Posted by: Tracy Barsamian | July 1, 2014

Healing the Mother Wound with SEA

Girls Outside of The Lydian Center

Recently, I wrote a post about my further reading on the mother wound.  At the end of the post, I suggested that talk therapy might not be the most effective (and definitely not the most efficient!) means of healing one’s mother wound.  I have tried lots of alternative healing modalities and all have been helpful, but the most helpful therapy that I’ve done is Somatic Emotional Acupressure (SEA).  It’s still a slow process.  But I am always moving forward.  I can’t really lay out the milestones that I’ve achieved…or really write up the process flow for healing via SEA, as it is an organic process.  And, if you know me, I do not like this particular aspect of SEA!  I think a more effective way of explaining SEA might be for me to share a situation that I am going through and explain how SEA can help me to heal.

I am noticing a glaring pattern in my behavior.  I have a really difficult time trusting my instincts, especially when others disapprove of my decisions.  It seems that each time that I have to make a decision, I throw myself into doing weeks and weeks of in-depth research, after which I compile a well formed argument (with sources and citations) to support my decision.  This is not quite as in-depth as a doctoral dissertation…perhaps more like a masters thesis.  The fact that I make every decision into a federal case, going so far as to seek expert testimony to support my decisions, boils down to one truth:  I do not trust myself.

Here are some of the dissertation-supported decisions that I’ve painstakingly made in the past few years:

1.  Pulling out of the traditional educational model and enrolling Keira in a Waldorf School.

2.  Pulling Keira out of the Waldorf School to begin homeschooling.

3.  Not participating in a homeschool co-op, in favor of going out on our own.

4.  Not following a formal homeschool curriculum and becoming unschoolers.

5.  Not doing Early Intervention for Lauren, even tough she qualified for services.  Using alternative therapies to heal the root problem (as opposed to mainstream therapies like OT and Speech that treat the symptoms of a problem).

6.  New!  Transitioning Lauren and Keira from their current homeschool program into individual homeschool classes.

My new BFF Bethany Webster – Womb of Light explains that my experience – this deep distrust of my own instincts – is interwoven with mother wound.  She explains,

“The cost of not healing the mother wound is living your life indefinitely with:

  • A vague, persistent sense that “There’s something wrong with me”
  • Never actualizing your potential out of fear of failure or disapproval
  • Having weak boundaries and an unclear sense of who you are
  • Not feeling worthy or capable of creating what you truly desire
  • Not feeling safe enough to take up space and voice your truth
  • Arranging your life around “not rocking the boat”
  • Self-sabotage when you get close to a breakthrough
  • Unconsciously waiting for mother’s permission or approval before claiming your own life.”

Okay, so now I know WHY I make myself crazy.  That’s good information.  But, what I’d REALLY like to know is HOW to stop the madness.  HOW to trust myself and to rely on my instincts.  The reality, however, is that I can’t seem to stop the automatic-nature of this response pattern.  Now the good news is that I am starting to be able to step back far enough to observe myself, specifically to observe myself making myself crazy!!

Now honestly, this is a perfect example of why I cannot understand how women can heal the mother wound just with talk therapy?  I am stuck.  Stuck.  My energy is blocked.  I am caught in a loop.  No amount of talking is going to end this loop.  So either I get a lobotomy (which probably would be covered by insurance) OR I have to get back up on Joy’s table and release the trauma that caused me to make the decision that it is NOT safe to trust myself.

How SEA works…is that you bring up the issue.  The current issue.  Like right now I am not trusting my decision to enroll Lauren in two activities  (Revels and hopefully a homeschool dance class) as opposed to re-enrolling her in the lovely homeschool program both girls participated in this year.  The program is beautiful.  The teacher is amazing.  But Keira has aged out.  And, as I’ve posted before, PACE is our family’s main thing.  A slow and easy pace is key to our family’s homeschooling success.  And if we do the two-day homeschool program PLUS different activities for Keira, we will be busy every day – driving from one activity to another.  And, the pace will become too fast.  I have to forgo an amazing opportunity for Lauren in order to keep our main thing (pace), the main thing.  It’s a logical conclusion, but I get so worried about making a mistake, not choosing the right path for Lauren, that my brain kicks into overdrive and it just won’t shut up!!  I can “reason” all that I want with myself.  But, I have hit on an hold program and I cannot make the chatter stop!

