Read below where I address some of the most frequently asked questions about SmartBody SmartMind
There are ten ‘Labs,’ which are the weekly course modules. Each one of these Labs has its own video introduction to walk you through it, and, on average, four lessons, (some weeks have one less or one more). These lessons will either be Neurosensory Audio exercises (this forms the bulk of the content), Video Trainings, Interviews, or written educational content. Each Lab also has its own FAQ section, and there are also weekly training calls that go with almost every Lab. There are also a whole bunch of extras that get rolled out over the course of the program, everything from book recommendations to original music composed by my husband, Seth Lyon, to support your education, personal process, and integration. There are also Live Q&A&Calls, we call them ‘Office Hours,’ and Live Facebook Q&A&chats every week, except the first week, so, you will have two or three opportunities every week to ask questions of me and Seth over video chat, and you will also have access to the private Facebook Group, staffed by my team of Somatic Trauma Healing experts. Another element are the Live Movement Lessons taught by Elia Mrak, my co-teacher for the Up & D&wn Workshops. Finally, there are three extra weeks – one Orientation week to help you get settled into the program and the Facebook group before the course material starts, and two weeks interspersed in the course for rest and integration, so the total length of the program, including the Orientation Week, is 13 weeks.
The Neurosensory Audio Lessons vary greatly in terms of the ground they cover, but they all share some common themes. All of them are designed to help you get into your body and nervous system in a gentle, often profoundly different, kind of way. They all encourage development of both attention and intention – two of the most powerful tools we have for working with our system. And they are sequenced in such a way that they all build on each other, to support the greatest possible growth and change. They will support you in exploring such things as the Body-Mind-Environment-Connection, various bodily systems, such as the joints, and what we call ‘diaphragms,’ as well as helping you get in touch with and express things that may be hiding in your system, like anger, grief, and other common emotions associated with unresolved trauma. That only scratches the surface though – there is a LOT in these exercises. The Neurosensory Exercises vary in length from eight to 45 minutes.
Yes! And No! Let me explain :) I have had a LOT of great teachers and mentors over the course of more than 20 years of study. For my full bio and credentials, CLICK HERE. All of this learning informs this course, so there is education and practice in here that stems from many sources; most notably the work of Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing), Kathy Kain (Somatic Practice), and Moshe Feldenkrais (The Feldenkrais Method). The thing about these three modalities, that form the base of the work presented here, is that none of them are complete on their own – they all need elements that the other ones have in order to present a complete, holistic approach to healing trauma and restoring regulation. My gift is putting all these very complex elements together in a way that is easy to understand, sequenced in the right way, and in an online format that is easy to use. So, while the content of SBSM – the video lectures, articles, live training calls, and Neurosensory Audio lessons that you will receive – are informed by all I have learned, they are my unique creation.
No problem. All Live Training Calls, Office Hours Calls, Live Movement Lessons, and Facebook Q&A Chats are recorded, and available to watch at your convenience. For Q&A calls, you can submit your questions ahead of time, and get your answers by watching the replay. All of these calls, with the exception of the Facebook Live Chats, that are housed in our private group, are housed on the course website, and are available for viewing or download within 24 hours of the call.
It’s not possible to give a definitive answer to this, as everyone is different! For some people, yes, dedicated application of the education and practices learned in this program will be all they need to resolve their trauma and restore regulation to their system. Other people will need more than this, like one-on-one sessions with a good Somatic practitioner, and/or the application of other modalities that can complement this work, such as osteopathy, craniosacral therapy, massage, nutritional or naturopathic support, or other methods. One thing that is VERY important to understand is that no matter who you are or what you’ve been through, this education and practice is a MUST if you want anything else to work. With this work on board, everything else is more effective (or it becomes very clear what is not effective); without this work on board, nothing else will work to truly resolve trauma. The somatic, nervous system approach is the foundation. Another thing to know is that this work is not about ‘getting fixed’ in the way that we often think of healing in western culture. Yes, symptoms will resolve and health will improve, yet fundamentally this work is meant to be a lifestyle shift that fundamentally changes how you relate to yourself, others, and the world around you all day, every day. It’s about learning how to live differently, and that is what brings the healing. And like any big change in how we live, it takes time and dedicated practice to really be effective.
