Join us for a discussion on a trauma-informed process using flower essences to unfreeze stuck emotions, heal old wounds, and release ancestral traumas. We are delighted to bring Loey Colebeck on the podcast to share the hopeful message that healing is possible.
Flower Essences discussed during the show:
- Gorse – Healing Herbs
- Star of Bethlehem – Healing Herbs
- Rock Rose – Healing Herbs
- Oak – Healing Herbs
- Pink Monkeyflower – FES
- Crabapple – Healing Herbs
- Pine – Healing Herbs
- Sturt Desert Rose – Bush
- Mariposa Lily – FES
- Evening Primrose – FES
- Baby Blue Eyes – FES
- Joshua Tree – FES
- Boab – Bush
- Bottlebrush – Bush
Rochana Felde: [00:00:10] Welcome to The Flower Essence podcast and join us on an exploration of the healing wisdom of flowers.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:00:18] With combined decades of experience in the study and practice of Flower Essence therapy, I, Kathleen Aspenns, and co-host, Rochana Felde guide you to reconnect to nature with these potent vibrational remedies.
Rochana Felde: [00:00:40] Welcome, Flower Essence friends. Today on the podcast, we’re going to seek to understand a little bit more about trauma with special guest, Loyola Colebeck. Loyola is an accredited flower essence therapist, instructor, lecturer, and the English translator of Pablo Noriega’s excellent book, Bach Flower Essences and Chinese Medicine. Loey studied Clinical Flower Essence Therapy in Barcelona at the Superior Institute of Traditional Medicine, the Anthemon institute, SEDIBAC, which is the Catalonia Society for the Study and Diffusion of Dr. Bach’s Therapy and Aula Bach. She is also trained in family constellations and Identity-oriented Psycho-trauma Therapy known as IoPT. In her practice, she provides a gentle trauma-informed and Daoist approach to therapy to support an organic healing process. Loey also wrote an eye-opening article about trauma and flower essence therapy for Sentire magazine, which you can now access on her website for free. And this exploration of the traumatized psyche is what we’ll focus on for this podcast.
Welcome to the podcast, Loey.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:02:02] Thank you so much.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:02:04] We’re really delighted to have you here today. It’s really a pleasure to have someone of your stature in the field with us to share your insights on trauma. I would love to hear kind of how you got into this whole thing. What drew you to flower essences? Perhaps, there’s a personal part of that story too that you want to share. Tell us a little bit more about you and who you are.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:02:28] Thank you. I mean, I could take the deep route on that, or I could take the straightforward, worldly route on that. I think I’ll go with the latter.
And so I was first introduced to flower essences in the late ’90s in California through a roommate who’s become a lifelong friend and dabbled just in a personal way until I moved to Spain in the early 2000s. And at a certain point, a naturopath there kind of introduced me to them a little bit more seriously when I was going through an illness, and they spoke to me really clearly that this was going to be my path. And so I just said, “Well, okay, very well. Then, I will study, and here we go.” It was an unusual kind of clarity for me that this is what I’m going to– this is what I’m supposed to be doing. So I just looked for a study program and got going.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:03:39] Yeah. And would you tell us a little bit more about the field of flower essence therapy in Spain and in the Spanish speaking world because as English speakers and Californians, we are familiar and immersed in the worlds we’ve been in, and you’ve been really informing us about how big it is there?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:03:56] Right. I mean, so just starting from a point of departure that as far as books that are published about flower essence therapy, there are more titles published in Spanish than any other language worldwide. They’re in Spain. In Barcelona, for example, there’s more than one institute dedicated just to flower essence therapy study and other schools that include naturopathy and chiropractic and so on that also include flower essence therapy study. There are regional professional associations for flower essence therapists. The one I belong to has bi-annual conferences, weekly meetings, bulletins, offers guest lectures, workshops. So there’s a lot of seriousness around flower essence therapy, a lot of practitioners.
Cuba has had Bach Flower Therapy included in its national healthcare system for almost 20 years. Nicaragua has officially recognized the therapy. There’s just a really– and there’s Mexico, there’s conferences. It’s very widely diffused. Most people have at least heard of it, know what it is, know that it’s not essential oils. And so when you have that many professionals who have so many other fields of study, so many specializations, there’s just such an advancement of the field that we don’t really have, I think, in the English language or in the US. So part of, I guess, my life’s work has been to bring that to the English language. And part of that was translating Pablo Noriega’s book to English and then providing the flower essence therapy training course and certification course that I provide.
