The Sexual Trauma Healing Journey

embodiment, empowerment, and resilience for female-identified survivors

Join the waitlist

About the Course

Sexual trauma is intensely wounding to the body, mind, and soul. It’s a physical and emotional boundary violation, a devastating betrayal that robs us of our ability to trust, our sense of safety, our health and our well-being. It’s no wonder that healing doesn’t come easy. No matter how deep we bury it, the trauma remains in our cellular memory, waiting to be integrated and healed. We cannot “just get over it” and “move on”.

I know just how hard it can be to find the resources needed to heal from sexual trauma. I’m an experienced licensed therapist and coach specializing in treating sexual trauma and understand it’s not always easy to find someone skilled in this challenging yet rewarding work. I’m passionate about helping survivors on their journey to healing and bring a wealth of knowledge, understanding, compassion, and support to the course.

If you’re a survivor I’m here to tell you – if you want to feel safe enough to inhabit your body, to remain grounded in yourself and to the earth for more than a few fleeting moments, to trust that your nervous system won’t suddenly be thrown into a disruptive trigger, flashback, unwelcome dissociation, fear, anger or shame; instead to feel appropriately safe and embodied, to be present and in connection with yourself and those you love, to not shy away from play and intimacy in your chosen relationships, to be free to create and to live the fullest expression of yourself – do not give up! Healing is possible and it’s never too late to begin!    

The Sexual Trauma Healing Journey is a six-month online somatic-based course that includes 3 live webinars a month with experientials, Q&A’s, tools, practices, and worksheets, recorded for your convenience. The Sexual Trauma Healing Journey welcomes and values diversity among female-identified survivors, including all races, sexualities, body sizes, and abilities. The course curriculum is carefully curated, each week building upon the previous with insights, reflections, and practices that will aid you in your healing and growth. These are teachings you can return to again and again if needed for grounding, guidance and support as you move forward on your healing path.

Whether you’re just starting your healing journey, deepening into it, or are frustrated that nothing has seemed to help, this course is for you.

Every Step Matters

The Healing Journey

Healing from sexual assault is a journey that takes time. There will be twists and turns along the way. You may have a breakthrough, followed by a time of reprieve; then, a new discovery, detail, or memory will surface. This can feel devastating, like a big setback, and when your nervous system is in a depressed state, you may lose hope of ever healing from sexual trauma. But the journey’s not linear; it’s not about crossing a finish line. Each time you encounter what feels like a setback, another piece of the trauma is stepping into the light of day to be healed. It’s your preceding success, however small, that allowed for this new challenge to be faced.

These successes build upon one another until one day you’ll look back and realize how far you’ve come – the flashbacks have ceased, the triggers diminished, and you feel safe in your skin and present to fully experience life. The Sexual Trauma Healing Journey is designed to help guide and support you on this courageous and transformational path.

What You Will Learn

Fight, Flight.
Freeze, Fawn

Understanding your autonomic nervous system and how to shift your state in support of your healing.

Somatic Skills

How to get in touch with or come back to your body, safely sense inward and ground into presence.

Emotions

Listening to the message they carry, and practices to help regulate them as you strengthen self-agency.

Boundaries

Why they’re so important, how to sense into them, physicalize them, and communicate your needs.

Trauma and Memory

How trauma memories differ from others, memory reconsolidation, and what this means for you.

Resources and Resilience

Harness inner strength while supporting and nurturing a felt sense of well-being.

Your Course Instructor

Erika Shershun, MA, LMFT, is an author, a licensed therapist in private practice in California, and a survivor of sexual assault.

It was her own long, difficult journey to move beyond trauma symptoms that resulted in her piecing together the knowledge and tools needed to heal.

Erika’s passion for preventing others from spending extra years and resources searching for relief from disruptive and painful trauma symptoms lead her to specialize in working with survivors and those suffering from PTSD or CPTSD. Her approach is compassionate yet direct, somatic-based, and trauma-informed, utilizing neurobiology, EMDR and other integrative modalities.

Erika sees therapy clients individually, and offers coaching for clients residing outside of CA. The Healing Sexual Trauma Workbook, PESI Sexual Trauma Clinical Training, and the Sexual Trauma Healing Journey grew out of a desire to make her work more easily accessible to those in need of support.

What’s Inside the Curriculum

Each Module consists of four weeks. Modules 1 through 5 include three immersive weeks of live online training and Q&A, followed by one week off to practice, process, and integrate. Module 6 includes three immersive weeks of live online training and Q&A, followed by a closing Q&A session and ritual.

