S3E24: Cynthia Merchant – Trauma & the Process of Healing
Listen in to this deep conversation with Cynthia Merchant and Drew about the Hoffman Process, trauma and trauma-healing, Somatic Experiencing®, and the basic goodness that underlies all things. Cynthia’s vast knowledge and many decades of experience in working with people to heal trauma have helped her realize that the essential self is “ever-intending toward wholeness.”
Cynthia is a Marriage Family Therapist and Somatic Experiencing® practitioner. She first completed the Hoffman Process when it was still in the three-month format. A few years later, she was asked to teach the Process. For seventeen years, she taught and supervised the teaching of the Hoffman Quadrinity Process in the US and abroad. Cynthia was fortunate to work and teach closely with Bob Hoffman for many years.
Cynthia has an eclectic, embodied, soulful approach to healing and change. She has over thirty years of international experience facilitating psycho-educational, transformational groups.
More about Cynthia Merchant
Since 1988, Cynthia has trained directly with Dr. Peter Levine, the developer of the trauma resolution approach, Somatic Experiencing ® (SE™.) She has collaborated with him in many professional, master-level trainings.
Cynthia has also taught the Enneagram, as well as trauma-informed somatic approaches to professionals. She facilitates experiential groups throughout the US, Europe, South America, Asia, and Canada.
From 1989 until his death in 2019, Cynthia has been a dedicated student, collaborator, and friend of consciousness, Enneagram, and Hoffman Process pioneer of Dr. Claudio Naranjo and his Seekers After Truth (SAT) programs. She is the Executive Director of SAT Institute — USA, an educational non-profit, delivering the Naranjo Seeker After Truth programs in the US.
In her private practice, Cynthia works with individuals, couples, children, & families to facilitate the resolution of accumulated, traumatic, and/or developmental stress and nervous system dis-regulation, resolve limiting attachment conditioning, and catalyze and stabilize resilience.
Cynthia approaches the human transformational adventure with kindness & gusto. She encourages attitudes of self-acceptance, compassion, and love in her clients and students as they cultivate more robust, satisfying lives.
As mentioned in this episode
Peter Levine, PhD: As Cynthia recounts, Dr. Levine developed Somatic Experiencing ® (SE™.) Over the years since, he “taught it to anyone who would listen and mentored thousands of therapists and healers worldwide.”
Dr. Claudio Naranjo: Claudio Naranjo, M.D., was trained as a medical doctor. He came to the US from Chile, being one of the very first people to bring the Enneagram to the world. He also supported Bob Hoffman in bringing the work Bob was doing one-on-one with people into the group setting that became the Hoffman Process. Claudio was also the author of several books.
The Enneagram or Enneagram of Personality: is a model of the human psyche largely taught as a designation of nine interconnected personality types.
Reza Leah Landman: Reza Leah was an early Hoffman Process teacher, a therapist, and founder of The Institute for the Telling of Teaching Tales, Berkeley, CA. She was a master storyteller and was actively involved with spiritually-inspired actions the world over.
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, MD: The author of The New York Times bestseller, The Body Keeps the Score. Dr. van der Kolk is a psychiatrist, author, researcher, and educator. Since the 1970s, his research has been in the area of post-traumatic stress.
At minutes 51:33 – 54:47, Cynthia offers an exercise in orienting oneself back to the here and now, especially re-orienting after an inner-world experience. Try it out below!
Discover if the Process is right for you.