TPP 294: Zach Morris Talks About Somatic Therapy for Processing Trauma in Differently Wired Kids
My guest today is Zach Morris, a semi-frequent guest of this show. I always love my conversations with Zach, so I was so happy to bring him back to talk about somatic therapy, and how this modality can be especially powerful in supporting differently wired kids struggling with anxiety and depression and recovering from both big and little T trauma. In our conversation, we get into the Polyvagal Theory, what somatic therapy is, what it looks like in practice with kids, the underlying power of somatic healing, and how it can help kids develop resilience, even in the face of stressful situations.
Zach Morris is a thought leader in education. He is committed to helping people increase compassion, collaboration, and learning. Zach supports individuals, families, and organizations who aim to develop a greater sense of safety and empowerment in themselves, in their relationships, and in their communities.
Gently guiding humans through the resistance they encounter is at the core of Zach’s work. He is inspired by the science of how people learn and change, and he aims to translate this to help individuals and communities improve awareness, communication, and structural support. Zach has 10+ years experience in the classroom, ranging from inner-city public school to rural therapeutic boarding school, and from non-traditional private school to individual co-op homeschool. Zach now serves as a learning consultant and communication coach, and he is most at home in the mountains of Montana, where he lives and works.
Things you’ll learn from this episode
- What Zach has been seeing among neurodivergent kids in response to the disruption of the past few years
- What the Polyvagal Theory is and how the sympathetic system works when our flight, freeze, fight, or fawn response is activated
- What “little t” traumas are and these may reflect the experience of many neurodivergent kids
- What somatic therapy is and how it helps kids foster and develop resilience around stressful situations
- Examples of what “discharging” looks like
- How we can help our kids begin connecting the dots between their feelings and their actions
- Why there is a relationship between neurodivergence and trauma, and how profound sensitive experiences makes one more open to somatic therapy
Resources mentioned for somatic therapy & kids
- Zach Morris’ education consulting and family support home, Alive at Learn
- The Center for Nonviolent Communication (Marshall Rosenberg’s Global Organization)
- Educator Zach Morris on Supporting our Kids in Transforming Their World View (podcast episode)
- Nonviolent Communication, Whole-Person Learning, and Neurodiverse Students (podcast episode)
- Peter Levine
- Mona Delahooke on the Power of Brain-Body Parenting (Tilt Parenting Podcast)
- Dr. Ann-Louise Lockhart on Breaking Generational Cycles (Tilt Parenting Podcast)