Trauma Recovery Program: Therapeutic Empowerment Self-Defense (TESD™)

An integrated approach towards trauma recovery & violence prevention

Trauma Recovery Programs

The Safety Team is delighted to offer an innovative program developed by psychologist and founding member of The Safety Team, Dr. Christine DiBlasio. This program, Therapeutic Empowerment Self-Defense (TESD™), is designed specifically for trauma survivors, and uses an integrated mind-body approach towards trauma recovery and violence prevention. TESD is supported in part by a grant from Vermont Center for Victim Services. Enrollment is open until June 2024. Please note that insurance may be billed for these services, and/or there may be a fee to enroll.

Intended for women over the age of 18 who have experienced interpersonal violence (physical, emotional, sexual, or other violence) at any point in their history, the TESD program offers 1 to 3 individual sessions, and, when ready, up to 6 hours of small group sessions. A mental health provider will be at every session, and there will be one or two additional instructors.

The individual and group sessions will include:

Psycho-education about Trauma

  • Grounding and Stabilization Techniques
  • Information on:
    • Neurobiological Responses to Threat
    • Redirecting Blame towards the Perpetrator
    • Somatic Reprocessing: An Integrated Mind-Body Approach to Healing

Therapeutic Empower Self-Defense Training

  • Sexual Assault Information
  • Affirmative Consent
  • Empowerment Self-Defense Mindset
  • Verbal and Physical Boundary Setting
  • Empowerment Self-Defense Techniques
  • Risk Reduction Strategies

No prior experience is necessary. All of this content is delivered in a way that is attuned to each person’s emotional and physical needs while offering opportunities for healing and reparative experiences.

*This program is not suitable for those who are currently experiencing domestic violence or other interpersonal violence. Additional participation criteria are utilized to determine eligibility.

Got a Question?

Find your answer on our FAQ page.

For More Information Contact:

Christine DiBlasio, Ph.D., PLC at 802-654-7607 ext. 2 or email

Benefits to Survivors

It is important to note that The Safety Team’s approach is unique from other treatment services. We understand the pivotal role that somatic reprocessing (the body) plays in the healing process, particularly in regard to the trauma caused by interpersonal violence. Extensive research in the field of trauma recovery affirms not only the mind-body connection, but the importance of integrating movement as part of treatment (Drs. van der Kolk, Levine, and others).

From our own work with survivors, The Safety Team has seen this in action; women gain a sense of confidence and control, learn that their bodies have power, and rediscover a feeling of personal safety and freedom. At all levels of our programming, we incorporate physical movement, as one’s sense of agency, one’s empowerment, is also a bodily experience. Our programs reaffirm to women that they have the right to take up space, are deserving of respect, and have more emotional and physical power than they realize.

Trauma Recovery Programs

We’re proud of our first cohort of trained TESD therapists.


Two of us walked out of the group session and both of us said the same thing to each other: We weren’t the same people anymore. It’s a new day because it’s different for me now.
— Participant, Therapeutic Empowerment Self-Defense Program

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