Somatic therapy is a goal-oriented, client-driven approach to reintegrating the mind and body after acute or chronic stress. When a person experiences an event that exceeds their body’s capability to adapt and cope, the nervous system often responds to the overwhelming stimuli by creating maladaptive protective responses on a chemical, physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral level. This can lead to emotional and somatic repression that furthers the disconnection between the person’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and sensations.
Somatic therapy is not traditional bodywork or psychotherapy but rather uses brain-body therapies, including breath, movement, touch, and play, to help the client safely explore sensations and come back to being present in their body. Often, memories of trauma will trigger a somatic response that makes us feel like we are reliving the event. You and your therapist will work together to identify these physical responses and feelings and will develop ways to navigate them safely. Working through these sensations will allow you to regain control of your body and learn to trust yourself again.
What to expect:
- You will start with a free consultation to discuss your goals and evaluate your readiness and commitment.
- A full treatment plan consists of 10 sessions that range from 75-90 minutes.
- Sessions are unique and progressive. The first session will focus on collecting information and setting intentions and guidelines.
- Sessions are scheduled weekly or biweekly.
- You will stay clothed the entire time, and touch will only happen with your permission.
Benefits of TTT May Include:
- Decreased Stress Reactivity
- Reduced Muscle Tension
- Improved Movement, Breathing, and Posture
- Increased Awareness and Understanding of Sensation
- Increased Resilience Against Triggers
- Reduced Feelings of Insecurity and Discomfort
- Development of New Mental and Emotional Skills
Does This Count As A Stressful Experience?
Almost everyone has or will experience some form of stress or trauma that may or may not have a lasting psychosomatic effect. Sometimes, we doubt the effect that an event has on us because it does not seem to have as much relevance as another experience that we or others we know have dealt with. Stress and trauma are not measured in the magnitude of the challenge itself, but rather, how prepared our body and mind were to handle the challenge at that time. It is also very common for people to reach a point where traumatic events can be mentally processed, making them feel as if they are "passed it". In these situations, the mind might be, but the body may not. For others, chronic stress may become so familiar that they are unable to recognize how poorly their body actually feels.
Somatic therapy is for anyone and everyone who wants to establish a better relationship with their body and disentangle themselves from the lingering effects of stress or a traumatic experience may have had.
Examples of Traumatic Experiences Include:
- Physical/Emotional/Verbal Abuse
- Being a Witness of Abuse or Violence
- Chronic Stress/Anxiety/Depression
- Loss of a Loved One
- Relationship Challenges/Divorce
- Medical/Surgical/Misdiagnosis Trauma
- Health or Disability Experiences
- Car Accidents
- Natural Disasters
- Job Loss
- Childhood Experiences
- Workplace Stress
- Military/Emergency/Police Experience
Holt, R., & McLean, L. (2021). Australian psychotherapy for trauma incorporating neuroscience: Evidence- and ethics-informed practice. Neuroethics, 14(S3), 295–309. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12152-019-09398-4
Kuhfuß, M., Maldei, T., Hetmanek, A., & Baumann, N. (2021). Somatic experiencing – effectiveness and key factors of a body-oriented trauma therapy: a scoping literature review. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/20008198.2021.1929023
Payne, P., Levine, P. A., & Crane-Godreau, M. A. (2015). Somatic experiencing: using interoception and proprioception as core elements of trauma therapy. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00093