Trauma can create change that you don’t choose. Conversely, you can choose to heal and create better change. One misconception about working with a trauma coach is that you’re taught to forget the trauma itself, but healing means not letting it control your life anymore.
When you work with a trauma coach, you can learn to focus on what matters and start showing up more in your own life. Chelsea Bartell is a trauma healing coach who helps her patients heal from these emotional wounds. You can learn more about Chelsea and her work here:
About Chelsea and her work:
I am an emotional trauma coach who helps complex trauma survivors reclaim their power, joy, and freedom to safely be all of who they are. I help my clients heal through an understanding of the nervous system through the lens of Polyvagal Theory and how it encoded their traumatic past. If we do not process the activation and stress stored in the nervous system, we will stay stuck in trauma loops & easily triggered by our past, which is why we begin repatterning. Unlearning survival mode, perfectionism, anxiety, fear, lack, overwhelm, shame, aches, pains, posture, and more. As they regain control of their nervous system, I help them process big emotions and subconscious blocks with a blend of Internal Family Systems Work and Somatic Experiencing.
I’m a CPTSD survivor, and in my search for healing, peace, and truth, I discovered that I had a beautiful gift of holding space for others. I discovered I had a unique way of delivering my lessons and experiences to the world, so I started by transmuting my pain through poetry. This really opened the door to see that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. That it is possible to feel joy, peace, ease, and freedom on the other side of pain. So I became a coach to facilitate this change because I want a world full of fully expressed people. A world is full of authenticity and self-expression, and sensitivity. A world is full of regulated, safe, emotionally mature people. A world is full of people who feel fully alive and present in their everyday lives.
My favorite part of this work by far is seeing the aliveness, joy, presence, calm, safety, and true self-return. As I work with each of my clients, we slowly peel back survival mechanisms and trauma responses, and coping skills to reveal this truth, unique, brave, and unforgettable soul that had been there all along.
What to expect in trauma coaching:
The way I practice trauma coaching is through an understanding of the nervous system. As I mentioned before, this is because our nervous system is the operating system into which the trauma is encoded. The way I work with clients is in a 12-week container. In this container, we will go through the nervous system education. Understand how and why our body operates and stores experiences the way it does. Then we move into nervous system repatterning. This is when we use specific neuroscience-based tools to give the traumatized nervous system a new experience. Experiences lead to new beliefs. In this phase, I will create a custom nervous system map of one’s individual triggers, behaviors, coping mechanisms, and thought patterns so that one can clearly identify when stuck in a particular state (fight, flight, freeze, fawn).
Finally, we close the 12 weeks with somatic and IFS processing. This looks like taking a sensation in the body and personifying it. Making it separate from the self so that we can understand its message, emotions, pain, and memories. Then we work to release it— usually through tears, shaking, and stretching. Afterward, there is a new feeling of lightness, calm, ease, and peace. The once traumatic memory that was stuck in the nervous system and survival brain is finally transmuted and released, opening a person up to choice. The choice is something we likely haven’t experienced since before the traumatic events.
My clients get the opportunity to choose what they want to feel, experience, release, adopt, and believe about themselves and the world. Unconscious survival patterns no longer drive them. They’re truly free to be all of themselves.
How can it help:
This is a big question to answer, so I will do my best to capture all that trauma healing can do. Healing from trauma expands our capacity to be present in our lives, to truly feel alive in the way that all of you get to be online safely. This feels like when you get caught in the rain, throw your head back, and a warm sense of joy wash over you. Or when you finish your day watching the sunset, the fading warmth of the sun and bright vivid colors in the sky make you feel at home. Or when you dance around your kitchen because your body and heart are excited and passionate.
Presence is the ability to feel alive in all of our senses— food tastes better, music sounds richer, laughter feels more wholesome, and your body feels light and free. When you move through the world from a place of presence, you create a life you enjoy living. Life is full of connection, ease, love, and bliss. There isn’t an area of your life that goes untouched— your relationships, your career, your parenting, your mood, your physical health, your connection to yourself, your creativity, your money. It’s all impacted by healing our trauma.
Healing trauma also expands our resilience. Our ability to recover from stress, adversity, and hardship. Things we will never go without experiencing in this life, so we may as well improve our ability to recover from them. We can bounce back from challenges so much quicker and with so much more ease because our nervous systems aren’t overwhelmed or activated by the past any longer. We have more clarity, inner trust, and grace with ourselves.
