Everything you need to know about Trauma, Stress and Anxiety.

For a full understanding of the role the Vagus Nerve plays in health, relaxation and trauma please click HERE to find out more.

In order to create a safe holding space and to work effectively with clients with a trauma past, we highly recommend The mindful therapist series, please click HERE to find out more.


The ability to support clients who present with trauma, stress and anxiety is an important part of any therapist's work, this in depth, yet accessible series is a must for those who wish to take their practice deeper.

This Trauma Series explores the many ways trauma & stress may be held and expressed in the body resulting in symptoms that clients frequently present with, for example chronic pain, fatigue, sleep issues, migraine, headache, digestive issues. Unresolved trauma underlying these chronic symptoms needs to be addressed in order for pathology to truly resolve.

We will look at the ways humans respond to perceived threat and overwhelm (stress and trauma).  This will include looking at the Polyvagal theory and its application in clinical practice.

An understanding of this will enable us to meet dysregulated states in ourselves and our clients. For improved clinical results and a deep understanding of trauma, this series is a must.

Trauma sessions


Tanya Desfontaines; BSc (Hons) MCSP SRP RCST BCST
has been a bodyworker for over 30 years, beginning as an NHS physiotherapist and exploring many avenues of holistic health & well-being before retraining as a biodynamic craniosacral therapist in 2007. She is a supervisor and teacher of BCST in the UK and internationally, most recently holding the prestigious position of senior tutor and course coordinator on the foundation training at Karuna Institute, Devon. She lives with her family in Dartington, South Devon, where she maintains a lively private practice. We feel privileged to be collaborating with her on this brilliant Trauma series.


1.    Overview of trauma, stress and anxiety and their manifestation in the body, causing symptoms.
Finding health in the system through the felt sense.
2.   Explore the Polyvagal theory, and its significance in perceived threat and safety.
Understand our fight/ flight and freeze responses & how we, as mammals, evolved as social beings; we are relationship seeking & need human interactions for health. Explore how we co-regulate in response to others via our social engagement system.
3.    Neck tension, the orienting response and hypervigilance.
Neck tension is endemic; some clients have heightened vigilance & startle responses that can interfere with sleep and the ability to relax. This can cycle within the nervous system, creating sensitisation and producing chronic pathologies. Explore the physiology behind this patterning and how to support change.
4.    Recognise and down-regulate states of hyper-arousal (Fight or Flight).
What changes do we witness in the physiology and felt sense of our clients and how can we support them to resolve these states?
5.    Recognise and engage with hypo-arousal states (Freeze / dissociation).
What changes do we witness in the physiology and felt sense of our clients and how can we support them to resolve these states?
6.    Working with the jaw, face, throat and voice.
We will look at particular issues that are held in these clinically rich areas, giving therapists confidence to use their voice to facilitate trauma resolution – here we will directly work with the social engagement system and verbal skills.

Online workshop - Trauma series

  • Dates:

    1. Wednesday 28th April 2021
    2. Wednesday 12th May 2021
    3. Wednesday 26th May 2021
    4. Wednesday 9th June 2021
    5. Wednesday 23rd June 2021
    6. Wednesday 7th July 2021

  • Time:

    7pm - 8:30pm

  • Tutor:

    Tanya Desfontaines

  • Fee:

    £25 for an individual session

    Book all 6 for £125 (saving £25)

    These modules can be taken as stand alone, however for a full, effective  understanding of trauma, we highly recommend you take all 6 modules 


How these manifest in the body; how to support our clients.

In these extraordinary times, my sense is that there is stress permeating through our towns, cities and countryside, there seems to be a subtle undercurrent of stress which I have not witnessed before. I truly feel, never before has our work been so important or in demand. Understanding how to support our most anxious or overwhelmed clients is a gift.

In this seminar we will begin to explore the difference between stress, anxiety and overwhelm. We will look at the different types of stress from the physical to psycho-social. Understand that stress is both psychological and physiological response to a stressor - whether real or perceived.

We will look at how stress actually affects us differently depending on past experience - we will explore a healthy nervous system and how we can either get stuck on "ON" in a hyper aroused state or stuck on "OFF" a dissociated state. I will teach you how to recognise these states in a clinical setting and teach you how you can support your clients, with their physical, emotional and mental health through times of stress, anxiety and overwhelm. I will explore fantastic techniques to encourage a dropping down into a parasympathetic state.


Online Workshop - recording available

  • Date:

    This workshop has already taken place. If you would like to access the recording, 'Book Now' & details will be emailed to you.

    This recording will be available to you for 5 days from receiving the email, which will be emailed to you within 24 hours of booking. 

  • Time:

    2 hours

  • Fee: