TCTSY: empirically validated, adjunctive clinical treatment for complex trauma or chronic, treatment- resistant PTSD


TC-TSY helps individuals with complex or chronic, treatment resistant PTSD re- connect with their bodies through the practice of trauma- informed yoga.

In April 2017 I completed my training and was certified as a Trauma Center- Trauma Sensitive Yoga Facilitator. I am very thankful to the amazing work the Trauma Center in Boston is doing and to have been able to learn the well studied and empirically validated techniques of TC-TSY. TC-TSY offers trauma survivors an empirically validated treatment method, which includes the body. Including the body in treatment of trauma can, as research shows, strongly support the trauma survivor in the healing process.

TC-TSY has its roots in yoga with foundations in trauma theory, neuroscience, and attachment theory. It was developed by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, a leading clinician in trauma, and David Emerson, a dedicated yoga teacher from Boston. Over the past 15 years it has ben researched and adjusted and is now an empirically validated adjunctive treatment listed on the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP) with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the United States.

In TC-TSY’s participants are invited to engage in different physical forms and movements based on hatha yoga. The practice is modified to reinforce trauma survivor’s personal agency, positive relationship to the body and body ownership, and empowerment.

"No intervention that takes power away from the survivor can possibly foster her recovery, no matter how much it appears to be in her immediate best interest."- Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery

The practitioner is invited to make choices and explore physical sensations within the practice of yoga. It is an invitational practice, which empowers the practitioner to have complete control over his practice. Unlike most other yoga classes there are no physical adjustments. The practice offers an opportunity for the participants to be in charge of their own body and form based on a felt sense of their own.

The facilitator invites the practitioner to practice physical forms and movements. Rather than focusing on the external appearance of the form the emphasis is on the internal experience. The practitioner makes his own choices based on their felt sense of the body. This allows the participant to restore the mind body connection and sense of agency, which is often compromised in survivors of trauma.

TC-TSY can be practiced in a group format or in the form of private classes. It is suitable for all ages. No prior yoga practice or level of fitness is required.

If you are interested in practicing TC-TSY with me or are a psychotherapist who is interested in TC-TSY for their clients you are welcome to contact me via e-mail or phone.


TC-TSY Research


Effectiveness of an Extended Yoga Treatment for Women with Chronic PTSD

Trauma Sensitive Yoga as a Complimentary Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Qualitative Descriptive Analysis

Claiming Peaceful Embodiment Through Yoga in the Aftermath of Trauma

Yoga for Adult Women with Chronic PTSD: A Long-term Follow-up Study

Alison Rhodes' dissertation on TCTSY

Jennifer West's dissertation on TCTSY

Yoga as an Adjunctive Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial 

Trauma-sensitive yoga as an adjunct mental health treatment in group therapy for survivors of domestic violence: A feasibility study 




Trauma Sensitive Yoga in Therapy: Bringing the body into treatment by David Emerson 

Overcoming Trauma through Yoga by David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper

Mindfulness Oriented Interventions for Trauma (Edited volume w/ a chapter by David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper)

Yoga for Eating Disorders (Edited volume with a chapter by David Emerson)

Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk




TCTSY to be used in opioid addiction treatment

How Yoga Helps Survivors of Trauma

May/June 2017 issue of Social Work Today

Federal report on treating trauma in youth featuring TCTSY

November/December 2014 issue of Social Work Today

​TCTSY in practice

Letter to the Editor, November 2015, Boston Globe

Application of Yoga in Residential Treatment of Traumatized Youth

Interview: Yoga Teachers as Part of a Clinical Team 


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