Healing the Soul and the Soma through Creative Making


Talking about Hunger by Roxane Gay with Dr. Jeanine Staples, Penn State University November 2018

If a person, a woman is sexually assaulted what happens to the mind and the body beyond the physical damage? This conversation talks about what happens to girls who are sexually assaulted to their soma (the body) and their soul (the spiritual) .  

What can Victims of sexual assault do to find self again?

Give yourself time and make art--art can be defined as fine art, craft, cooking,--you can define the making any way you want. When I was younger I journaled--before it was a multi-million dollar business. Give yourself permission, permission to be creative, permission to be angry and most importantly, permission to heal one day at a time. 

How devastating is a or multiple sexual assaults to the bodies of girls and women?


Findings of a 23-year longitudinal study (Shenk, et al, 2011), of the impact of intrafamilial sexual abuse on female development/ Results of many analyses, indicated that sexually abused females (on average) showed harmful, often in subtle ways, after effects of the sexual abuse including earlier onsets of puberty, cognitive deficits, depression, dissociative symptoms, maladaptive sexual development, hypothal amic–pituitary–adrenal attenuation, (to weaken) asymmetrical stress responses, (stress like “terrors” impact our health), high rates of obesity, more major illnesses and healthcare utilization, dropping out of high school, persistent post traumatic stress disorder, self-mutilation, physical and sexual revictimization, premature deliveries, teen motherhood, drug and alcohol abuse, and domestic violence

In addition, offspring born to abused mothers were at increased risk for child maltreatment and overall maldevelopment.


Shenk, C., Noll, J., Putnam, F., & Trickett, P. (2011). The impact of sexual abuse on female development: Lessons from a multigenerational, longitudinal research study. NIH Author Manuscript. Published in final edited form as:

Dev Psychopathol. 2011 May ; 23(2): 453–476. doi:10.1017/S0954579411000174. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3693773/pdf/nihms466389.pdf 

Watch the Conversation

Watch the conversation and please reach out to me with any questions. 

The Conversation

Explore making in your Life

Have you tried to draw or weld--does making anything "artsy" scare you? I challenge you to just try and give yourself time to develop a skill. You did not learn to tie your shoes overnight--skill takes practice.

Feeling and Voice in Expression

Create what  makes you feel, maybe in the beginning, you feel anger, sorrow, loss,  viciousness, don't define your feelings as good or bad, just express the  feelings in manner that is healthy.

What activities are making?

could be cooking, gardening, interior design, fashion design, design lampshades out of plumbing supplies! There is no limit!

Make a list of what interests you and stick it on your fridge and just try..