Somatic work involves separating out the strands of what normally does not seem separate by investigating the mental, emotional and physical content of our present moment experience. We unstitch these strands using gentle curiosity, paying close attention to how our felt experience in our body changes when we place our attention on the thoughts and beliefs in our mind, and the resonances of our emotions. Shifts in bodily held patterns are observed and integrated by experimenting with what feels whole and good. Changes in bodily held patterns create changes in felt awareness. Working with this somatic awareness, we make shifts toward more resilient, responsive and resourced interactions inside ourselves and in our relationships.
Somatic psychotherapy is on the cutting edge of mental health care and has a proven track record for increasing well-being. New research on how somatic work engages the principle of neuroplasticity and makes changes in our brain are constantly being published.
You might have discovered me 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 journey, I discovered that even the most perceptive 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. When I began to integrate somatic awareness into my daily practices, I began to experience changes in every aspect of my life. Inspired, I began searching for existing training in somatic work.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy 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. I am a Certified Level 3 Practitioner of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. I also have been integrating EMDR into my practice since 2002.
A somatic psychotherapy session will call attention to the experience of the body and use the mind to study the memories held in the body, often unconsciously, and increase awareness for how each individual experience resulted in 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. EMDR uses bi-lateral stimulation of the central nervous system to reprocess and desensitize traumatic triggers.
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.