Rochana Felde: [00:06:08] Fascinating. I’m wondering how you got involved in doing the translation for that book.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:06:15] Ooh, that’s a juicy question. I love this. Pablo Noriega’s a really special person. And so I had been working in Spain with women and sensual, sexual, feminine healing. And then through SEDIBAC, I saw that there was going to be a workshop provided by this person, Pablo Noriega about Daoist sexuality and Bach Flower Therapy. So I went to his kind of pre-workshop lecture, and there was a really clear like, “Oh, this soul, this person, I need to. There’s something here.” And so I took the workshop, and it spoke to me so deeply, basically kind of gave a lot of words to things that I already know and knew and practiced.
And so then we kept in touch, and then his book came out in Spanish, and I had proposed a different book translation that wasn’t accepted, but when I saw this one, I said, “This is the book that’s going to be– this is going to be the gateway, hopefully, to other books that haven’t arrived, that haven’t been translated yet,” but that one, it was so clear that this was going to be– it was just really clear to me. It was like one of those downloads like, “Ooh, this is the path to take.”
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:07:44] I was really excited to see the book, and then I reached out to you after reading it. And just reading through it, it’s so brilliant in that it helps to kind of to bridge these two worlds of Chinese medicine and all of the richness that comes from there. But bringing the essences into that mindset, into that framework, right, in a way to bring those two together, which I had never seen before. And so when I read it, I was just so excited and continued to learn from it because there’s so much there. So thank you for doing that. Do you use the insights of Chinese medicine in your own practice? Is that something you bring in?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:08:30] Absolutely. I mean, that book, just speaking to what you’re saying, Pablo had a clinical practice for 20 years before the book was published. He spent 10 years writing that book. So it was not just some musings. This is really deep stuff that he really observed and researched over a long period of time, held up by all these other professionals that I mentioned, so many other professionals being able to speak to ways of working.
And absolutely, I mean, the way that I approach the flower essence therapy with clients is really kind of multidimensional. So there’s some of the Gestalt psychotherapeutic practice. There’s the trauma-informed stuff. There’s the Chinese medicine. There’s birth chart. I would say those and some Daoist meditation I teach because that’s such a great foundation for being able to move through whatever a person is dealing with.
Rochana Felde: [00:09:37] And when you work with trauma, and since this is going to be the main topic today, how can you define trauma for everybody so that we’re all on the same page about what that means?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:09:53] Yeah, thanks. So trauma can be defined in a variety of ways, and one really clear way I think is an unbearable reality. So the way that Franz Ruppert, who developed this IoPT – and I’m holding up this book for people who are listening and can’t see – but there’s a graph where the psyche is divided into three parts. And when the organism is whole and healthy and feeling safe, then the nervous system is relaxed, and we’re open to reality, and we’re able to adjust and change and learn with anything that comes our way. And when there’s a threat, the nervous system sharpens, focuses in, and the organism reality is narrowed to focus on the threat and the stress responses kick into gear so that we can deal with the threat. And when that threat becomes overwhelming and our stress responses can no longer handle that threat, the threat overwhelms our stress responses – in other words, it would be too dangerous to cry out – that’s when the nervous system freezes those stress responses and the psyche denies reality, and that’s when a split is created in the psyche. So there’s a denial of an unbearable reality, and the stress responses are frozen in the body psyche.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:11:39] And the next element that I think you bring forth in your work and is part of the flower essence work for anyone who works with it is the recognition that this is not strictly a psychological problem. This is not strictly something that happens from the chin up. When the individual is traumatized, it’s a trauma both to body and soul or spirit or whatever word you might want to use. And that wound impacts the health of the body, of the mind, of the whole being. And I think that that’s a significant part of the therapeutic work you use in the frame model that you come from. And I just wanted to say it out loud because it is one thing that perhaps not the ones who are listening to us, but the world in general, it’s only barely kind of coming to the recognition that these sorts of things have downstream effects that end up in physical problems.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:12:41] Absolutely. Yeah. And there’s more and more scientific research about that proving the mind-body connection or the indivisibility in a sense.
