Somatic Psychotherapy

What is Somatic Psychotherapy?

Somatic Psychotherapy is a form of Mind/Body Medicine that integrates the experiential levels of thoughts, emotions, and senses, and reduces the conditioned responses that persist as troubling symptoms.

How is Somatic Psychotherapy different from other psychotherapy?

Most talk-therapy does not engage the body, especially at the sensational and sensorimotor level. Somatic psychotherapy is a term for several treatment techniques that pay equal attention to physical responses, moving between the levels of thought, feeling, and sensation. When we feel "stuck" with a behavior or symptom, even though we understand it, somatic psychotherapy can move it. This is especially important in dealing with trauma responses.

What are some techniques of Somatic Psychotherapy?

Most talk-therapy does not engage the body, especially at the sensational and sensorimotor level. Somatic psychotherapy is a term for several treatment techniques that pay equal attention to physical responses, moving between the levels of thought, feeling, and sensation. When we feel "stuck" with a behavior or symptom, even though we understand it, somatic psychotherapy can move it. This is especially important in dealing with trauma responses.

Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing is a naturalistic approach to resolving and healing trauma developed by Peter Levine, PhD. Based; the "Fight or Flight" response of the sympathetic nervous system and eliciting the relaxation response for rest and recovery through the parasympathetic nervous system. Unfortunately, when we experience traumatic or overwhelming events, the body as somatic memory and can appear as physical symptoms. Syndromes can develop when unresolved.

This therapy is usually very tolerable to the client, as it is done in small doses, called "titrations.” Titrations are expanded and deepened only as the client's capacity expands. Nonetheless, changes that occur this way are more significant for their impact, long lasting, and promote overall health. For more information on Somatic Experiencing, go to www.traumahealing.org or "Fight or Flight" response, see What is Mind/Body Medicine?