Alexandra Cat is international Trauma Sensitive Yoga teacher and trainer. She is interested in helping people create a sense of safety in their bodies, and to survive and thrive after trauma.
Areas of interest
- Psychology of the body
- Working with people who hold non-conforming gender or sexuality identities
Alexandra Cat is an international trauma sensitive yoga teacher and trainer. Her London base Yoga Clinic (UK) offers a range of services for people who have been exposed to abuse, neglect and trauma.
These include clinical interventions for Complex & Developmental Trauma (sometimes called Treatment Resistant PTSD) as well as opportunities for clients to access more general yoga services from a trauma informed perspective.
Originally trained in the Western approaches to psychology, philosophy & neuroscience (Oxford and Sussex Universities), Alex shifted her emphasis from the intellectual to the physical in her late 20’s, exploring a body-based psychology through mountaineering/climbing, dance & the Yoga Sutras.
She later combined this experience with a range of educational programs including, but not limited to Dialectical & Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Psychodynamic Counselling and is a graduate of the Trauma Centre’s Certificate programmes in Traumatic Stress Studies & Trauma Sensitive Yoga
Alex’s client base includes individuals who identify as living with a range of experiences, including:
- body dysmorphia, shame & dysregulated appetite & eating
- addictions, compulsions & self-injurious behavior
- depression, insomnia, anxiety
- complex & developmental trauma
In both her individual and group work Alex’s interests are in early sexual assault, neglect, body dysmorphia, fantasy and shame. She has a special interest in working with individuals with non-conforming identities of sex, gender and sexuality, and in developing a trauma informed group practice to work as an adjunct to psychodynamically informed group therapy.
Alex has presented posters and delivered workshops on interoception, trauma & chronic stress to the London Speciality Schools of Psychiatry, of General Practitioners, the International and UK Societies for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis and to the National Health Service Practitioner Health Programme.
Alex is a regular guest lecturer for the UK’s National Health Service, Medical Education programs.
Alex is a member of the international teaching and training faculty for The Trauma Center’s Trauma Sensitive Yoga program.Since 2003 The Trauma Centre (now the Centre for Trauma & Embodiment) in Brookline Massachusetts has been offering a very particular form of yoga to a variety of complex trauma survivors, including war veterans, sexual assault survivors, at-risk youth and survivors of chronic childhood abuse and neglect.
Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) is now a recognised as an evidence-based intervention by for Complex PTSD. TCTSY Facilitators are trained, supervised and held to account for the ethics and quality of their practice, through the Trauma Centre, Boston.
Alex says: “All yoga teachings share a core belief: That connecting and relating, whether to ourselves or to others, is central to human nature. When one is consistently related to with compassion, our systems are balanced and support the development of our highest capacities. When the relating is consistently indifferent or threatening, our survival systems dominate and the stage is set for us to shut down, withdraw and become sick.”
Under the right conditions & using the right tools, humans are infinitely capable of compassionately re-connecting. The right conditions are unconditional love & acceptance. To connect compassionately is to be in a state of Yoga.
Alex’s teachings are not just for those who consider themselves to have been subject to trauma. The simple practices can help anyone to feel more embodied and develop an understanding of how the nervous system works in times of duress. This work can help with emotion regulation – changing the intensity of one’s emotional experiences; distress tolerance – staying with a challenging experience without becoming overwhelmed; becoming more mindful – noticing one’s physical sensations, emotions &/or thoughts, even as they change, with an attitude of compassion & acceptance.
Alex is a regular guest educator and has presented at national and international ISPS conferences, varieties of NHS Medical Education and CAMHS programs and acts as an independent trauma advisor on various Yoga Teacher Training programs.
Alex offers trauma informed yoga services, to survivors of relational trauma through The Yoga Clinic (UK) and pioneered the Critical Yoga Project. The Critical Yoga Project facilitates compassionate but challenging conversation between yoga practitioners on issues of guru dynamics and coercive control, re-enactments of structural abuses (particularly racism, colonialism & varieties of heterosexisms) and non-trauma informed yoga practices.
“No intervention that takes power away from the survivor can possibly foster her recovery, no matter how much it appears to be in her own best interests.”
~ Judith Herman, Trauma & Recovery