Module 1: Week 1 through Week 4

Grounding Into Safety

How to soothe and regulate your nervous system, connect with presence, and meet yourself with compassion

We begin the journey of healing from sexual trauma by understanding the ways its impact is showing up in you now, and by cultivating a practice of calming your autonomic nervous system to embody a sense of safety, relative safety, or safe enough to shift out of a dysregulated state rather than being swept along with it.

Some of what we’ll explore in this first module includes:

  • Why trauma can persist and even worsen years after the overwhelming event and how it’s showing up in you now
  • How do you recognize safe or not safe, and your capacity to generate a feeling of internal safety or presence
  • Getting in touch with your resources to evoke and support a felt sense of wellbeing
  • Taking in self-compassion and befriending your inner child to heal shame
  • Your autonomic nervous system, the 4 F’s: fight, flight, freeze and fawn, and when they become habituated
  • The Polyvagal Theory, physiological responses to each state, how they change your perspective, and what to do about it

Foundational Practices: Coming into Safety or Presence, Self-compassion Steps, Recognizing Which State You’re In.

Module 2: Week 5 through Week 8

Reducing Your Symptoms

How to diffuse your triggers, counter the negativity bias, and understand traumas’ impact on memory

Lacking a cohesive narrative, like a movie in your mind, trauma memories are said to be like shards of broken glass. Fragmented splinters of undeveloped and unprocessed sensations, images, smells, tastes, emotions, and thoughts that can trigger intense feelings, flashbacks, or dissociation. Once you understand where these symptoms originate and how to work with them, you’ll begin to see their intensity lessen until the day arrives when you’re no longer triggered by the trauma.

Some of what we’ll explore in this second module includes:

  • Trauma and memory: why you don’t have to remember to heal
  • The negativity bias and its antidote, mindfulness
  • Understanding your amygdala to diminish fear and panic and cultivate a state of calm
  • Supporting quality sleep by transforming nightmares and creating a sleep ritual
  • Taming triggers and acknowledging their opposite, glimmers
  • Why we dissociate, the antidote, and flashback strategies

Foundational Practices: Mindfulness, Taming Your Triggers, Tapping in Glimmers.

Module 3: Week 9 through Week 12

Your Body Speaks Your Mind

How to sense inward and listen to the language your body speaks, orienting your attention, betrayal trauma, and learning to trust your intuition

The body-mind connection plays a central role in healing from trauma and PTSD. In this module, we’ll deepen into somatic-based exploration, discuss betrayal trauma, and learn how to listen to intuition.

Some of what we’ll explore in this third module includes:

  • Deepening into somatic practices for safely sensing inward and titrating sensations
  • Orienting your attention, what are you orienting toward and why it matters
  • Healing from betrayal trauma
  • When is it best to cut ties with those who’ve harmed you
  • Your inner compass, learning to listen to and trust your intuition
  • Fear and Intuition, how to distinguish between the two

Practices: Safely Sensing Inward, Observing the Rhythms, A Place of Strength or Calm, A Protector, Orienting Your Attention, Tapping into Intuition, and more.

Module 4: Week 13 through Week 16

Boundaries and Self-Agency

How to strengthen your physical and energetic boundaries and listen to the messages your emotions carry

If you’re a survivor, your boundaries were ignored, breached, and shattered. As a result, you may struggle to set healthy boundaries, yet boundaries are vital in helping to protect you from being mistreated, letting others know how you would like to be treated, creating healthy physical and emotional space, and promoting self-agency

Some of what we’ll explore in this fourth module includes:

  • Types of boundaries and why you’ll want to strengthen your boundary making skills
  • How your body, thoughts, and emotions are making or not making a boundary at any given time
  • Acknowledging, allowing, and accepting emotions, even the unwelcome ones
  • Learning to listen to the messages your emotions carry
  • Learning to accept anger and give it healthy expression
  • The many ways shame can take hold and how it shows up in your body

Practices: The Egg Boundary, Yes, No, and Maybe, Projecting Your Voice, the Stop Boundary, NVC, Acknowledging, Allowing, and Accepting Emotions, Fists to Palms and Willing Hands, Shifting the Anger—Whoosh, Distancing and Befriending Your Inner Critic.

Module 5: Week 17 through Week 20

Grief For All You’ve Lost

How to give grief expression, reclaim your sexual power, and the 4 relational attachment styles

At some point in your healing journey, grief is inevitable; it may visit after a breakthrough and more than once. One of the ways grief shows up for survivors is in intimate relationships. This can take many forms, from fear of touch and physical pain to repetition compulsion or its opposite, avoiding intimacy altogether.