I mean, I named my practice Mind is Body Therapy. It’s because it’s just not true that they’re separate. Our thoughts affect our body. Our body affects our mind. Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:13:10] Then, that to me, that’s one of the strongest, most compelling parts about Chinese medicine is that forever recognition. It’s been around for thousands of years that body and mind are united and one, and they both interrelate and intercohabit, and both need to be addressed.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:13:29] Yeah. And that’s where flower essences fit in so great or one of the ways that flower essences fit in so great. There’s just this understanding of life force or chi, and that’s just something that we don’t measure in the West. It’s not considered really in the West, but in the East, it’s taken for granted that that exists. So chi or energy or life force just has different degrees of density. And it’s the really light stuff when it’s thought energy, and it’s the dense stuff when it’s bones, right? And it flows. And it can dissolve. It can condense. Then, it becomes so clear how flower essences can work on all these levels when you have that beautiful, thousands of years old, Chinese medicine framework.
Rochana Felde: [00:14:28] Yeah. So for flower essence therapists or people using flower essence therapy, how would they look at trauma in conjunction with flower essence therapy? How does that play into what a practitioner does or can do?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:14:50] I think it’s really– I think that if we want to kind of try to chart it out a little bit, that idea, that framework, or that sense of the psyche has healthy parts that are the resource parts that I mentioned that are able to cope with things that are happening in reality, and then the survival parts, the survival strategies, which are the parts that are focused on the threat, and then the traumatized parts that are parts of the psyche that are frozen in the body in a specific time and place.
And if we can think about– if we see the person in front of us as kind of having these three parts, then we know that we can work with those three parts. We can understand that the person in front of us has parts of them that are resourced, that are virtues, and that giving flower essences, we’re building up the resources that the nervous system has for dealing with reality, for being able to learn, for being able to change, for being able to feel one’s way through emotions that arise. And the person in front of us also has survival strategies that are based on their personality. Basically, each personality survives trauma in its own way. For some people, it’s, I’m going to prove that I’m worthy through trying to be perfect. That’s a survival strategy, or I’m going to fight the man. That’s a survival strategy, right?
And underneath, there are these mute and often invisible, frozen parts that are, what in at a certain point, were overwhelming stress responses, overwhelming emotions. And so the more we can support the nervous system to be resourced, the less the survival strategies need to cover up those unbearable emotions and the more the organism is able to, I guess, unlock and process those emotions that were frozen in a certain time. So as we feel our way through bit by bit, those overwhelming emotional responses, they don’t need to be overwhelming anymore.
And flower essences help us feel them as not overwhelming. So on the one hand, we’re working with things for the traumatized parts like Gorse which is giving up because that’s what the psyche does. Gives up on the stress response, or we’re working with the frozen Star of Bethlehem, Rock Rose or things that specifically address those traumatized parts. And that helps resource the nervous system. And then, on the other hand, we’re working with flower essences that speak to the personality structure to soften those things like an Oak that’s just going to go and go and go and avoid feeling feelings. And the Oak is going to help soften so that we can feel the feelings and not just keep driving ourselves into exhaustion as a response.
So one more thing about that is that just to remember for flower essence therapists to remember that trauma does not have a structure of its own. Trauma hangs itself on the structure of a personality and that everyone has trauma. Everyone has had some overwhelming experience that they couldn’t deal with, and that’s frozen in some time and space.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:18:59] And I encourage anyone listening to recognize this process as being something that can be very gentle. There are some types of trauma therapies where it’s as if you’re being forced to go through it. You’re being pushed, and you have to face it. And essences have a way of helping us do it very organically and with so much support that you can face it because the whole point of the impossible-to-manage experience was that it was impossible to manage, but with the support of essences and with a trained trauma-informed therapist, you can actually help that to move through and to become reintegrated in your nervous system.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:19:56] Yeah, yeah, the essences help soften whatever, like the Rock Rose working with the hypothalamus, which is stuff that the mind can’t access, right? And then working with someone who can help contain that process so that they might be able to see when am I pushing myself too hard and risking re-traumatization? Someone who can read in the body and read even into it and feel what’s going on in that organism so that we can pick the appropriate remedies, pick the appropriate essences, and also back off when it’s time to back off or suggest, “What if we leave it there for now?” Or, “Let’s stick with this remedy for a little while longer.”