The rest of your life! :) Seriously, like I said in the answer above – this is about changing how you live, and that is a process of discovery that only gets richer and deeper as time goes by. In terms of working your way through the program material, though, again it greatly depends on the individual. The program outline is just a suggestion, and we cannot stress enough how important it is to go at your own pace. Some people will follow the outline and finish all the material over the course of the 12 weeks, while others may spend the entire time on just a few lessons. Even figuring out what ‘your own pace’ looks like can take some time, and is a valuable process in and of itself. If someone does follow the program outline, though, they can expect to spend about two to three hours a week engaging with the lessons, calls, and Facebook group.
I think a little skepticism and confusion around this whole idea of nervous system healing is normal. For one, for most people this is new information! This information is so groundbreaking and revolutionary that it has not made it into medical schools or other trainings yet. Your doctor, psychiatrist, naturopath, massage therapist, etc. probably don’t know anything about this. Also, the nervous system, though incredibly powerful in governing our bodily functions and impacting our health and well being, is essentially invisible. It’s IN us in the form of electrical impulses, and the various neurochemical and muscular actions those impulses direct, but you can’t point to it on a chart and say ‘See, here’s your trauma, here, and also here.’ So, it can be difficult to understand how important it really is until you get into the education and practice, and experience it for yourself. Many past participants have been skeptical and not sure it would work, or that it might help a little but not really be a game-changer, as one of our alumni, Amy, talks about in this video at the 1:32 mark. Bottom line is this – if you feel in your gut that this is something you need, even if your mind is resistant, consider taking the plunge and checking it out! You have 30 days to get your money back if it doesn’t feel like a good fit, so really there is no way to lose.
No. This program does not certify you to practice this work with others. However, if you are already a practitioner who works with clients, what you will come out with is a huge set of knowledge and tools that will change how you see and work with your clients. Alumni who are practitioners have almost universally said that they aren’t even necessarily trying to change how they do their work, it just happens. This is because when we deepen our ability to connect with our self, we automatically deepen our ability to connect with others. You will have increased your knowledge of yourself so much, and greatly refined your ability to sense both your internal world and the world around you, and there’s really no way to avoid that impacting how you work and live, in profound and beneficial ways for both you and your clients.
Great news! There is no such thing as ‘behind’! Yes, there is a curriculum and a program outline of one possible way to go through the program, but that’s all it is – one possibility. One of the very first lessons is called ‘Follow Your Impulse,’ and that is SO important when it comes to how we move through this work. Even discovering how to feel what our natural impulses are can take weeks of practice for some people. And that’s fine! You have all the material forever, so you can follow your own rhythm.
For some people, this program will be all they need. Other people will also need additional support, like private sessions with a Somatic practitioner. Private sessions can be great! But emphasis on the word can. Like all modalities, there is so much that depends on the practitioner. Many Somatic Practitioners are wonderful, and many don’t have a clue what they are doing. If you are totally uninformed about this work going into private sessions, it will be very difficult to discern if the practitioner is good, or not. That’s why I HIGHLY suggest doing this program first. Not only will it make you so much more informed about what to look for in a practitioner, it will also give you all the education (something many practitioners don’t bother with at all), which is crucial to doing this work, and it will give you many good tools and practices, such that you will already have a great start when it comes to getting some one-on-one support. We have consistently seen that clients who have gone through SmartBody SmartMind first get much better and quicker results from private sessions.
There are four kinds of live calls:
1. Training Calls with Irene 2. Office Hours Q&& with Irene or Seth 3. Facebook Live Q&& with Irene 4. Live Movement Lessons with Elia
There is a live Training Call for eight out of 10 Labs, so that means one almost every week. There are two Office Hours Calls almost every week, and Facebook Live chats eight weeks out of 10. Elia also offers six Live Movement lessons spread across our time together.
So, there are a LOT of opportunities to connect and receive live support and instruction. The exact dates and time of the live calls will be listed on the SBSM website in a couple of places, including a calendar that you can sync with your own online calendar.