Some of what we’ll explore in this fifth module includes:

  • The many ways grief might show up and how to work with it
  • Forgiveness is optional, practices for those who want to and are ready to forgive
  • Assessing safety in your relationships
  • Fear of dating and intimacy after trauma and repetition compulsion
  • Trauma symptoms at the root of physical intimacy issues
  • Understanding the 4 attachment styles and working with attachment wounds so you can begin to have closer relationships

Practices: Resistance Breath, Resistance Breath and Vocalizing, Energy Shift, Metta Meditation, Yes, No, and Maybe Body Map, Pelvic Breath, practices to support secure attachment.

Module 6: Week 21 through Week 24

Nourishing Your Resilience

How to counter trauma’s impact on long-term health, healing intergenerational trauma, and tools for empowerment

This last module explores the long-term impacts of trauma on your health and wellbeing, with practices and rituals you can implement to strengthen your health and resilience. We’ll also take a look at how intergenerational trauma might be showing up for you now and how to release it.

Some of what we’ll explore in this sixth module includes:

  • Trauma’s impact on your physical health and your ACE’s score
  • Trauma, stress, Inflammation, and the vagus nerve
  • Your heart, emotions, and entrainment
  • It didn’t start with you, healing Intergenerational Trauma
  • The practice and benefits of ritual
  • Integrity, resilience, your essential self, and post-traumatic growth

Practices: Heart-Centered Breathing, Abdominal Massage, Your Essential Self, An Empowered Walk, An Empowered Future, the Letting Go Ritual, Closing Ritual.

Here’s What You’ll Receive In the 6-Month Program

The Healing Sexual Trauma Course includes the following resources to support you on your healing journey:

18 live 90-minute interactive teaching and Q&A sessions with Erika Shershun

27+ hours of online immersive training

A private course portal

with downloadable access to course materials, including video, audio, and transcripts from every course session.

Weekly body-based practices

and printable handouts to aid you in your healing.

Unlimited access to course content

and a recommended reading list.

Course Schedule

Wednesday’s from 5 pm until 6:30 pm PDT

Time Converter

18 live 90 minute Zoom sessions plus a live closing Q&A and ritual, week 24.

All trainings will be recorded and posted to the private course portal with access to video recordings, audio, transcripts, bonuses, and additional resource material, giving you access to all materials in a variety of learning formats to revisit again and again.

Module 1: week 1 – 4

Week 1: Oct. 2, 2024
Week 2: Oct. 9, 2024
Week 3: Oct. 16, 2024

Module 2: week 5 – 8

Week 5: Oct. 30, 2024
Week 6: Nov. 6, 2024
Week 7: Nov. 13, 2024 (PST begins)

Module 3: week 9 – 12

Week 9: Dec. 4, 2024
Week 10: Dec. 11, 2024
Week 11: Dec. 18, 2024

Module 4: week 13 – 16

Week 13: Jan. 8, 2025
Week 14: Jan. 15, 2025
Week 15: Jan. 22, 2025

Module 5: week 17 – 20

Week 17: Feb. 5, 2025
Week 18: Feb. 12, 2025
Week 19: Feb. 19, 2025

Module 6: week 21 – 24

Week 21: March 5, 2025
Week 22: March 12, 2025 (PDT resumes)
Week 23: March 19, 2025
Week 24: March 26, 2025

Plus, Receive These Special Bonuses

Bonus 1

The first 8 people who register for the course will receive two 50 minute private coaching sessions with Erika.

Bonus 2

A free copy of the Healing Sexual Trauma Workbook.

Bonus 3

A self-care playlist. Music to help you feel seen and inspire your courage to heal.

Bonus 4

A guided practice Body Scan Meditation, audio by Erika. This bonus recording gently supports unwinding from tension and stress as you relax into presence.

Bonus 5

Lovingkindness Meditation read by Krystal Ying, LMFT, LPPC krystalyingtherapy.com. Lovingkindness, also known as Metta Meditation, supports self-compassion and compassion for others.

Here’s Everything You’ll Receive

18 live 90-minute interactive teaching and Q&A sessions with Erika Shershun [27+ hours of online immersive training]

A private course portal with downloadable access to course materials, including video, audio, and transcripts from every course session.

Weekly body-based practices and printable handouts to aid you in your healing.

Unlimited access to course content and a recommended reading list.

BONUS #1: The first 8 people who register for the course will receive two 50 minute private coaching sessions with Erika.

BONUS #2: A free copy of the Healing Sexual Trauma Workbook.

BONUS #3: A self-care playlist. Music to help you feel seen and inspire your courage to heal.

BONUS #4: A guided practice Body Scan Meditation, audio by Erika. This bonus recording gently supports unwinding from tension and stress as you relax into presence.

