Sessions with Tana Saler
Tana Saler teaches relational skills to individuals, couples and groups who seek to connect with others deeper, with greater ease and elegance, and with greater fulfillment. Teaching style is experiential, embodied, and playful.
Who comes to see me?
People come to see me with either a stubborn chronic symptom that doesn’t seem to respond to regular health care methods; or they arrive with a personal or professional relationship problem that causes anything from sadness or irritation to distress.
The common ground of the two areas, symptoms and relationships, is the body. The body registers and remembers relationship pain. When the pain is acute, some life events and situations are the cause of upset, the body tenses and contracts, the breathing patterns change, and the experience is often quite intense. In over twenty years of practice I noticed that addressing and resolving relationship tension, disconnect or conflict eases off body pain. When the pain is chronic, a dull, constant discomfort, experience has shown me that body-centred inquiry leads to old relationship events that took place around the time when the symptoms first showed up.
What methods do I use?
The methods I used to address either pain, chronic or acute, are based on an embodied, integrative process where body awareness and sensitivity is central. Feelings, both sensations and emotional feelings, carry within pre-verbal information towards the person’s survival and well-being. For example thirst (dry mouth, sticky throat and at times headache) points towards the body’s need for hydration; this is an obvious example - when the body tells you that you’re thirsty, you drink; once you’ve drank your water, the thirst goes away. But most times the information is more subtle than that: a man with restless leg syndrome needed to move as a school student but his movement was denied by the school rules, and repressed, later on internalized by the man’s inability to move at social gatherings around the dinner table, denying his own’s body’s drive to gain acceptance. Emotional feelings are also information: fear informs the body to protect itself by running, or fighting, or playing dead. When fear arising, say, watching a horror movie, and the body remains unresponsive on the sofa, the energy of fear remains unexpressed, as an unfinished business.
To fully process a feeling, the client learns to move, breathe and voice its energy until it reaches resolution. At the same time, part of the learning is acquiring and practicing the set of relational skills which further supports the client’s well-being. In the case of the man with the restless leg, he learned and practiced during our sessions how to kindly and firmly assert his need to move. The restless leg syndrome disappeared and hasn’t returned.
In essence, the private sessions, with individuals or couples, are embodied lessons where the clients acquire personal and interpersonal life applicable skills which lead to both healthier, kinder, more fulfilling relationships and greater well-being in their own bodies.