
[00:46:23] Yeah. I love that. That's awesome. So can you say more about, I think journaling is a pretty big part of that process or,
[00:46:31] Yeah. So I understand that one of the first things, um, that I came up with is something I call somatic writing and um, You know, I, I have background in writing and, um, I'm a psychotherapist.
[00:46:45] So, uh, James Pennebaker in the 1990s, he's a UT professor. Um, I think he's retired now. And he did research studies with UT students and, uh, writing about, um, a stressful event or a traumatic event. And the research was, they wrote 20 minutes a day, four days in a row, and. One of the things was, you know, their immune markers six months later were, were still, you know, they, they base this on, how many times did they go to the, the med center at ut?
[00:47:20] Mm-hmm. . And, and so immune functioning was still higher after six months from doing just that 20 minutes, four days in a row. So there's that. And then, um, there's also, um, you know, I came up with this whole thing about. Whenever you want to heal trauma, you need to, you know, with emotional pieces, looking at how did I feel about it then, and how do I feel about it now?
[00:47:51] Mm. And you're also, you know, when you're, This is a part of Daniel Siegel and interpersonal neurobiology. You're wanting information across the corpus collosal, so you also want facts. So his research was about, People who were like over emotional, um, and couldn't remember facts cuz they were so flooded.
[00:48:12] And then the people who were re you know, repressing things and disassociating and they were only about facts, right? So for your brain to heal, you need both things. You need facts and you need a motion. So when people are journaling and they're just venting and they're just, ha ha, you know, that's okay, but that's not as helpful as weaving in.
[00:48:34] You know, what actually happened with those emotions? So the somatic writing piece is, you know, um, different practices that I've come up with, you know, different journaling prompts, and then I have people just write and journal and then we go back and we kind of code it. Did you, in your journaling, did you write things from an objective perspective during that traumatic event?
[00:48:58] Did you write about how you feel about it now? Did you write about how you felt about it then? And sometimes one of those pieces is missing and so to help the brain heal, we go back and we add that piece of the writing. Does that make sense? Yeah.
[00:49:12] Wow. Yeah. That's cool. Yes. So that's really ama, all of the work you do is really amazing and thank you for sharing that.
[00:49:20] I love, and I love hearing about the research behind it. I was like, that Pena Baker, that sounds familiar. And I think it's because I. A scale in my undergraduate research that he made. Now I can't remember which one. Mm-hmm. , but I was like that name. I was like, he does work in the mind, body arena. Mm-hmm.
[00:49:37] for sure. Mm-hmm. .
[00:49:38] Um, so with your book, how's it going? If folks want to hear about it, find out about it, stay in touch with you, where, where do they.
[00:49:48] So my website is katie adams.com, k a t y adams.com, and I'm still working on the website, but you can go there and you can sign it for my newsletter and, you know, all the updates.
[00:50:00] Um, my Soma Somatic Psychotherapy practice is Serpent Dove Wellness. So you can go to serpent dove wellness.com and find me there. Um, I am on Instagram and TikTok, and it's Katie Adams. Y'all Love it. .
[00:50:17] Yeah. So you're based in Austin now? Yeah, yeah. I'm in Austin. So there's a decent amount of listeners to this podcast in Austin.
[00:50:25] maybe some of them will come check you out. Yeah, Yeah. I mean, I see people from all over, so, yeah.
[00:50:32] Yeah. Well, thanks so much for your time. Are there any last thoughts that you would wanna leave us with? Maybe about your work or just what the point you wanna make to people? Anything like that?
[00:50:43] Yeah. The thing I wanna say is I get.
[00:50:45] People who come to me are really sometimes hopeless because these things can go on for years. You can feel like there's no help. Um, it's tiring, it's exhausting. And I, I just want people to understand that. , you know, we are meant to heal. Our bodies want to heal. We have the ability to heal. It's that we've learned these ways to stop ourselves from feeling into our bodies because we're afraid of what's there.
[00:51:22] Yeah. And our parents maybe we're afraid of that and they didn't teach us how to do that. And so I just wanna offer hope. Don't give up. You know, find ways to become friends with your body and you know, if, even if there's pain in your body and you, there's a reason why we've stayed away from our body to slowly, you know, whenever you're feeling maybe neutral, maybe everything hurts, or it's too scary, I'm gonna have a panic attack if I go into my body.
[00:51:54] Well, I say, Notice that one cell in your elbow. Or that one cell in your ear or that one eyebrow hair that doesn't hold that stuff. And just kind of notice that and start there and start small, and then you can kind of start expanding that. But don't give up hope because we are meant to function and be healthy.
[00:52:21] And Yeah, and I, and I wanna thank you for, for this because you know, yoga is a part of this and, you know, reminding people yoga is this thing that we can all do at home. We have access to it. Yeah. And so I really appreciate you doing this and, and putting this out there. Yeah.
[00:52:41] Well thanks so much. Thanks for sharing your work and I hope folks will stay in touch about your book cuz I'm excited about
[00:52:48] Me too. Thank you.
[00:52:51] Well, that's it folks. That's it for the interview. I hope that was as thought provoking and inspiring to you as it was to me. And I hope you learned something because I certainly did learn a few things through this interview and revisiting it in the editing process. So I'm glad you're here. Check out Katie's work, especially if you are.
[00:53:10] Local to Austin. I know some of you are and, um, definitely get on that newsletter for her book, because I think it's going to be fantastic. And so then also if you want yoga, that is. Highly informed by this framework because that's kind of the work I do as a yoga teacher. That's pretty much what I offer with my membership. It is not open for enrollment right now, but you can get on the wait list at Yogi scopes.com/membership.
[00:53:37] And you can get notified when it reopens in probably January, sometime is when I will reopen it. I might do a little flash open around. Christmas. We'll see. Um, around the solstice, in fact, because we have a pretty cool solstice event coming up as well. That will be. That's my work. That's why I asked so many questions about journaling because the membership is all yoga practices and guided journaling prompts and they follow the astrology. So if you're into astrology, that's helpful. If not.
[00:54:06] Honestly, the reason I do it is because it gives something like a thread that I can follow. So I don't have to come up with what's next all the time. And that's why I do that. I, I enjoy it. I know astrology is not for everybody, but it just gives a thread throughout the year to connect with nature and constantly be revisiting these different parts of ourselves because astrology really encompasses all the parts of ourselves.
[00:54:28] And we do yoga practices and guided journaling. Every single week, we have yoga practices and guided journaling that you can do on your own time. Or you can attend live. Um, And that's there for you. So I would really love if you jump on the wait list, join us there, join us in the winter solstice event, which will be.
[00:54:44] Um, yoga and guided journaling and planning for next year. It'll be a great time. I hope to see you there. You can find information about all of that on my website. Yogi scopes.com/offerings. They're just poke around. Um, yeah. Thanks for being here. If you got something out of this episode, please share it with a friend who you think would enjoy this information.
[00:55:05] Um, like share, subscribe, you know, do the things, let me know in the comments, if you catch it on YouTube, which is the thing now. Uh, your thoughts, your questions. Thanks so much for being here. Please remember to always keep your feet on the ground. You're heading the stars and stay in the light until next time friends.