Speaking of Healing:
Unlock the Power of Language in Trauma Healing and Coaching 

“Appeasement in Stockholm” – involuntary survival reflexes of the autonomous nervous system are not a syndrome!


Professional therapeutic word use can empower, or undermine, a victim of trauma. It can do justice to a client’s experience, or trivialize it. It can either condone perpetrators of violence and their actions toward society, or help clearly define the boundary as to how and where unacceptable personal violence begins, and normality ends. 

An important example of where things often go wrong in therapeutic practice is the way the well-known term “Stockholm Syndrome” is used. 

In this groundbreaking conversation with Dr. Rebecca Bailey, PhD, co-author of the article “Appeasement: Replacing Stockholm Syndrome as a Definition of a Survival Strategy” published in January in the European Journal of Psychotraumatology, we will confront the way psychological practice, through ingrained word choices and language, too often tends to pathologize the experiences of people who have experienced interpersonal violence and to condone the actions of the perpetrator. 

During this interactive discussion, we will dive into the crucial role of language and word choice in strengthening the self-image of victims of interpersonal violence and discover the nonverbal power of terminology in trauma therapy and coaching.

This event is especially for therapists, coaches and other professionals, who in practice deal with clients with trauma and post-traumatic symptoms, and for experiential experts, people who are actively processing their traumatic experiences.

📅 Date: Friday 8 September 2023

Time: 19:30 – 21:00

📍 Location: Akasha’s Paardrijschool, Molenakker 11A, 5438 NG Gassel, Noord Brabant

Ticket Price:  

€37,- for attendance and/or access to the recording

€54,- for attendance and/or access to the recording and a copy of Dr. Rebecca Bailey’s book In Verbinding met Paarden

🎟️ Limited Capacity: 80 seats available

Why Attend?

In this thought-provoking interactive interview, we highlight the intricacies of the effect of language and word choice in therapy and coaching practice. Together we explore how professionals can make better use of the positive power of words in dealing with clients with post-traumatic symptoms, their healing process, and their ability to take back control of their personal story. 

Dr. Rebecca Bailey PhD is an American psychotherapist and writer who has been sought after in the media around her therapeutic experience with survivors of long-term abduction trauma and their reintegration into society. 

She has been using horses in trauma therapy since 2006, making her one of the pioneers in this field in the US. 

In Jan. 2023, the European Magazine for Psychotraumatology published the article she co-authored with Dr. Stephen Porges, PhD, and experiential expert Jaycee Dugard, on the misunderstandings in therapy around “Stockholm Syndrome” – by which, since a famous hostage-case in a Stockholm bank in 1974, the calming or appeasing survivor behavior of abductees and hostages is referred to toward their perpetrator. 

This survival behavior has often been wrongly referred to in the past as “falling in love with one’s captor.” However, no scientific basis has ever been established for this interpretation. Moreover, by using the word “syndrome,” the term pathologizes a primary survival reflex of the autonomic nervous system, and thus does enormous injustice to the experience of victims of interpersonal violence, rape and incest. 

To survive being threatened with violence, a key reflex is to try to soothe and satisfy, as much as possible, the one who threatens you with violence and may have already used it.  Bailey, Porges and Dugard call for the term Stockholm Syndrome to be dropped because of this misconception, and to be replaced with “Appeasement” as a word that better reflects the experience of people who have been subjected to such situations. 

The presenter of the interview is Josselien Janssens, experiential expert in overcoming complex trauma, originally trained as a communication professional and since years an educator around experiential learning with horses according to the Eponaquest method of best-selling author and pioneer Linda Kohanov.  

Josselien will share her direct experience with trauma-enhancing wording and behavior from medical specialists and therapists during the interview, as an example of how word choice and language can undermine trauma recovery. 

Last but not least, you as a participant have a central role in this special event! As a therapy or coaching professional, other professional dealing with traumatised clients, or as an expert by experience in dealing with trauma (or as both at the same time!), we invite you to add your experiences and viewpoints to what we hope will be a lively exchange with Dr. Bailey. 

The purpose of the evening is to redefine, where appropriate, professional best-practice by therapists, coaches and other professional specialists who deal with people with post-traumatic symptoms. 

Please note: The interview, including contributions from the audience will be filmed on camera, to also be offered digitally to the target audience of professionals and experiencers.

During this evening we will:

Challenge Standard Therapeutic Terminology: Discover how standard practice therapeutic language use tends to empower perpetrators and further shames survivors. Explore how definitions of terms and labels like ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, lack scientific basis and contribute to the problem. Investigate with us, how we can turn this narrative around to fully empower survivors in their healing process.

Navigate the Key Role of the Nervous System: Gain insights into the role of the autonomous nervous system in trauma responses. Learn how specific wording choices can either adversely activate or empower survivors in their healing journey.


Harness the Power of Therapeutic Interventions with Horses: Explore how equine facilitated therapy can help regulate the nervous system to enable the self-healing mechanisms of the psyche. Understand the unique connection between survivors and horses that promotes emotional regulation and growth.

Be an Active Part in Positive Change: As a therapist or coach, your role in shaping the healing process is pivotal. Discover how you can actively choose language that empowers survivors, dismantles outdated perceptions, and promotes a new narrative of strength and resilience.

Interactive Audience Exchange:Engage in a lively exchange with the speakers and fellow attendees. Share your experiences, challenges, and successes in working with trauma survivors. Together, we’ll create a supportive community of change-makers.



Dr. Rebecca Bailey

Author of “Equine Connections, Polyvagal Principles” (2021),
Co-author of “Appeasement: Replacing Stockholm Syndrome as a Definition of a Survival Strategy,” by Dr. Rebecca Bailey, PhD, Jaycee Dugard, and Dr Stephen Porges, PhD, published in the European Journal of Psychotraumatology in January 2023.

Dr. Bailey is well-known in the US media for her experience in helping survivors of long-time abduction trauma reintegrate into society. She will share her insights and motivations for the need for a shift in therapeutic culture.

Rebecca Bailey with her horse
Josselien Janssens with her horse

Josselien Janssens 

Originally trained as a communications professional, Josselien is now an Eponaquest educator, offering a certification course in equine facilitated learning with horses according to the method developed by best-selling author and pioneer Linda Kohanov. Her personal experience in healing from trauma with the help of horses, combined with her own encounters with disempowering language in the medical system, fuels her commitment to this cause.


Who Should Attend?

This event is specifically for therapists, coaches and other professionals, who work with a focus on processing traumatic events, and for experiential experts in dealing with and healing from traumatic experiences. 

If you regularly work with clients who have experienced complex trauma as a result of interpersonal violence, rape or incest, or if you have experienced this form of trauma yourself, this evening will provide you with important resources and insights.  Our goal is to build a supportive community of like-minded people for facing the necessary confrontation with an often still far too skewed and one-sided medical system.

By participating in this dialogue, you are actively contributing to the momentum that empowers survivors and promotes trauma healing. Don’t miss the unique opportunity to be part of this important cultural shift in therapy practice!Ready to be a catalyst for change? 🌟 Click the button below to reserve your spot!

For any inquiries, please contact us 

📅 Date: Friday 8 September 2023

Time: 19:30 – 21:00

📍 Location: Akasha’s Paardrijschool, Molenakker 11A, 5438 NG Gassel, Noord Brabant

Ticket Price:  

€ 37,- for attendance and/or access to the recording

€ 54,- for attendance and/or access to the recording and a copy of Dr. Rebecca Bailey’s book In Verbinding met Paarden

🎟️ Limited Capacity: 80 seats available