Taylor Houchens Blog

Therapies I have used that have helped me

The very first therapeutic approach I got trained in was Somatic Experiencing. This is a modality that is based off the threat response (or the fight or flight response). It theorizes that when we do not successfully find safety after experiencing something life threating, no matter how big or small, that fight or flight energy stays stuck inside our nervous system, waiting for completion.

This bound energy can create a variety of issues inside of us ranging from anxiety, depression, addiction, hypervigilance, insomnia, panic attacks, and more. Somatic Experiencing helps the client slow down, go inwards, find the stuck fight or flight energy, and release it, allowing the bound energy to finally complete itself. This brings about a desired levity, catharsis, and a spaciousness inside the client.

Somatic Experiencing (SE) was helpful for me to learn how to set boundaries in my life. Early in my healing journey, I worked with an SE therapist that helped me understand my passivity and the panicked flight energy I feel whenever I was faced with confrontation. She directed me to slow down, breathe, and ask the panicked energy what it wanted to do. As I moved towards the anxiety and got curious about it, I sensed that it wanted to say, “Stop!” I told her this and she invited me to say it. A rush of fear came over me as I geared up for it. I took a deep breath, tensed my muscles, and yelled, “STOP!” As soon as I did, a wave of energy rushed through me and a sense of stability, calm, and safety came about me. I felt much more comfortable and confident in my own skin after that. I left the therapist’s office with my head a little higher and chest a little wider that day.

Another technique I use in my practice is EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This is a therapeutic approach that helps processed traumatic material in the brain and body by using bilateral stimulation while simultaneously bringing up a traumatic memory from the past. The first time I tried EMDR I reprocessed a memory of my father spanking me when I was 8-years-old. I didn’t plan on processing that memory, that’s just where my psyche took me during the process. It took me back to the moment he bent me over his knee and spanked my bare butt with his hands, having me re-experience the betrayal I felt in that moment. As I was deep in the throws of the memory, my mind slowly began to shift towards a different perspective. I began to see that my father wasn’t actually trying to hurt me in that moment. He was just disciplining me the best he knew how to, and this was his attempt of trying to teach me a valuable lesson, which ultimately stemmed from place of love inside him. I couldn’t understand this as an 8-year-old, but EMDR helped me reprocess and see the memory from for what it actually was. I forgave my father in that moment and felt less ashamed of myself as well after that.

Serving the Following Asheville, NC Communities:

  • Jupiter
  • Barnardsville
  • Weaverville
  • Leicester
  • Woodfin
  • Black Mountain
  • Ridgecrest
  • Montreat
  • Fairview
  • Biltmore Forest
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  • Fletcher
  • Hlls River
  • Hendersonville
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  • Enka Village
  • Candler
  • Beaverdam
  • Canton
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Taylor Houchens, M.S., LPC

191 East Chestnut Street
Asheville, NC  28804