My name is Heidi Hanson. I am a fine artist and also have a BA degree in psychology form Mills College.  I grew up in a family of artists in rural NY state; my family was part of the Gurdieff Group where I was exposed to the idea of self-observation for spiritual growth and self-improvement. I also went to a Waldorf high school where my creativity was given a lot of support and encouragement.

In 2007, when I was living in Berkeley, CA, I developed acute PTSD after two serious medical accidents. I bounced between various therapists that were unhelpful and often made things worse and then in 2010, I found a Somatic Experiencing therapist in Marin, CA. It was when I was seeing her, and when I was physically well enough to write and draw again, that I began documenting my journey of recovery with artwork, creative writing and poetry, which I put into my first blog, The Art of Healing Trauma Blog. I moved to Asheville, NC and continued Somatic Experiencing therapy from 2012 to 2019. I now live in Knoxville, Tennessee where I’m homesteading and raising chickens with my boyfriend.

Self-healing Exercises

During the course of my struggles with PTSD and grief, I discovered and created many self-therapy exercises, exercises one can do at home that help one progress along one’s healing path.

The purpose of this website is to help people put effective self-therapy exercises into practice in their daily lives.

The main advantages of self-therapy exercises are:

Self-healing exercises empower us to do something about the many overwhelming states we can get into with PTSD and grief. We can customize them to our needs. And as we learn the exercises, we create our own personalized toolkit of healing tools that work the best for us. Self-therapy exercises can help speed up our recovery – after all, a therapist is with us 1 hour per week and we are with ourselves 24/7.

Note that self-therapy exercises are meant to be done in conjunction with, but not as a replacement for, getting help from a trained professional.

Books in the Plans…

I am working on a number of books, including The Art of Healing Trauma  and The Art of Healing Grief.

To receive updates of new blog posts and book announcements, subscribe to my email list. I also post my blog posts and other trauma healing articles on my page on Facebook.

If you have any feedback or comments about my blog or personal experiences related to PTSD you would like to share, feel free to email me: heidimariahanson AT gmail DOT com.

I wish you the very best on your journey to wholeness and health,

Heidi Hanson


1. Please keep in mind most therapeutic exercises presented here are based on one person (the author’s) own personal experience. This means they have not been scientifically tested or validated for effectiveness among a varied population of trauma victims. If you decide to try out an exercise be aware you are doing so at your own risk.

2. Please do the exercises under the supervision of a trained and licensed therapist, counselor, psychiatrist or other mental health specialist. If you experience an increase in symptoms, stop and discuss your experiences with your helping professional.

3. There are inherent challenges in self-therapeutic exercises. You have to have developed some degree of self-monitoring and self-management skills so part of your mind can manage the rest of your mind’s symptoms. Some ways to do self-therapeutic exercises responsibly: 1) Only begin after 12 months of therapy has been completed. 2) Go slowly and carefully monitor your responses. Stop immediately if you feel you have opened up part of your psychology that is beyond your ability to manage and seek help. 3) You may elect to bring the exercise to therapy and do it with the therapist managing your experience.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Heidi Hanson