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Trauma-Informed Care

why it matters, and how we do it

Why it Matters: We are trained and have certificates in trauma-informed care, and specifically in trauma-informed care in the pelvic health setting. Specialized trauma-informed training is crucial in pelvic health therapy to ensure we understand the potential impact of trauma on pelvic health conditions. It goes beyond mere knowledge to provide us with evidence-based practical skills, tools, and strategies to apply trauma-informed principles in a clinical setting. It helps us create safe, supportive environments, tailor treatments to individual needs, and avoid re-traumatization during therapy sessions. This approach fosters trust, empowerment, and better outcomes for our clients dealing with pelvic health issues that may have roots in trauma, ultimately enhancing the quality of care and improving our clients' outcomes in their pelvic and sexual health.

How We Do It:

  • We support you in connecting to your body in ways that ensure you feel safe and empowered.

  • We promote feelings of safety and connection in the context of our professional relationship with you.

  • We promote choice within the context of your care plan to give you agency in your healthcare process.

  • We create this safe and supportive environment with an understanding of the effects of trauma on functional health, and integrating this awareness into every part of our practice approach.

  • We also offer resources and vetted referrals to promote further healing and support.

Enhancing Pelvic Health Occupational Therapy
with Trauma-Informed Care

Occupational therapists are experts in how our sensory system impacts so much of our daily life and function. This is especially the case in pelvic health, where so much of what we carry through our day and our lives, is carried in our abdominopelvic area, literally and figuratively.

When someone has experienced trauma (medical, sexual, emotional, physical, social, racial, birth), these experiences can become embedded in their nervous system, impacting their engagement with their environment, their social circle, their routines and roles, and even their connection to their own body.

There are 8 sensory systems. The "usual suspects" five: visual, gustatory, tactile, auditory, and olfactory. Then the three most are not as familiar with: vestibular (balance), proprioceptive (movement) and interoceptive (internal).

They all matter, but that *interoceptive* sense is a biggie, especially when working with individuals who have experienced trauma or overly stressful situations.

As a pelvic health OTs, our clients might come in with a symptom, but to get “better” we want to get at the root causes and support the healing from there. We work together to connect the dots as to how their experiences might be showing up in their bodies. We then work on:

How to adjust their parasympathetic nervous system responses


When, where, and how to hold space


Whether movement, safety, or stress release is needed, in what order, or combination


Interoception: re-connecting to their body once their nervous system is ready, and from there, we can release pain, return to strength, reclaim function

The mind and body work best when working together. As OTs in pelvic health, we have to be sure that we are prepared to support what it looks like when they don’t, and help recognize what it can be so they do. And that must be done with a mind and hands that understand and respect our clients' experiences, whatever they may be.

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