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ESD as a Tool for Trauma Healing

May 8, 2019

"Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. (They) may live in a body that is always on guard. In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-

awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past."


- Bessel van der Kolk, author The Body Keeps the Score


It’s no secret that ESD has been shown to increase self-confidence/self-efficacy, perceived control, and assertiveness. ESD does not restrict women’s behavior, and reduces self-blame and increases the likelihood of disclosure.


All of these factors, combined with increased physical competence, lead to healing.


As self-defense instructors, we often weave healing elements into our classes naturally. But it’s important to think about how we can do so in a more intentional way.


Clara Porter MSW, director of Prevention. Action. Change. is here to explain how and why.


Q. What are the key elements of ESD training that specifically lead to healing?