Welcome!

With 30 years of experience in mental health as a body-oriented therapist, I enjoy creating a safe environment for explorations that lead to your own solutions. The approach I have developed taps into your existing resources.

About me

After 18 years as a licensed psychotherapist in the US I moved to Switzerland 13 years ago.  The driving force in my work is to help others find or re- find ease and comfort in their being.  My own journey of healing after a traumatic accident 40 years ago had me searching for a therapist who had both psychological and body work skills.  As these professionals are difficult to find, studying both somatic and cognitive approaches to help others re-establish their equilibrium has been my focus. I work in English and French.

My professional training

My personal interests are dance, sports, meditation, nature experiences as well as reading, bee keeping and family.

The approach

All healing happens in the present.

How do you return to the present moment?

All activities that quiet or settle the mind enable us to be more present to the root sensations and emotions that are asking for our attention.

A typical session

In your first session we will discuss what motivates you to seek assistance and what you hope to gain from this journey.  At the start of each session we start by checking in.  Of primary importance is to identify what are your internal resources and the exceptions to the problem you are addressing.

Most sessions will include explorations that build your power of self-observation without judgement thus increasing your access to your felt sense.*  I work with you sitting, standing and or laying down, still and in movement, frequently but not always making contact through touch with your permission.  By following the body’s narrative, we will, at a respectful pace, locate what is essential and allow it to express what has been obscured and or complete what has been interrupted.

Through these explorations, you will find your internal physical base of support.  From here you will be well positioned to engage sensations, emotions and past events that have been disruptive and find resolution.  I act as a guide collaboratively setting the pace, highlighting resources and assisting in the discharge of stress stored in your body, mind and spirit.

My proposition is to accompany you using tools that help you access your innate wisdom and resources. This process is very attentive to the protective mechanisms of your nervous systems (**Porges) and respectfully acknowledges the ways you have managed up until now.

With patience and respect this process brings clarity and new perspectives.  My clients repeatedly report feeling lighter and able to move forward with a greater capacity of personal agency.

*Eugene Gendlin; “Felt sense is a special kind of internal bodily awareness… it is not an emotion nor a mental experience.  At first it is unclear, fuzzy and with attention, focusing, it forms. It is a body sense of meaning, a bodily feeling.”

**Stephen Porges, Polyvagal Theory.

Befriending your body

If you enjoy being in your body then responding to its needs is easier, if not always simple.  Learning to listen to our body can be complex if we are not on friendly terms.  Its tempting to do as our society encourages and ignore all communication from our body or fall into the role of victim handing over all responsibility to others.  The first step is to identify what gives your body pleasure.  From here we can make the process of befriending your body progressively safer and indeed enjoyable!

Our body has a story to tell.  I specialise in collaboratively creating a safe environment for this story to emerge.  Often our bodies narrative (somatic N) is not the same as our verbal narrative (cognitive N).  Many psychological approaches give preference to the verbal narrative that, albeit important, can obscure the wisdom that the body has to contribute.  The element of therapeutic touch can play a powerful role in helping our somatic story to unfold.

When all our narratives can freely cross pollinate, new perspectives are revealed giving our life new meaning.  Are you able to be kind and indeed loving to your body?  Interested in learning how to more often?

Shock / Trauma

When traumatic events (accidents, abuse, a fall, violence from strangers or family, a medical procedure, etc) are not resolved we can be triggered by reminders of the trauma in our present environment.  These reminders / triggers can be everyday objects, social exchanges or events that reactivate us to varying degrees.

A person who is traumatised may have a range of experiences including irritability, general anxiety, panic attacks, rage, depression, disassociation and sleep problems. With any luck we can cope by developing  protective strategies.  These strategies can be costly and may work well for a time however we often underestimate the low level of stress brewing in the background.  We become so habituated to this « manageable » level of stress that it may take a crisis to realise our stress has been imperceptibly rising out of control.  With a significant stress load a trigger can suddenly result in a cascade of stress hormones sending false messages that today is as threatening as the original traumatic time.  Even with our best efforts, this survival physiology will take its toll on our body, mind and spirit.

