relies on the mind-body connection for treatment, and is beneficial in addressing all mental health issues including unresolved childhood trauma, anxiety, depression and relationship issues.
As a somatic counselor, I offer support for people who experienced trauma as a child and believe that the same trauma is affecting them as an adult. This can show up as challenges in relationships with feeling close/bonded to a partner or spouse. For singles, it can show up as a challenge finding a healthy relationship you want to commit to.
I also support clients who experience difficulty trusting the world around them. This may manifest in feeling highly sensitive or easily triggered by the people and situations around you. In all of these cases, depression, anxiety and relationship challenges can also be present.
If this feels like what you’re going through, I am here to help. Below are a list of common questions people ask me about somatic psychotherapy, but if you’re ready to talk now, please
Somatic Psychotherapy uses a combination of techniques which involve your body, as well as, your thinking and emotions. Everything is tailored to where you are in the session.
That means, during some sessions, you may just talk to your therapist and it may not seem any different than regular talk therapy. In another session, you may focus more on your breathing or practice a body-mindfulness technique.
Either way, a core foundation of somatic psychotherapy is making sure you feel safe and ready to do any exercise suggested.
As your therapist, I’ll help you determine if you’re ready for somatic healing. If we determine together that you’re not ready, we’ll focus on coping skills and other traditionally “individual therapy” supports to help stabilize your life to get you ready to face what’s causing you such deep stress.
Great question. Somatic therapy is intended for clients with any of the following challenges:
For most of my clients, my focus is on developmental trauma, this usually involves trauma that occurred during your childhood and can include any family of origin trauma. If you had a rough childhood that included divorce, neglect, chaos, lots of drama and arguing, addiction(s) or other challenges that took on great meaning in your life, this can all be addressed in somatic trauma therapy.
In some ways it’s similar. You can have a general “talking” session, but somatic counseling involves using your body as a safe-anchor to face life’s challenges. When someone experiences trauma, that trauma lives inside the body. It’s like the aftershocks of an earthquake; it lives on and you can still feel the effects years later.
In somatic psychotherapy, once safety is established, we can explore how past traumas continue to manifest in present-day experiences. We use the body as a guide to help understand the impact of the trauma so we can replace the traumatic responses with healed ones.
An example of this is a child who grew up in a chaotic environment with parents who yelled. In their adult life, when conversations become tense, voices get louder and/or conflict is high, the body reacts as if it’s back in the room with the angry parents. In somatic therapy, we learn to recognize these responses and work towards creating safety for the adult who now has choices and can decide how to not get swept up with the energy around them.
This organic process happens in somatic therapy and somatic trauma therapy and is led by what’s happening in your life today. It’s all about what’s going on now, not rehashing the past to simply talk about it.
Because we’re working with the body, there are some moments in somatic counseling where working with touch makes sense. For example, touching hands to create pressure and demonstrate how energy moves in the body.
That said, generally I do not touch my clients during sessions. If touch were to be used, I would discuss this with you beforehand so written consent was clear and obtained. Otherwise, in my practice, physical touch is not part of the therapeutic process.
I do offer virtual sessions for clients who prefer to meet this way. For everyone else, we meet in person at my office.
I truly value the work in somatic therapy and have dedicated extensive extra time to learning this skill set. To begin, I attended a 20-hour training in Somatic Psychotherapy in 2019 from Aaron Schneider, LCPC. Over the past three years I have practiced Somatic Psychotherapy techniques in professional supervision. Finally, I am currently attending a 4-year program in Reichian Somatic Psychotherapy for extensive additional training and expect to complete this in 2025.
If after reading all of this you’re interested in exploring Somatic Psychotherapy with me, please schedule a free consultation call with me so we can talk over your specific situation and see if working together makes sense for us both.