Rochana Felde: [00:20:54] I like a lot what you were saying about the first step is resourcing the nervous system, and that resonates with a lot of what my practice is all about with working with Highly Sensitive People or HSPs. And that’s always the first thing to focus on, and I use herbs and flower essences to do that, but you can’t do anything until you do that. So I like the way that you stated that the nervous system needs to be resourced. So that makes a lot of sense.
When you’re talking about the practitioner and using intuition– I mean, a part of this– the hope of this podcast is to help people become more trauma-informed. I know that in today’s world that’s sort of a newer term, being trauma-informed or being a trauma-informed practitioner. I’m seeing that in a lot of different holistic modalities and talking about that. And I do wonder though, the role of the flower essence therapist in gently teasing that out, becoming more trauma educated, and going down that path, or just kind of letting the flowers do the work. Where is the line in between there that you think that flower essence practitioners should be as a best practice?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:22:37] I mean, I think, and I’m not the only one who will say this. Any of my colleagues will say this too, meaning colleagues in Spain and probably colleagues here too would say that you can have lots of book training, lots of intellectual knowledge, and the real training happens when you experience a flower essence therapy process as a client within the safe container of an experienced practitioner. And you do that for, not a month, but a period of time where you’re really delving into the kind of stuff that we’re talking about so that you can recognize in someone else, not just from the academic viewpoint, but from a real, lived experience, and that doesn’t mean that you can just have a lived experience, and now, you’re trained to be a flower essence therapist either. I think we need both. So getting professional training, but also personal training, training our personal, our own nervous system and the experience of our own organism and our own psyche and in an ongoing way.
When we provide flower essences, even though they have kind of an unfortunate name because they sound not powerful, because flowers and essences, it sounds very ephemeral. It sounds really like, “Oh, that’s just going to be– I’m just going to feel better, and it’s just going to be so sweet,” and it’s true they are kind and gentle, but they also are powerful, and they can catalyze really big shifts in the psyche. And when a shift is catalyzed in a person, this is real life. The person needs to work that out and play that out in real life, those shifts that are happening. So providing a safe container for those shifts to be processed within the therapeutic relationship is really useful.
I really see flower essence therapy, I think there’s kind of two we can look at. I provide flower essences. In other words, maybe I sell them, or maybe I give a formula to a person, and that could be providing flower essences. And then another thing is providing Flower Essence Therapy or I call Flower Essence Counseling because the word therapy is also really watered down these days, meaning that I’m not only going to give these catalysts, this medicine that catalyzes change. I’m also going to provide a safe therapeutic container so that we’re visiting each other every week, every couple of weeks, every three weeks, something like that where we can be working through this process together, where I’m walking alongside, and there’s a hand to hold. There’s someone who’s seen and working through the changes together with you. Does that answer the question?
Rochana Felde: [00:26:15] Yeah, that’s great. And it’s so gratifying too as a practitioner to be doing that, to be walking that path with someone. I think that’s one of the most gratifying pieces of this practice.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:26:28] Yeah. And then there’s also, if what someone is going through is beyond your scope, you can get supervision with a more experienced practitioner, which is something I provide. You can refer out. You can say, “This is beyond my scope. I’ll keep walking with you. And why don’t you also contact a chiropractor or a massage therapist, a psychologist,” whatever it seems like that person needs because we can’t do everything on our own, right?
Rochana Felde: [00:27:02] Right.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:27:03] And that’s a wonderful reminder just like no one modality does everything, and it’s all working together, especially when you’re dealing with stuff that’s more locked into the physical where it would be really useful to have some sort of manual therapy or something along those lines. So bringing it all together and recognizing in the level of maturity in the field, it’s not a magic wand, even though it does magic.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:27:33] Sure. Yeah. And so many things too. I know that diet really affects the psyche of a person, and I’m not a dietician, and I know that I don’t know enough. I’m not saying this is my case, but I know that I’m not a dietitian. I know a lot about diet, but whatever it is that I know that I am lacking some expertise in, it might be that. It might be, but why don’t you try this program for– if weight loss is the thing you’re struggling with, try this program, or why don’t you try seeing a nutritionist who can help with some of this blood sugar stuff as well as whatever flower essences I’m providing because that’s holistic. Flower essences by themselves are not holistic. They’re natural. And holistic is when it’s the whole person in all aspects.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:28:26] Yeah.
