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Trauma Sensitive Yoga

Trauma Sensitive Yoga

Yoga and mindfulness for trauma survivors

An introduction to the TCTSY practice - Jenn Turner, Assistant Director of Yoga Services, The Trauma Centre at JRI.

I am a TCTSY Facilitator and offer both private and group TCTSY classes to adults who have suffered from or witnessed, as a child or an adult, interpersonal trauma (e.g. abuse/neglect, violence, sexual assualt, etc.). 

To follow these classes, you must be in therapy and have not been hospitalised for psychiatric care in the last 6 months.

Group classes in Geneva - in French

Wednesday 18h-19h 

CTAS, Rue Jacques-Dalphin 36, 1227 Carouge

Price: series of 8 sessions - 250CHF

For more information, contact me

A telephone/skype interview is required before registering for group or private TCTSY classes.

Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) is an empirically validated, adjunctive clinical treatment for complex trauma or chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD; dissociative disorders; and other related emotional and behavioral problems. TCTSY aims to support emotion regulation, stabilization, skill building and increase empowerment and agency. Developed at the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, USA.


TCTSY has foundations in Trauma Theory, Attachment Theory, and Neuroscience as well as deep roots in Yoga. The TCTSY methodology is based on central components of the hatha style of yoga, where participants engage in a series of physical forms and movements. Elements of standard hatha yoga are modified to maximize experiences of empowerment and to cultivate a more positive relationship to one's body. Unlike many public yoga classes, TCTSY does not use physical hands-on adjustments to influence a participant's physical form. Rather, TCTSY presents opportunities for participants to be in charge of themselves based on a felt sense of their own body.  

Although TCTSY employs physical forms and movements, the emphasis is not on the external expression or appearance (i.e. doing it"right"), or receiving the approval of an external authority. Rather, the focus is on the internal experience of the participant. This shift in orientation, from the external to the internal, is a key attribute of TCTSY as a complementary treatment for complex trauma. With our approach, the power resides within the individual, not the TCTSY facilitator (TCTSY-F). Further, by focusing on the felt sense of the body to inform choice-making, TCTSY allows participants to restore their connection of mind and body and cultivate a sense of agency that is often compromised as a result of trauma. 


The four overarching themes of the intervention are to 1) experience the present moment focusing on interoception, 2) make choices, 3) take effective action, and 4) create rhythms.

TCTSY timeline:


-         Began in 2003

-         2009 Received first grant given by National Institute of Health to study yoga for trauma

-         2014 published results in peer-reviewed, psychiatric journal 

-         2017 Listed by SAMHSA as an evidence-based practice 

-         2018 the United States government removed the federal listing of evidence based practices and replaced it with a general reference to yoga as a "complementary therapy" for PTSD.



Key research findings:


-         10-weeks of TCTSY reduced PTSD symptoms 33% in women, 18-59 years old, with childhood physical and sexual abuse.

-         Two months post treatment, 52% of the women no longer qualified for PTSD diagnosis.


Van der Kolk et al. (2014) Yoga as an Adjunctive Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial.  Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 75:0, Month 2014

-         20-weeks of TCTSY reduced PTSD symptoms 45% in women, 18-59 years old, with childhood physical and sexual abuse.

-         20-weeks of TCTSY significantly reduced dissociative symptomatology. 

Price et al. (2017) Effectiveness of an Extended Yoga Treatment for Women with Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 23(4): 300–309

-         TCTSY is more effective for childhood trauma than adult onset trauma

Nguyen-Feng et al. (2020) Moderators of Treatment Efficacy in a Randomized Controlled Trial of Trauma-Sensitive Yoga as an Adjunctive Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. Advance online publication.

-         10 weeks of TCTSY improved symptoms and results were more sustained than cognitive processing therapy

Kelly et al. (2021) Trauma-Sensitive Yoga for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Women Veterans who Experienced Military Sexual Trauma: Interim Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 27, S45-S59



For more information, please visit

Nathalie Doswald

Reconnect to yourself

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