When trauma happens, it happens to all of you.
It taxes your emotions. It stresses your mind. It resides in your body.
It can feel like the trauma is always with you, within you, living inside you in a way that keeps your muscles tensed, your mind stuttering, or your headaches recurring.
But you are not alone. And you don’t have to live this way.
A trained and compassionate somatic psychotherapist can provide treatment that supports trauma resolution and makes your best life possible again.
What is Somatic Psychotherapy?
The Greek word “soma” means “living body.”
Somatic psychotherapy honors and studies the vital connection between the mind and body.
Trauma upsets the autonomic nervous system (ANS), changing normal bodily responses and further stressing a victim, often perpetually. That is, until the body can be restored through understanding and proper therapeutic attention.
Somatic psychotherapy helps you learn to recognize the trauma indicators remaining in your body and mind. Once that is achieved, you are capable of increasing your ability to deal with stress by releasing that tension and developing your tolerance to bodily sensations linked to fear, anxiety, or a perceived lack of safety.
Through the body, somatic psychotherapy provides an emotional and psychological “reset” and effective trauma resolution. You can actually begin to integrate what has happened and repattern the experience in your body and brain.
How Does Somatic Psychotherapy Help?
Somatic psychotherapy helps you understand how and where trauma is reflected in your body.
This form of treatment helps restore the ANS to homeostasis, or a general state of balance. Relatively recent neuroscience research reveals that there is a cycle of influence between the body and mind. They are not independent of each other. What harms the body stays in the mind. What harms the mind lives in the body. They must both be effectively addressed.
Somatic psychotherapists are able to show you how your body posture, gait, stance, gestures, and facial expressions signal residing trauma. You are also able to look at your health together to determine whether past trauma is manifesting itself in physical symptoms. Often somatic psychotherapy sessions reveal that pain, digestive trouble, sexual dysfunction, and immune system breakdown, as well as a host of other medical problems, mood disorders, and addictions, are strongly tied to bodily manifestations of trauma.
The primary goal of somatic psychotherapy is to identify and release the physical tension residing in your body after trauma occurs. Therapy sessions focus on helping you track your bodily sensation experiences. You might practice sensation awareness through breathing techniques, vocal exercises, movement, or healing touch. Whatever the method, the goal is to pay attention to sensations and release them.
What Are the Lasting Benefits of Somatic Psychotherapy?
A natural response to stress or difficult emotions is to do what we can to hide from them.
We bury them, avoid them, medicate them. But those mental responses often come with some bodily reactions like tense shoulders, a clenched jaw, or a roiling stomach. We hold the tension or the trauma inside.
Sometimes, we overdo the physical, in an effort to escape the traumatic feelings. We eat a pint of ice cream while watching a sad movie, or run miles through the mountains until we feel nothing at all. And still, the trauma stays. We need a different way to process it.
Gratefully, through somatic psychotherapy, you can explore the pressures and aches inside and achieve lasting trauma resolution. Once you are familiar with how your body feels and reflects your experiences, you’ll start to experience transformation.
As you work with your therapist you’ll likely discover the following things:
- You are able to re-frame your experiences without the influence of the traumatic perspective.
- Your sense of yourself, confidence, and abilities are improved.
- Your feelings of hope and possibility rebound.
- Your physical discomfort is eased, leading to stress reduction and greater mental concentration, productivity, and resiliency.
Because somatic psychotherapy helps “discharge” strain in the body, the resulting restored equilibrium leads to feelings of freedom, revitalization, and calm.
Somatic psychotherapy can help you let trauma go.