Joy delGiudice explains, “Often it’s not that we can’t do it differently, it’s that the system is choosing not to, and SEA® is concerned with that choice point in time. Going to that moment of choice and releasing the blocked energy of those moments, expands our ability to choose our present time response. When we change the misunderstanding, recode the experience at the visceral level, and release the repressed charge, our choices and responses become proactive. We become fuller participants in our current lives, instead of re-enacting, re-membering and re-sponding to the past as if it were now.”

So in my session with Joy, we will talk for a little while about this issue (like 5 minutes).  And then I’ll hop up on her comfy cozy table and we’ll find out what this current issue is bringing up from my past.  Past – as in very young – usually under age 8.  And then we’ll heal that past trauma.  And by healing that very young wound, by using (a lovely hybrid of) “muscle monitoring, acupressure, energy kinesiology, and energy rebalancing techniques (to release) the repressed trauma in a gentle effective way” (Joy delGiudice), I will gain the ability to respond differently to this change.  Instead of defaulting to my old conditioned response – of fear and self-doubt – I can meet our second year of homeschooling with confidence and joyful anticipation.  How sweet is that?!


  1. First-we really need to talk. When are you free?
    Second-As a formally trained therapist, and art therapist I have a lot to say on “talk therapy” and art therapy and its usefulness in the world. As an avid believer in SEA and the value of tackling things from an energetic approach, I also resonate with just about everything you write.

    This is too much for a comment section, but one of the plugs I do have to make for talk therapy is that it CAN work on an energetic level, and does, when it is properly accessed. After all, our psychology IS our biology IS our energy, etc. With that said, I’ve known many, many more ineffective therapists and therapies than I’ve known effective ones.

    So, clumping “talk therapy” into one thing is a little limiting because there are just so many variants. Therapy that hS the ability to open doors for real change has to be more than simply “talk” much of the time. It has to include a delicate balance of talk, physical and behavior changes (which actually do cause chemical changes in the brain, thus altering energetic fields ), and a deeper integration if what’s at play.

    With all this said-it does happen a heck if a lot faster when one is tackling it from an energetic side and releasing past traumas.

    I’m a firm believer that many people need both for lasting change. Not everyone can take what’s done in SEA and then make longer term life changes. That doesn’t mean some change won’t happen, but there is still a certain amount if conceptual integration that is needed to avoid the constant emergence if new symptoms.

    I also think that without something akin to SEA, some changes are simply not possible. My “meat and potatoes” talk therapist of 15 years on and off still shares how she has no idea WHAT happened when I went to Montana for a healing journey, but that somehow there was a big shift. All of the energy work I did there made certain levels of healing possible that would not have happened with therapy alone.

    So, I think they both have their place and usefulness. That’s my main point.

    And, frankly, all of your reading and exploration on the topic of the mother wound is much of what would happen in therapy, and not something everyone can tackle on their own. So props to you! I admit to enjoying the “stand in” reparenting that can be so healing from a therapist in person though.

    I love these posts, Tracy! Keep writing.

    • Yes! Let’s discuss over a bottle (or two!) of wine and some Pasha!! xo, Tracy

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this! I came across your blog while searching for answers regarding EFT healing the mother wound. I also read Bethany Webster’s work and I’ve begun my journey of healing the mother wound. I have two yound kids and I also feel like I don’t have time to do 10-15 years of talk therapy! I have to find some ways to heal a lot quicker than that. This gives me hope. I’m going to look into SEA

    • Oh Kate! Thank you so much for your comment. It really filled me up! To tell you the truth, I’ve been wondering about my blog…thinking about if I should continue to put my energy into it…but the universe must have sent you to me!…to remind me that we mamas need to come together and share our stories. Our stories are the best support we can offer one another. I actually just got back from a spiritual trip to Peru and I did so much work on my mother wound there. It was such a healing experience. You’ve inspired me to blog about it! So thank you so, so, so much for your keenly timed comment. I wish you all the best on your journey. Just from your short and sweet little common, I can tell that you are doing great! Let’s keep in touch! Hugs, Tracy

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