”Practitioners titrate the release of bound trauma energetics and patterns to optimise client physiologic function, orientation and resilience (Levine) which reflects in a greater capacity for personal agency, appropriate relationship, ease and joy.” Sonia Gomez

For trauma work I rely primarily on Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing and  Sonia Gomez’s SOMA Embodiment underpinned by Steven Porges’ Polyvagal Theory.

Performance Enhancement

Athletes, dancers, musicians and other performers are particularly sensitive to shifts in their equilibrium that effects their ability to communicate or perform.  Your specific resources and strengths are the point of departure for the explorations to refind or re-enforce your center and focus.  I help you build on your existing body awareness thus augmenting your base of support to build more physical tonicity which leads to stronger emotional tonicity.

Anxiety, Depression & Digestion

Rather than focusing on “the problem” the solution focused approach has us explore the exceptions to the problem.  Without fail we will find your hidden resources that will lead to new options.

Anxiety, depression and digestive problems often have their roots partially or entirely in an unresolved  trauma.  The protective defence mechanism that you adopted when faced with the trauma may have been very effective at that time but now no longer serves you.  To cope with life’s challenges, we may try to control a maximum of elements becoming hyper-alert or alternately we collapse into resignation and defeat.  Swinging between these two poles is also common.  Very often digestive problems are directly linked with unresolved trauma.

By exploring the body narrative one can identify these patterns, evaluate what is still useful and discover new choices that leave room for joy and serenity.  This is a process of renegociation that requires cooperation between your body and mind with both the somatic and cognitive narratives.  A strong requirement is respect for how you have managed up till now.

Pain, Sleep

Possibly you have a condition that is causing you pain or interrupting your sleep.  If so, this can be difficult to manage.  My approach helps you to make peace with what you cannot control so you can put your attention on what you can control or influence. With chronic pain and or disturbed sleep our nerves become frayed.  Given such conditions it is not uncommon to become isolated or turn to coping strategies that don’t serve us in the long run.

Through a series of explorations and breath work you learn to pause and become more curious about what gives relief.  My clients will often discover habits or beliefs that are unwittingly keeping states of unrest in place. Learning to observe your sensations and accompanying patterns of behaviour, without judgement, can lead to new experiences of relief.

Who can benefit

Anyone between the ages of 17 and 97 who is interested in having more ease, comfort and pleasure in their being.

The approach I take can be effective for a wide range of needs and is compatible with other forms of therapy.  Whether you are experiencing anxiety, sleep or digestive problems, high stress, chronic pain, depression or have had your life interrupted by a traumatic event this approach can help you find your balance and move forward.

Athletes, dancers, musicians and other performers who use their body to communicate or to reach a goal find this work enriching as it helps release obstacles held in the body / mind.  As well I have particularly enjoyed working with young people making their way into adulthood and the LGBT community.

Testimonials

Cathleen Cain embodies the combined gifts of a clear mind and an open heart.  For at least 50 years I have had severe post-traumatic stress and depression.  I have tried many modes of healing.  Cathleen with her uncommon presence, intelligence and care has been the most helpful.

Eric KolvigResident teacher of Vipassana

This method helped me focus in the present moment and face my fears.  As a result, I passed my Swiss brevet exam for ski instructors!

NorikoSwiss ski instructor

Cathleen voit la personne dans sa globalité et ne la résume pas à sa maladie ou son handicap.  Elle les aide à voir les choses d’une manière nouvelle, toujours avec bienveillance, et propose des outils concrets pour se reconnecter à son corps.

AnonymeJeune femme souffrant de troubles alimentaires, Suisse

Les sensations impalpables deviennent des soulagements faisant place à des compréhensions. Suivies de la sensation que de nouveaux espaces de légèreté et de liberté s’ouvrent en moi.

BrigitaDancer

Blog

15 goals
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Get in touch

Please contact me for any questions, to make a first appointment or for my session fee.

Contact:

+41 79 632 79 97
ccain@bodypsy.ch

Address

Chaussée de la
Guinguette 5,
1800 Vevey