TCTSY, or Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, is an evidence-based yoga program developed specifically for survivors of trauma. It was created by David Emerson and colleagues at the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute in Brookline, Massachusetts. TCTSY is an approach to yoga that emphasizes the importance of creating a safe, non-judgmental, and empowering space for trauma survivors to engage with their bodies and minds.

The 20-hour TCTSY training is an introductory course for mental health professionals, yoga teachers, and other healthcare professionals who are interested in incorporating trauma-sensitive yoga into their work. The training covers the foundational principles and practices of TCTSY, including the five core components of the method.

The five core components of TCTSY (Trauma-Sensitive Yoga) are:

  1. Invitational language: Trauma survivors may have experienced a loss of control over their bodies, so it is important to use language that is non-coercive and invites exploration and choice.
  2. Choice-making: In TCTSY, students are offered choices about how they want to participate in the yoga practice. This helps to promote a sense of empowerment and agency.
  3. Interoception: Interoception is the ability to sense and understand what is happening in one’s body. Trauma can disrupt interoceptive awareness, so TCTSY emphasizes the cultivation of this skill through mindful movement and breath practices.
  4. Empowerment: TCTSY is designed to promote a sense of empowerment and self-awareness in trauma survivors.
  5. Trauma-informed modifications: TCTSY instructors are trained to offer modifications to traditional yoga postures that take into account the physical and emotional needs of trauma survivors.

After completing the 20-hour training, participants can apply to become TCTSY-F, which is a 300-hour online training that provides in-depth training on the TCTSY method. This training is designed for mental health professionals, yoga teachers, and other healthcare professionals who want to become certified TCTSY facilitators.

TCTSY is often referred to as “trauma yoga” because it is designed specifically for trauma survivors. It is intended for anyone who has experienced trauma, including those who have experienced interpersonal violence, military trauma, and other forms of trauma. TCTSY can be particularly beneficial for individuals who struggle with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.

The benefits of TCTSY are numerous. Research has shown that trauma-sensitive yoga can help reduce symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression. It can also help individuals develop a greater sense of self-awareness and self-compassion, as well as a greater sense of connection with others. TCTSY can be a powerful tool for healing and recovery for trauma survivors.

It’s important to note that TCTSY is intended for professionals who have received training in trauma-informed care and who are able to provide a safe and supportive environment for trauma survivors. If you are interested in TCTSY, it is recommended that you seek out a certified TCTSY facilitator.

Established as the only certified TCTSY trainer in the Benelux countries, Esther van der Sande is honoured to offer this evidence-based training programme to our community. We believe Trauma-Sensitive Yoga )TCTSY) has the potential to be a powerful tool for healing and recovery for victims of trauma, and we are committed to making it accessible to those who need it.