What Is Somatic Therapy?
Somatic (body-oriented) therapy is an approach to psychotherapy that includes listening to the language of your body as well as your mind. Working with the body is a necessary step in addressing emotional and cognitive issues, especially in trauma. Paying attention to the sensations, impulses, and movements of the body helps bring forth insights that our thinking mind can’t access.
Many of us have learned to disconnect from our body in order to avoid feeling emotional or physical discomfort. Initially, this disconnection may have been a natural response to something traumatic, unpleasant, or painful. Over time, however, this response becomes a well-worn habit and we lose touch with our deepest feelings. Somatic therapy provides a way to heal from unresolved trauma by teaching us ways to integrate the body’s important messages.
What Can I Expect?
Somatic therapy is a gentle and sensitive approach, and establishing a sense of safety and trust is the foundation of each session. Instead of just talking in detail about events and history, you may be asked to pay attention to physical sensations in the body and to your internal experience. Without judgment, I will carefully observe and guide the session using my skill in tracking both physical and emotional responses. Physical techniques such as simple movements, focused breathing, relaxation exercises, and meditation may be used to help experience emotions and relieve tension.