I will never stop teaching the nervous system. This brings so much clarity to my work. A person who’s been suffering from anxiety, ADHD, depression, intrusive thoughts, perfectionism, procrastination, and so on feels so much shame for the way they behave.
They feel so stuck and incapable of living a better life, but when I explain to them that it’s not them, their nervous system putting forth a very intelligent response to pain, the shame melts away. Years of believing they are stupid, incapable, damaged, alone, and unworthy finally get revealed as a perfectly normal response to trauma and nothing inherently wrong with them. It’s beautiful to see that transformation alone.
What it’s like from the patient’s point of view:
I have plenty of video testimonials available on my YouTube channel (linked above and below), but here are a few powerful accounts of working with me.
“Chelsea is literally a hero. I admire her outgoing personality, and I believe that’s what caught my attention. “That’s what I want to be like,” I said to myself. “I want to be that free to express myself and just not care.” From the first call, I just knew this girl had a special ‘superpower.’ She can actually reach the broken souls of our coming generations. She understands, she knows, and she cares. There is something different that she can provide me with from the rest. One thing I feel is a strong suit of Chelsea’s is listening to and studying her clients; she knows me more than I know myself. Plus, knowing she’s only one call away when I feel like I’m off track is comforting. Today, I can see myself transforming into my own version of myself because of her- a version of myself I was never able to experience due to a lack of resources inside/outside my home. So I began to do what I could survive, which involves complex behavioral patterns that I have learned over the first 20 years of my life. Chelsea is helping me undo what I thought was impossible. I can’t thank her enough.”
“ I have been working with Chelsea for a little over three months now, and I could not be happier! Not only do I see such cool changes in myself… my behaviors, my attitude, and how I approach different things in my life. But I am actually enjoying the journey! Chelsea has taken me on a ride through finding myself, healing my past trauma, and preparing me for a better future. I struggle a lot with overthinking, anxiety, depression, people-pleasing, and self-hatred. Chelsea has been walking me through each step gracefully and taking all the time I need to get to where I need to be. I have a very hard exterior regarding my emotions; I am learning HOW to feel again. I remember the first call I had… I could not even tell where I could feel anything in my body. My nervous system has been so numb and shut down it wouldn’t allow me to tap into it. Chelsea’s process has really opened a new avenue of healing and dealing with my emotions. I genuinely have a whole new level of self-love and appreciation of my emotions and feelings! I can’t wait to see where the rest of this journey takes me :)”
What if you’re skeptical?
I have an experience that can’t be learned in a textbook, lecture, or research paper. I have lived experience, and it makes me so gifted at understanding and relating to other trauma survivors. Plus, it makes me SO perceptive at spotting the pitfalls where I got stuck in my journey, and I can not only guide away from those, but I can also empower & encourage as a coach. I can provide the clarity, redirects, and reassurance I know I need while on my journey. I will say not all coaches are created equal but I ensure that I am continually increasing my education on the latest trauma research studies and practical techniques. The world needs this work, and I feel so fortunate to have such a deep fascination, passion, and talent for facilitating it.
Chelsea’s well-being tips:
Take care of your gut health!! Because of the gut-brain axis, inflammation in the gut can be linked to anxiety and depression. Approximately 95% of serotonin, the essential neurotransmitter in regulating mood, is produced in the gut. Serotonin also regulates cortisol (the stress hormone) levels. When in check, we can feel much calmer, more focused, and happier. Take care of your gut!
Stop doing it alone. You are an adult with resources, freedom, power, and choice you likely didn’t have when you were younger. Find coaches, therapies, and modalities that can help you. And don’t deny yourself because of the cost— how much is your joy worth? What price would you put on your self-expression? Or reclaiming your voice? Or feeling safe in your body? I’m sure that’s priceless to you, so pay whatever you got to get to that version of yourself. You don’t have the limits and constraints you think you do.
Books: Homecoming by Thema Bryant
Waking The Tiger by Peter Levine
It Didn’t Start With You by Mark Wolynn
Traumatized by Kati Morton
Podcasts: Trauma Rewired (AMAZING podcast!)
I have a podcast called Start Thriving
YouTube: Crappy Childhood Fairy: CPTSD
Thais Gibson: Attachment Styles & Relationships
Healing from trauma is like letting peace and joy rain down on you. It looks like a new way of life, one where you become more present in it. Chelsea Bartell is helping her patient’s heal from trauma through time, patience, and practice.
You can learn more about Chelsea and her work here:
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