Rochana Felde: [00:28:27] Yeah, they’re integrative or they can be integrative, but that means that you’re integrating with other modalities.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:28:36] Yeah. And there’s even that idea of we can use flower essences as if there were allopathic medicines like, “I have this problem. I’m going to take this thing, and I’m going to treat the symptom.” That would be an allopathic approach, right, which is often how they’re– just because that’s so much of the therapeutic water we’re swimming in, at least in the US, right? “I have a problem. I’m going to take a thing that’s going to fix it.” And people approach flower essences that way oftentimes, and sure, that’s an approach, but to be aware that that’s not holistic just because it’s flower essences.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:29:17] Yeah, that’s such a good conversation that I know I have with clients. Letting them know what maybe they can expect and the fact that you’re likely to start feeling better, and don’t stop taking them. And when you stop feeling as good, that’s actually a good sign sometimes because it didn’t stop working as it were. It’s actually now giving you the resources to be able to be present with what’s underneath that, what’s underneath that pain, or what’s underneath that struggle that you’re having.
I would love to bring in something that I think is one of the great, great strengths, and I know it’s part of your– you discuss it in your article and obviously, it’s part of your practice. But the wounding that happens before we’re verbal, when we’re infants in womb, and very, very young, these wounds, these traumas that happen, you can’t get to them by thinking about it, by talking about it because it occurs before that part of your brain even was formed, however, you want to look at that. And the flower essences can be such a powerful and profound healer to that part of you that keeps screaming, that baby that it’s just crying and crying and the essences can come in and soothe and ease that. So I know that that’s part of the theoretical framework of especially in the article that you wrote and in the work that you do.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:30:52] Right. Because trauma isn’t just something that we know happened, right? It’s like, “Oh, I don’t have any trauma because I was never in a car accident or I never–” whatever someone might conceptualize as trauma being something very dramatic. “I was never in a war,” or whatever, right? Or, “I was never sexually abused,” or whatever someone might think of as trauma. And this preverbal and precognitive trauma that happens to all of us really in the West in a country like the US that’s founded on genocide and enslaving people to build it, we all have these, what we could call, the perpetrator victim split in our psyches. And so that’s a thing to work on. That’s a thing to deal with.
And that flower essences– that’s a denial of reality on a certain level. And that’s just deep. That’s ancestral. It’s in our DNA. It’s epigenetic trauma, we can call it. We have the unbearable realities that our mother, father, grandparents, great grandparents experienced were frozen in their bodies and passed on epigenetically on the DNA. So we can have things that are playing out in our lifetime that we didn’t experience ourselves, but that our organism is responding as if it happened to this very organism because really, we’re so much more connected than it would appear in one individual moment in time. So flower essences can access that. There are remedies in Bach, in FES, in Bush Australia that I work with. Those are the ones I worked with as well as some that I developed that can access that, some of the ancestral, epigenetic trauma.
Then, there’s the bonding trauma. So in a misogynist society, in a world where women are traumatized, a woman who becomes a mother, when she becomes a mother, there’s going to be emotions that are created and hormones and emotions meant to help her bond with her baby, her zygote, her embryo, her fetus, her baby at any point in gestation. And those emotions, because they’re so strong and overwhelming, touch the trauma parts that are too overwhelming for the woman, the mother that in order to survive, she’ll shut off some part of that bonding process. And that traumatizes that embryo in a psychological way, that fetus whose whole world is its mother, and is dependent upon and emotionally fused with the mother.
And so what we call symbiotic trauma is when emotionally the fetus or baby, the newborn is splitting off from part of itself and entangled in mother’s trauma basically, and that’s also stuff that we can work with in flower essence therapy. We have Evening Primrose, we have Pine, we have Bleeding Heart. We have, on the ancestral level, we have Joshua Tree, Boab, Bottlebrush. These are really important remedies for helping us disentangle ourselves from our mother’s trauma and our father’s trauma and our ancestor’s trauma, both disentangle from what is not mine personally and the ways that I’ve been– my survival strategies have been helping my mother cope with whatever unprocessed grief she has. Maybe there was a spontaneous abortion or a semi-voluntary or voluntary abortion before I was in the womb that has been ungrieved, and now, I’m carrying that grief for her, those kinds of things. Those are all very real.