A lot of my alumni who have already gone through the program have had some kind of autoimmune condition or another, be it CFS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Crohn’s, or some other representation. In my field we consider these to be syndromes, or syndromal representations, of a dysregulated nervous system – meaning they all have the same root cause, and that is unresolved early/developmental trauma and chronic stress. So, this is absolutely the work you need if you suffer from an autoimmune condition, but it will be VERY important that you go at your own pace. I really can’t stress this enough. Many people feel pressured to ‘keep up with the program’ and ‘stay on schedule,’ and that is simply not going to be possible if you are suffering with one of these syndromes, and that is OK!! You have the material for life, and the whole idea is not to get through the 12 weeks and ‘be all fixed’ – that doesn’t happen for very many people. The goal is to fundamentally change the way you are in relationship to yourself, others, and the environment around you, and that is a process that takes time for everyone. If you currently have a syndrome, then it will be very important to allow yourself extra time, and not pressure yourself to keep up, or compare your progress with other people. This program CAN help you and you CAN do it! But you MUST go. at. your. own. pace :)
If you will not have access to the internet for the entire length of the program, or a big majority of it, then yes, you should probably wait for the next round. However, if it will only be a week, or a few weeks, then that shouldn’t be a problem. There are many circumstances that can arise that make it hard to get into the program anyway; internet or no internet, life happens! This is why everything in the program is downloadable.
Also, we highly encourage everyone to go at their own pace, anyway. So if that means downloading the lessons that have already been released onto your laptop, and doing them that way while away from the internet, that’s fine (in fact, repeating lessons is something that we have seen again and again to be invaluable, as you will find new and different things each time), and if it means putting the whole thing on hold for a bit and then coming back, that’s also fine.
Honestly, it depends on the degree of mental illness we are talking about. We know now that ALL mental illness is rooted in unresolved trauma and its effects on the physiology. The problems in the mind are symptoms of what is happening in the nervous system, but that doesn’t always mean that this somatic approach will work to treat mental illness, it depends on how progressed the symptoms are. Someone has to be well enough, and organized in their thinking enough, to watch and absorb the education, and do the practices. So, someone presenting with a very extreme symptom like paranoid schizophrenia will most likely not be able to benefit from this program, whereas someone struggling with a representation like OCD, anxiety, or depression, most likely will. As long as one is well enough that they can show up, put in the time, and comprehend what is happening, they will likely benefit.
YES! There are so many helpers, healers, and practitioners out there who got into their work because they were unwell, and then managed to get better and wanted to help others, but who still struggle with persistent symptoms, low energy, or a tendency to burn out. Often, this is because the things they found to help them weren’t getting to the root cause, but rather were more based in symptom management, behavioural or nutritional routines, positive thinking, or meditative practices – none of which can address unresolved trauma at the root level of the nervous system. So they continue to go up and down in their health and well-being. If this is you, then THIS is the piece you are missing. When you do this work and restore health and well-being from the ground up by regulating your nervous system, your whole world will change. Not only will your health improve, so will the health of your clients, because you will naturally start to bring your new skills, increased knowledge, and your own nervous system regulation into your practice. We truly can only help others to the degree to which we, ourselves, are healed. So start with YOU. This program will help you do that!
It depends on their age! Older kids, like age 14-18, probably could do this work if they wanted to, though not many teenagers are very interested in self-development! Younger kids, no, probably not. What ALL kids can benefit from, though, is their parents doing the work! When we, as parents, start on this journey, and learn about our physiology – what’s going on inside us, and are able to understand why we behave, think, and feel the way we do – that will give us so much more insight into why our kids behave, think, and feel how they do. As we learn to work with our own body and mind in this nervous system-based way, we will learn how to help them. And even more powerful and profound is the way that our own increased regulation automatically increases our kids’ regulation. It just happens! As we become safer inside ourselves, they will feel safer around us. As our stress goes down, so does theirs. It’s really pretty miraculous how just one person doing this trauma healing work can positively affect their entire family system.
Between tuition, travel, books, certifications and more, I’ve spent well over $100,000 learning this material (more, if you also include my two university degrees).
And I have definitely exceeded well over 10,000 hours of face-to-face work with clients. But you don’t have to spend that kind of time or money.
I believe this work is so important – not just on an individual level, but also on the level of fostering real transformation in the world – that I decided to create this program so that this work can be more accessible to all.
Rather than you having to sift through all the reading, research, books, and attending training sessions, I’m giving you what I’ve found to be the most essential, critical pieces a person needs to know for healing their nervous system.
Plus, not only are you getting education, and a lifestyle change, but you’re getting a whole new global community of caring people who are empathetic and interested in the next level of healing. (I’ve found out that members have formed true, meaningful friendships where they continue to support each other outside of the program.)
Don't hesitate to reach out and ask away! Irene and her team want to ensure all your questions are answered so you make the right decision for you.
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