BONUS #5: Lovingkindness Meditation read by Krystal Ying, LMFT, LPPC krystalyingtherapy.com. Lovingkindness, also known as Metta Meditation, supports self-compassion and compassion for others.

Coming in Sept. 2024

Join my waitlist below

Waitlist

What trauma survivors say about working with Erika

M.F.

Software Engineer

I was just sitting here thinking about the resilience you helped me build, and I wanted to reach out to tell you, and to say thank you. Not a day goes by that I don’t use a tool I learned from you. I’m so appreciative of our time together.

K.I.

Writer

I’ve been thinking a lot about how far I’ve come and how much better I’m doing now than I was a year ago. It’s striking to recognize the difference between where I was and where I am now. When I first came to you, I was lost and confused, scattered and shellshocked. I didn’t know how to move forward with everything I was carrying. Your honesty, clarity, and compassion were so vital to me in those first weeks and months after the second trauma–and continued to be vital as you helped me move forward through the painful process of healing. Back then, I wasn’t sure how my story was going to turn out. From this vantage point, I feel like I’m finally finding the happy ending of this turbulent chapter of my life. Your wise and steady counsel helped get me here, and I’m so grateful. So incredibly, enormously, overwhelmingly grateful.

R.R.

Entrepreneur

Thank you so much for helping and supporting me throughout this journey of growth and healing. You have shown me the power within myself and helped me tackle the hardest issues I’ve faced thus far. Your genuine willingness to help, your compassion and your expertise made this, at times incredibly tough, journey doable. While I know that I am proud of myself for fighting this battle, I am so incredibly grateful for you for giving and teaching and sharing in this process. I can honestly say, my life has changed for the better and you are a big part of that. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will always be grateful towards you!!

T.S.L.

Speech-Language Pathologist

I am forever grateful for your healing skills and expertise. With your guidance, I am more able to feel the ups and downs of life with grace and gratitude. THANK YOU.

S.C.

Writer

I’ve been wanting to write for a while to tell you I’m doing well and to thank you. It occurs to me that you may not get to know what happens “after” and it’s so generous to do the work you do without needing to know… Work is fulfilling and an integrated part of my personal life. All parts feed each other. I’m astounded when I realize how peaceful I feel. Thank you for all that you do in your work! I think about you often, and I practice what you taught me in a funny, humanly imperfect way.

M.B.

Social Worker

The Healing Sexual Trauma Workbook has changed my life and given me the answers I’ve been looking for since I began my healing journey over 40 years ago. The pages of your book reveal the ‘ missing link’ to my own healing process. I am totally disconnected to my physical body because of long term and multiple trauma. Your book has brought, not only knowledge but deep understanding to me and given me much relief, that I have not gone crazy. Thank you so much for your courage and boldness. Keep speaking out and keep writing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this course for?

This course is open to female identified survivors of sexual trauma age 18+, whether the events were recent, long ago in the past, or somewhere in between.

Is the course open to participants outside of the USA?

Yes, part of the motivation for creating this course is to reach survivors who may not have access to someone specializing in treating sexual trauma, survivors who will benefit from the material wherever they reside.

I’m afraid of what I’ll discover if I do the work to heal. Is this something you see a lot?

Yes, in fact, this is the biggest reason people are fearful of turning inward and doing the work to heal. Having named the fear is a great first step. Naming it helps to diminish fear’s power over you. It’s natural to resist change; our brains are wired that way – to fear the unknown. Yet most everything you’ve ever accomplished, including taking your very first step, brought up fear or anxiety before you took that leap; and trauma symptoms tend to lurk under the surface, affecting us more than we realize in our day-to-day life.

I’m not going to mislead you; the work of healing from sexual trauma is not easy. It takes courage and determination to improve the quality of your life. And with the wounds of trauma, sometimes you can feel a little worse before you feel better. One of the benefits of the course is that you can move through it at your own pace, strengthening your capacity to do the work as you practice the techniques and connect or reconnect with a felt sense of safety/presence. And I’ll be there each teaching week to support you and answer your questions. I can assure you from first-hand experience and countless client feedback that when you get to the point of symptom relief, it will all feel well worth it!

It has been said that our essence, our soul, is ever present like the sun, yet like the sun, it can become obscured by clouds. These clouds represent the wounds and trauma you’ve experienced throughout your life, along with the defenses that have helped you survive, yet these defenses (dissociating, people-pleasing, rage…) may no longer serve you. Together, we can bring awareness and begin to relax these defenses allowing more of your true self, your gifts, your ever-present essence to shine through.

Do you offer refunds?