Rochana Felde: [00:35:38] So how would the symbiotic trauma manifest in say an adult person? What are some examples?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:35:47] There might be, for example, there could just be a general sense of grief and sadness that somehow if it’s just mysterious depression, there could be self-sabotage in the sense of what one feels one deserves in life, right? Those are two I can think of offhand. There’s so many other ways. But those are a couple of examples.
Rochana Felde: [00:36:18] Yeah, that’s really interesting. What about the perpetrator victim? How does that typically manifest?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:36:24] The perpetrator victim split, it’s complex. I feel like I want to just direct listeners to read the article, I think, that I wrote because it’s really well described. I actually excerpt Franz Ruppert talking about the perpetrator victim split. A lot of it has to do with shame because in a traumatized family system or traumatized bonding system, there’s such a deep sense of shame, and it plays out as victim and as perpetrator. I feel like I wish I were a little bit more meticulous, almost like I want to just read it out loud, which if I can find it here, I will. But a victim is powerless to act against a perpetrator, and so will play out power on weaker organisms, people, plants, animals. And a perpetrator will feel victimized by the truth of the reality of their perpetration and so develop victim-type beliefs and behaviors. So kind of that’s the essence of it.
Rochana Felde: [00:37:56] I think that we see this a lot with abusers or with bullies, right, is that sort of how it can manifest in a negative way?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:38:08] Sure.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:38:10] And also the family of origin imprinting, you can get either, both, and then you can act out one or the other or both. So it’s one of those family gifts that we can.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:38:23] Yeah. And I mean, I think that– I don’t know, but it seems that’s kind of what white fragility is about too, right? It’s like, “Oh, I’m being victim-y because I can’t handle the truth of–“
Rochana Felde: [00:38:39] Perfect.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:38:39] Right?
Rochana Felde: [00:38:39] Yeah.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:38:41] Well, there’s so much shame that we’re in this accounting period right now as a country and to recognize that that shame is so hot and so present. And a lot of times what people have learned to do around shame is to get aggressive and push it away as much as possible rather than feel it, and just to recognize that when you see that sort of behavior, when you see that sort of aggressiveness, when you see that sort of– it can become hatred or expresses hatred, it’s really underneath it is just a profound level of shame.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:39:22] Yeah, it’s recognizing that and as a practitioner, providing a safe space where a person can eventually disclose the things they feel so profoundly shameful to be able to work through them and to be able to provide the Pink Monkeyflower, the Crabapple, the Pine, the Sturt Desert Rose, different remedies that help process those feelings of shame and help us to feel like we’re not just a stupid piece of shit because we’re part of a violent, traumatizing, and traumatized society.
Rochana Felde: [00:40:14] There was another concept in your article that talked about these different types of trauma in concentric circles, sort of the different layers of the onion. Do you want to talk about that a little bit?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:40:29] Yeah. And that’s thanks again to Franz Ruppert, who developed IoPT or Identity-oriented Psycho-trauma Therapy, and as well as an interpreter or a translator of his, Vivian Broughton. And so through this IoPT method, it’s a phenomenological sort of thing where the theory and the practice are being developed in a coexistent way. So we’re not imposing a theory onto a practice. We’re observing the processes of people and the theories being developed alongside.
And what’s been observed is that memorable traumas such as a natural disaster or human violence such as war, those kinds of things are in the outermost layer of what affects us, because when we’re adults, we have whatever resources we have up until now. And then deeper are things like childhood sexual trauma and exploitation that could be within our memory or not. And even deeper than that, because– even deeper than that is the, what’s called, trauma of love, which is bonding trauma, which is kind of the symbiotic trauma I was mentioning before, or feeling unwanted by your mother, feeling any sort of ambivalence that there might have been, conscious or unconscious in a woman who becomes pregnant, and any feelings of being unwanted because when you are inside your mother, your whole world is that. Your whole organism, your whole psyche is built upon that unbearable reality of feeling unwanted even if that’s not something that’s conscious in the woman or if it is conscious in the woman.
So if your whole psyche feels that way, anything that happens afterwards, as Vivian Broughton writes, even though it’s traumatic and dramatic, it’s less fundamental than a trauma of love.
And so as we work on trauma healing with these traumas that are more obvious, they can sometimes sort of be like if we don’t go deeper into the trauma of love and consider remedies such as Mariposa Lily or Evening Primrose or Baby Blue Eyes because we feel our father through our mother when we’re in utero, then we’re not getting to the core of trauma patterns that continue to get played out in our lifetime. So we continue to just use these survival strategies or coping mechanisms, as they could be called.
