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Client Stories

This is a client’s story about healing the emotional scars created by racist and bullying experiences. We had 6 sessions together.


As a meditation teacher and practitioner of healing arts for over 20 years (shiatsu, massage therapy, shamanism, reiki and craniosacral therapy), I can personally attest to the wonderful work of The Gentle Trauma Release Method© (GTR).

Even with all the study and work I had done for my own healing and self-care over the years, I still found that past emotional traumas would sit so heavily on me that I was blocked with depression and anxiety and a general lack of hope. No matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to lift the clouds.

When GTR© practitioner Glenda van Koot explained the process to me, bells and lights went off. I heard things that felt familiar to my healing practice, like working to calm the Vagus nerve response, re-patterning or writing new neural pathways, working with the physiology and the emotional story to assist the release.

In different ways, it felt very similar to several of the healing methods I practice with others, and in many ways, it was. What I could not have expected was how deeply calming it was! I felt an immediate sense of coming home to a safe place to heal. In recent years, I had experienced several instances of racism and bullying, so much so that I had become unable to let go of my “victim” story, even though I knew I needed to. I had debilitating cyclical thought patterns around these stories of the injustice, the non-acceptance, and the pain I was feeling.

Once I began to work with the GTR Method©, I started to feel hopeful. In my very first session, I was in awe of how my perspective and triggered emotional response to these experiences could shift so much!! So, I jumped right in.

In the first few weeks, it was difficult to practice on my own, and I found it hard to identify the actual stories that challenged my life. However, with Glenda’s gentle guidance and support, I was able to get down to some real nitty-gritty and fundamental pieces of my trauma and do some real healing around them. I picked up speed as we went along and began to practice more and more on my own. After six weeks, I had the motivation to continue to practice, as needed, for several more weeks. And although I haven’t felt I needed this toolkit in the last little while, I am happy and comforted to know I have all the tools to fall back on.

I am currently experiencing a sense of well-being that I have not felt in many years, if ever! I am calmer, more grounded, have a sense of hope, feel playful and enjoy laughter in my days. I also was empowered to write a letter to the foundation members of one of the bullying parties, to stand up for myself, and hopefully, to make a change in the inequality and the bullying practices for future participants.

I am so profoundly grateful to Glenda and to The Gentle Trauma Release Method©. They have truly impacted my life for the better. Thank-you! S.

This is Evangeline’s story as told to me about two months after our fourth and final session.

This is Evangeline’s story as told to me about two months after our fourth and final session.

I was really surprised with how deep my memories were. It felt like a taproot. Some memories were so ancient; it had been 50 years or more since they happened. Yet I was so surprised at how fresh and new they felt when we started talking about them. And at the same time, I wondered, “Ugh, am I still carrying that old thing around?” I was glad you were with me because I had stuffed these emotions so deeply, and they were so rooted in the distant past that without you I would have felt like I was climbing a mountain by myself.

When we worked through a more recent event, what I found interesting was that I discovered truths about myself. As we worked through the emotions that arose for me, they articulated themselves in a way I hadn’t been able to put my finger on. Why was I so upset? What about the experience was so offensive? What I ultimately found were my boundaries; I found my truths.

That so resonated with me, and my connection through The Gentle Trauma Release Method© made me feel like I was weaving together all of the parts of me. It was incredibly soothing and so gentle. At the same time, after our sessions, I felt spent or exhausted from having carried the weight around for so long and by the sheer depth of the emotions I experienced. I also felt such relief, peace and much less tortured by those memories. They still feel far away.

While I wasn’t always great at practicing the method, what I noticed was that it felt available to me, like a stop gap between me and my emotions — a security blanket of sorts. I now know what to do whenever things come up. I feel held in the process and that no matter what happens, I can handle myself. Please change the above back to held - she edited this as well and cradled isn’t a word she would use.

Interestingly, as we worked together, I realized how well neural repatterning worked for me. So, I called a friend who’s doing neural work on physical repatterning of past trauma. For the first time in years, I no longer have hip and back pain when I wake up. Working with you inspired me to reach out to her and work on healing some of the physical trauma that is still with me. It’s been interesting to see how past trauma had started to limit my mobility and how the two practices weave together nicely. My emotional childhood experiences hindered my capacity to be at peace, to feel joyful and to express myself physically without pain.

In addition to all this, I think the most profound thing was learning about my boundaries. I realized that I have a strong code of ethics, an honor code, that’s woven into my soul like a patchwork quilt. That was powerful. I already knew it, but not at the same magnitude. I now understand how powerfully fundamental it is to me. It’s like a sacred core that I must protect. I realized that it’s so fundamental to me that I was literally physically splintered by some of the things that had happened. Now, I realize there’s a “light code” within me that does not condone being trespassed. It shed light on so many events I could not condone in my life. I’m pretty good at forgiving, but boy, do I know when those boundaries are crossed! It’s as if a light bulb flashed. “Oh, that’s why!”

This code of ethics informed so much about who I’ve been in my life, and yet it eluded and mystified me. I always felt like I was trying to channel lightening, and this realization came like a bolt of lightning and reminded me of who I am and my code of honour. It’s been such a gift.

I knew GTR© was going to be gentle, but it was always surprising. Every single time we went there, it always amazed me how available and deep my emotions were. It reminded me of how much I care (back to those values and ethics). It was as if I was getting to know and see myself better through an emotional lens, which is always a gift. The tools offered me perspective and permission to let my emotions go and lessen my engagement with them and the traumatic memories. I was able to look at my situation differently.

The GTR© protocols enabled me to take the emotional edge off, so I could view the situation more analytically. Setting my reactions aside rewarded me with freedom to act. The GTR Method© created space between myself and my emotions and helped me understand that when I’m upset, I should look to my code of ethics because something, somewhere, is likely out of alignment. For instance, my anger is a gift, guiding me to what needs attention. If I feel emotionally overwhelmed, GTR© helps me put the emotion “over there” to allow for space between me and what’s happening, which allows me to decide my next best course of action. Rather than being controlled by any emotion, I can pause, ponder, plan and then act.

GTR© connected me with innate truths about myself at a deep level. It was a powerful and beautiful experience.

This is Evangeline’s story as told to me about two months after our fourth and final session.