What Does The Word Somatic Mean?
For psychology purposes, the word "Somatic" encompasses many modalities, orientations and schools of thought. Somatic refers to the body. Memories, thoughts and emotions are stored in the body. When we are telling a story about the past, the body experiences it as if it is happening in the present moment. Our minds tend to carry us into the future or keep us stuck in the past. By including the body's experience in our work, we can get to know what it is like to be fully present.
The body holds intelligence and important information. Our bodies are wise. Even though we often know with our minds what keeps us stuck, traditional talk therapy can keep us repeating unwanted old patterns because we are not accessing our whole experience. In order to move through these difficult places, the body and mind need to be communicating with each other.
When sensations are felt in the body as a story is being told, a dynamic conversation can happen and create new possibilities and choice. Moving between levels of thought, feeling and sensation we can shift recurring symptoms, because we are accessing a different part of the brain using body-based techniques. In fact, with body-based techniques clients can work content free, without a story if they wish. Using mindfulness and self-observing techniques, we can listen deeply to what is present in the body and move from there. All of this allows the wisdom of the body to tell us where we need to go next to find healing and integration.
Sometimes Somatic counseling looks like traditional talk therapy, however we are paying attention to body postures, sensations and patterns as we are talking. Some simple movements and explorations may be offered to learn easy tools and techniques that can aid in your healing. Our work can include building tolerance of difficult and stressful emotions, creating resilience in the ups and downs of life, moving through past trauma by easing your nervous system through learning tools for self-regulation and expanding your capacity to feel positive emotions.