Rochana Felde: [00:43:49] Yeah. And then do you like to work in a certain order, or is it what comes up organically with the client?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:43:59] I mean, I want a client to lead. It’s their process. I’m just there to accompany, to provide a safe container, to walk alongside. And then if I feel like if a client’s really sitting in their survival strategies for the better part of a session by talking about things that don’t seem like they’re maybe going anywhere, I might just say that. I’d be like, “All of these things– I’m starting to get a little bit lost in the story right now, and I wonder what’s going on in your body? What are you feeling?” And just try to bring the person more into the present and not to stay– and so, “This conversation, I’m not really sure where it’s going. Tell me about your bonding trauma.” No, that’s not what I’m going to say. But I am going to try to bring it into more of a present moment and see if we can– or maybe ask a question about it, something they might have said previously in an intake session where maybe they’ll tell me about their family of origin. And so maybe something they’re telling me right now about a story that’s happening currently like, “Does that remind you of anything in your family of origin,” right? And so that’s where some of those tools, some of those training tools come in, some of those kind of practitioner training tools.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:45:33] And isn’t that one of the real beauties of this work that we do to be able to help people see the through-lines in their lives? This happened 40 years ago or even longer, and yet, here it is now. Here, it’s engaging in your life in that moment. It’s not the past. It’s throughout. And to be able to see that is the first step to being able to help shift that to change those patterns.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:46:00] Yeah. And also to use– I mean, depending on whatever skill level a person has, using the actual therapeutic relationship as a laboratory for what is happening in a person’s life and even in a really conscious way, offering that. For example, someone who came to me who wanted to work on relationships, like, “I have trouble with relationships.” I was like, “Okay, well, this is a relationship. So let’s use this as a laboratory. Let’s try this out here.” That could be a really conscious way of doing it and all varying degrees of that too, recognizing whatever I feel as a practitioner. It could be coming from me. It could be coming from them. The things that they’re inciting in me could be patterns that they play out with others that they’re running through my system to– so really, this isn’t separate from life. The therapeutic relationship is also a really real part of a person’s, the way that they operate in life.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:47:12] And do you have anything that we’ve really missed that you really wanted to speak about or something you’d like to share with the audience in this moment of helping them understand a little bit better?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:47:24] Thank you for asking that. I think that we’ve touched on really a lot of important points, being gentle, being soft, while also being structured. That’s something that flower essences provide as well as a healthy therapeutic relationship. I guess I would say if somebody is interested in training, come find me. I know that that’s part of my calling, and I love, love, love, love teaching them. Loving so much this current group that I have this year from various parts of the US and Canada. It’s so dynamic. It feeds me so much and maybe for people who are listening who are practitioners, depending on wherever you’re at in your training, in your practice, in your experience, just that we are always growing together, and that’s something Pablo Noriega says is evolution happens is something we do together. So we’re just always in the learning process.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:48:43] And the flowers are evolving along with us, too, right? We’re dealing with the intelligence of nature as we all grow together.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:48:53] Mm.
Rochana Felde: [00:48:53] Yeah. And I think that everyone who’s going in the flower essence practitioner path, I mean, we don’t just take one class or learn from one teacher. It’s as many classes and teachers as you can. It’s getting just a nice breadth of experience so that we can all share in this modality and the evolution of this modality.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:49:17] Yeah. And I think as far as the Chinese medicine bit, we talked about the book. We mentioned it a little bit. That wasn’t the topic of conversation today, and I’m sure that there are some listeners out there who are like, “I want to hear more about that part,” and I know that my students too, it’s really a big draw and a big focus. They’ll be like, I want to understand that more. I want to hear more. Maybe that could be another conversation at another point and, of course, get Pablo’s book because it’s so awesome.
Rochana Felde: [00:49:53] Yeah, absolutely. We definitely want to get you back and maybe deeper dive into the Chinese medicine framework with flower essences.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:50:03] Yeah, it’s so great. The classical Chinese medicine as opposed to the TCM, for example, and oh, it’s rich.
Rochana Felde: [00:50:12] And you did briefly mention that you have another class about the birth chart and flower essences. Do you want to talk a little bit about that? It’s coming up this spring, right?
