“I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 12 years of experience working with children, adolescents and adults struggling with a history of sexual abuse/assault, domestic violence and PTSD. While working with survivors of abuse, my interest in the mind-body connection was reinforced and led me toward utilizing yoga as an adjunctive practice toward healing. I feel fortunate to bridge my personal passion for all things yoga with my professional endeavors. I earned my Masters of Social Work (MSW) from University of Maryland, Baltimore and a Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) from Hood College.”
About Jody Barnes
I am a Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher and trained with Zabie Yamasaki, founder of Transcending Sexual Violence through Yoga. Additionally, I am certified in mini yogis yoga for kids, a graduate of Cloud Nine Yoga School and a RYT-200. I hope to assist others in finding a safe space to connect and heal. My intention is to create a practice that empowers personal greatness, promotes creative healing and inspires playfulness through a journey of exploration.
My experience working with survivors includes: crisis support, SAFE accompaniments, advocacy, and individual/ group therapy. I have worked at a domestic violence/sexual assault agency, residential treatment facilities, post-adoption agency and private practice. I have provided individual and group trauma-informed yoga classes in Orange and Los Angeles Counties.
My Interest in Working with Survivors
My interest in yoga as a healing modality was sparked during a training with Bessel van der Kolk around 2007. He spoke of emerging research and that yoga was as effective as CBT in treating some symptoms of PTSD. The seed was planted that day and I have crafted my professional endeavors to offer holistic healing to survivors. I believe in the healing process. I believe that each survivor has unique gifts that are too often overlooked, misguided, forgotten, and minimized. I believe that with the burden and pain associated with trauma also come indestructible and powerful internal resources and resiliencies. I think about all the people who have been sexually assaulted and abused and how this has such a rippling and crippling effect not only on the individual but for families, our communities and the world. I often think to myself, what would the world be like if people truly embodied their own worth? I choose to work with survivors because collectively we need more empowered people creating a life out of their own strengths, hope and optimism.
My Understanding of Trauma-Informed Care
To me, trauma-informed care means that a provider is knowledgeable about the effects of trauma and mindful of how to provide services to people with a history of traumatic experiences without re-traumatizing. Trauma-informed care takes into account the need to re-establish safety, boundaries, and self-care as the trauma is not an experience that only lives in the minds of the survivors but in the body, too. Trauma-informed care utilizes an array of mind-body modalities to help a survivor gain mastery over their somatic experiences, intrusive recall, and counter-productive coping strategies.
When providing psychotherapy, I incorporate a holistic model of healing. Together, with the client we explore the impact of the trauma on the whole person; physically, emotionally, energetically, socially, spiritually and beyond. The delivery of services are strength-based, eclectic and personalized which include an exploration of early attachments, cognitive behavioral therapy, client empowerment, mindfulness, and a variety of expressive art interventions. During trauma-informed yoga, I strive to create a safe environment with invitational language that encourages the survivor to exert choices about their movement and breath.
How Psychotherapy and Yoga Holistically Address the Impacts of Sexual Violence
From the initial assessment and throughout treatment, I ask clients to evaluate their biological functioning such as eating and sleeping habits, need for movement, and explore a variety of other somatic complaints or symptomology like depression and anxiety. I encourage survivors to take an inventory of the different life areas that may be thriving and others that may need attention. I believe that treatment is a collaborative process. Some examples of the interventions utilized are teaching clients grounding techniques to help reduce intrusive recall and dissociation, mindfulness to allow for greater tolerance of emotions, as well as encouraging the client to explore healthy boundaries and support networks to help create a safer healing process.
Just as every traumatic experience is different so are the individual needs of the survivor. I believe that working collaboratively and supporting the survivor where they are in their healing process can allow them to begin to feel empowered to make small choices about well-being and healing. Special considerations to time of day, location of services, sights/sounds/smells in the therapeutic environment are some examples of how I can modify services.
I offer a limited number of sliding-scale spots.