Somatic work has the goal of getting you to the aha! moment where you feel both the realization of understanding and the absolute possibility of meeting a challenge with all of your being.
You might have discovered my web site and services while looking for traditional “talk” counseling, and whether or not you choose to work somatically with me, you can count on receiving the benefit of the years of study and practice I have in many different therapy orientations. There’s so much benefit in therapy that involves the mind and beliefs and behavior, but in my own healing journey, I discovered that even the most acute understanding of my early life or the deepest long term talk therapy did not ease all of my symptoms. Somehow, some barriers remained to my experiencing full aliveness and stopped me from being able to be present, flexible, resilient and resourced the way I knew I was capable of being.
The door seemed closed to me until advances in mind-body medicine, psycho-immunology, trauma research, neuroscience, and stress research began to challenge the belief that the mind is separate from the body. Somatic psychotherapy is all about using the mind and the body together to achieve healing.
As soon as I found the somatic psychotherapy method known as Sensorimotor, I knew I had found the key. Sensorimotor pulls from the best of traditional psychotherapy, neuroscience and the field of attachment research, and adds mindfulness, mind-body awareness, experiential methods and an awareness of our essential nature.
A somatic psychotherapy session will call attention to the experience of the body and use the mind to study the body’s memory and experience of how it came to have unhelpful strategies for handling (or not handling) life’s challenges. It is gentle and respectful and loving. The result of somatic work is a reduction in traumatic activation, increased flexibility, resilience and regulation. It results in a change you can feel from your head to your toes and it comes from a place within you that is wise and intuitive.
Somatic work uses experiential processes like movement and posture, meditation and insight-oriented work combined with mindfulness to achieve deep change that results from having an experience you feel in your body as well as mental understanding. Call me to schedule an appointment for a free consultation to see if this style of work is a fit for you.
“For the body to change, it has to know what it is doing. The basic steps of being present: aware of body felt sensations, various thoughts of the mind, emotions that come and go create the foundation for the somatic experience. Awareness of self-regulation and self-healing begins the observation of dynamic intelligence, inner knowledge, and health inherent in all of us. Based on physiological response and function; Somatic Therapy provides personal exploration into the multifaceted consciousness of your mind, body and spirit. “ from How Things Change, by Susan Blue.
When our experiences are physically, sensorially and internally embodied, and those experiences are compassionately witnessed and supported, we cannot help but deepen into a connection to and an awareness of the magnificence of our essential self. The body is your temple and you can regain the sense of your body that you sometimes see in small children as they play in great delight and without self-consciousness.
Illness and disease, including the loss of meaning in life, addictions, chronic pain, clinical depression and debilitating anxiety can be expressions of a separation from the fullness of ourselves and a disconnection from that highest self within us. We are so much more than a mind, a body, a history, or a future. Our true nature is that of health, wholeness, creativity and intuition.
If you have a spiritual practice, I am happy to integrate that aspect of your life into your therapy and I am comfortable with all forms of spiritual practice. If you don’t have a solid spiritual practice and are looking for support for more integration of that practice into your life I offer grounded and intuitive assistance toward manifesting that goal.
The symptoms of trauma arise from the tremendous amount of energy locked within the nervous system that never was able to be used to do what the body was programmed by nature to do: fight or flee.
Loss of a sense of the future, Hopelessness
Shame and worthlessness
Loss of Interest
Little or no memories
Generalized anxiety, Panic attacks
Chronic pain, Headaches
Substance abuse, eating disorders
Feeling unreal or out of body
Loss of sense “of who I am”, identity
Somatic therapy, or body-centered therapy, is the cutting edge therapeutic way for working with the traumas that leave destructive and limiting patterns. These traumas can be acute, as in PTSD, or chronic, as in the case of childhood abuse and neglect of any kind.
Somatic work is especially helpful for healing trauma and has come to be regarded as the leading method for resolving PTSD and its constellation of symptoms. EMDR is a form of somatic work, and I have been practicing EMDR since 2002. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. [link]
SOMATIC AND SENSORIMOTOR PSYCHOTHERAPY
The addition of Sensorimotor skills to my trauma work has greatly helped the clients who come to me for treatment of trauma.
In Somatic work, we attune to the nervous system and make new connections in the brain that re-wire the brain with healthier responses. Safety is created. We teach the nervous system to manage the stresses of life differently, one small layer at a time, through mindfulness of the physiology of the body. When the body is in the present and feels safe, our mind makes new meaning of the events that were previously thought to be unmanageable and unresolvable. We regain our capacity to be resilient in the face of life’s challenges and increase our regulation of our nervous system so that we and those around us can relax.
The result of somatic therapy is an inner experience of yourself as centered within yourself, feeling present and alive to your life, and being able to connect to the keys that will bring comfort and support to the sensitive places within us all.