Loyola Colebeck: [00:50:22] Yeah, there’s a workshop that I gave a few years ago that people really enjoyed it, and I’m giving it again this spring. I’ve a couple of different opportunities. On a Saturday is one of them, and then a different opportunity is split between a Friday and Saturday. But just a little 4-hour workshop where we look at correspondences in the birth chart and Bach Flowers so people will have a chance to use their own birth chart, and we’ll just look at some correspondences. It’s really useful in clinical practice to be able to see kind of a snapshot of a person’s personality and what possible patterns might be happening, and then just having it be hands-on. Even if you’re not a practitioner, it’s fun to be able to have a little snapshot of yourself and see what your patterns might be in terms of the Bach remedies based on the map of the sky when you were born.
Rochana Felde: [00:51:28] And can you share with us your website and how people get in touch with you or find out more about these offerings? We will put these in the show notes, of course, but for the audio and review.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:51:37] Yeah, thank you. So I don’t have to sign up on my website yet for the birth chart workshop. So I’ll try to get that up, but if you’re interested in that, you can contact me directly. It’s Loyola, L-O-Y-O-L-A at Mind is Body Therapies dot com. And so my website is mindisbodytherapies.com or mindisbodytherapy.com, either one. I went ahead and got them both. That’s where you can also find a couple of pre-recorded classes. I have just 2-hour classes. One of them is about a couple of different COVID-related formulas that I developed. And we have a Zoom conversation with a few former students of mine and talk about one formula that’s related to psychoneuroimmunology and another that’s related to classical Chinese medicine in the lung, so for calm, resiliency, and grief and lung fortification.
And then another one that is actually an introduction to Pablo’s book, and it is pre-approved by NCCAOM for Continuing Education Credits for Acupuncturists. So that class includes the book. I sent it off to you in the mail, and it’s a 2-hour lecture about the class. And so those ones can be found on my website, the mindisbodytherapies.com as well as my full training course. So that’s a school year from September to May. So I’ll be putting the dates up for that soon. I don’t have next year’s dates quite yet.
Rochana Felde: [00:53:25] Well, this is exciting. I am so glad that we could introduce you to our audience for those who haven’t heard of you or don’t know about the book. I think we’re getting to the end of our time now. I don’t know if, Kathleen, you had anything else you wanted to ask before we wrap up.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:53:44] I just wanted to thank you for joining us, and we are really looking forward to further conversations, especially on the topic of classical Chinese medicine. It’s going to be great.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:53:54] All right, thank you so much. It’s just really an honor and a pleasure to be here chatting with both of you, hearing your work and your approaches, just a tiny, tiny little bit, meeting you, and just sharing this knowledge.
Rochana Felde: [00:54:12] Yeah, the pleasure goes all around. This is wonderful, and it’s always so inspiring to hear from other practitioners. So we do love to bring people on that are in this process, that have been doing this work, and the work you’ve been doing and how you’ve been helping to evolve the modality here in the US from all of your training abroad is so important, and we really appreciate it. I feel like here in the US, well, we’re just starved of the professionalism we long for in this field.
So thank you, everybody, for listening. And we will post the show notes with all the links and resources that Loey mentioned, including the full article that we’ve been talking about regarding Trauma and Flower Essence Therapy. And contact us on social media. We love hearing your comments and feedback on Instagram and Facebook and any questions that you have about this. I think this is such an important topic, I mean, right now more than ever. The trauma work, there’s so much trauma in the world, and we’re all getting a little bit more aware of the deeper traumas, the epigenetic traumas, and what we might be carrying around and using flower essences to peel the layers of that onion in a healthy, safe, contained way. It’s absolutely important work right now. So thank you again.
Loyola Colebeck: [00:56:00] Thank you so much.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:56:03] Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you next time on The Flower Essence podcast.
Rochana Felde: [00:56:14] You’ve been listening to The Flower Essence Podcast with Rochana Felde and Kathleen Aspenss, and we appreciate your interest in connecting with nature on a deeper level. You can find us online at thefloweressencepodcast.com or join us on Facebook and continue the discussion.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:56:38] This podcast is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not physicians and do not diagnose, prescribe, or treat medical conditions. Please consult with your own physician or healthcare practitioner regarding the suggestions and recommendations made by the hosts and guests of The Flower Essence podcast.