I’m unable to provide refunds once you begin the course, so please follow your own best judgment when making the decision to register. I am confident that this course contains a wealth of high-quality content, but you are the best judge of what is right for you at this time in your healing. Please check in with your inner guidance, your schedule, and your bank account before enrolling to be sure it’s a definite yes for you.

If you’re still not sure that this course is right for you contact me with your questions and we can schedule a time to talk.

How long will I have access to the course materials?

As long as I continue to offer this course, which I expect to be for years to come, you will have access to the live call recordings and other course materials. 

Is this course for female-identifying participants only?

Yes, since feeling safe enough or relatively safe is so vital to the work of healing from sexual trauma, the course is open to female-identified survivors only at this time. If there’s enough interest, a cohort for male identified survivors will be offered in the future.

What’s included in this course?

The course includes 18 live-90-minute interactive teaching and Q&A sessions with Erika. That’s 27 + hours of online immersive training to teach you about your body’s relation to trauma and somatic (body-based) skills to help you connect with a felt sense of safety/presence in your body, to understand your biological trauma responses and how to work with them, to learn to identify and set boundaries, and to live with resilience.

The course is made up of a combination of presentation, experiential practices, and Q&A’s. You’ll come away with a wealth of practices and techniques that you can return to again and again as you continue your healing journey.

Does this course include homework?

Each module will include prompts, handouts, and invitations to practice what you’re learning between sessions. For best results, I’ll ask you to practice some of the techniques which will usually take no more than 12 minutes per day, as well as to use them as needed. These are supportive useful practices and resources that will make a difference in your life. Every 4th week is a week of practice and rest, a time to review, and to catch up if needed.

Practicing these techniques for 12 minutes a day will help you access a more consistent state of grounded presence and will make the practices easier for you to access and more effective when you find your nervous system becoming activated. This, in turn, decreases the frequency and severity of activation.

Do you offer a payment plan?

Yes, I hope to make this course accessible to as many participants as possible by offering an interest-free payment plan of 6 equal monthly installments.

It’s important to me that participants who elect to use the payment plan are not penalized with any additional fees, so I’m absorbing the extra processing costs involved in offering a payment plan rather than passing them on to you.

I’m offering a limited number of partial scholarships for those who qualify. While all women have been marginalized, I’m especially interested in providing scholarships to woman from low income marginalized communities. If you’re experiencing significant financial hardship please contact me to see if you qualify. If you can afford to take multiple vacations a year this probably isn’t you.

How will I access the course?

Content will be uploaded to the membership area, one week at a time, 3 weeks on, one week off for 6 months. Upon registration you’ll receive an e-mail containing login details to access the course materials in the membership area. You’ll continue to receive an email each week with a link to access that week’s training.

Praise for Erika’s Work

“This workbook is a must read for anyone struggling with unhealed trauma. Erika gives tangible tips to safely move through trauma in an empowering and validating way. Learning to listen to your body and emotions is scary and hard, but Erika’s workbook makes this practice gentle, which is so needed. So many trauma survivors will be able to reclaim a part of themselves after finishing this.”

Stevie Croisant, founder of We Are HER weareher.net

“In this vital and beautiful workbook, Erika Shershun guides us through the process of understanding our sexual trauma, and ultimately working towards a place of thriving. What really emerges for me from these exercises, is that she is equipping survivors with the tools and processes that embolden us to move beyond surviving to flourishing. Erika is inviting survivors on a powerful journey of transformation – and I’m grateful to her for entrusting survivors to be the drivers of that process.”

JoEllen Chernow, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Survivors Know www.survivorsknow.org

“Erika Shershun has managed to create an invaluable handbook for the many courageous survivors of sexual trauma who are working hard to find their way back to a life of normalcy. What is particular notable about this, among so many others, is that Ms Shershun knows the territory directly, having found a way to access her own considerable gifts of healing both herself and others. She provides a clear path towards finding one’s way.”

Don Hanlon Johnson, PhD, professor of Somatics in the School of Consciousness and Transformation at CIIS, author and editor of several books including Bone, Breath, and Gesture, and Body, Spirit, and Democracy

“Erika Shershun has written a much needed, empowering resource for sexual assault survivors. Her Healing Sexual Trauma Workbook explains how trauma impacts the body, mind, and soul. It provides a comprehensive array of worksheets, body-based exercises, and support tools for recovery. It addresses concerns common to survivors that are often overlooked in treatment. And it compassionately offers the guidance, hope, and support that all survivors of sexual assault need and deserve.”

Susanne Babbel, PhD, MFT, author of Heal the Body, Heal the Mind; and blogger for www.psychologytoday.com

Coming in Sept. 2024

Join my waitlist below

Waitlist

Have questions?

Contact Erika