Somatic Therapy (Body Centered)

Somatic therapy, also sometimes known as body-centered therapy, refers to approaches that integrate a client’s physical body into the therapeutic process. Somatic therapy focuses on the mind-body connection and is founded on the belief that viewing the mind and body as one entity is essential to the therapeutic process. Somatic therapy practitioners will typically integrate elements of talk therapy with therapeutic body techniques to provide holistic healing. Somatic therapy is particularly helpful for those trying to cope with abuse or trauma, but it is also used to treat issues including anxiety, depression, stress, relationship problems, grief, or addiction, among others. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s somatic therapy experts today.

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The body is a source of information that, when we learn to listen, can often suggest a clearer path. Body psychotherapy enrolls the body directly in therapy, whether it’s through authentic movement or Somatic Experiencing, or more subtly through opening to the intuition of the nervous system, mind-body work, of becoming aware of the unique signals your body developed to communicate with you. Working with the body is the most direct means of healing trauma because it's where trauma is processed.

— Will Hector, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Madison, WI

Somatic therapy is technique used to support with processing trauma that is held in the body.

— Sarah Levy, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Arlington, MA

I guide women in fostering a deeper connection with their bodies. This approach empowers you to explore your mind-body connection, addressing both emotional and physical aspects. Through body awareness, we navigate and release stored tension, promoting healing and self-acceptance. I'm all about elevating well-being and redefining your relationship with your body. My style is gentle, guided, and supportive.

— Jacqueline Richards-Shrestha, Licensed Professional Counselor in Boulder, CO

So much of what we experience in life and the impact of those experiences are stored in our bodies. Sometimes we've lost connection to our body, sometimes we have access but are still feeling frozen or stuck in many ways. We have clinicians trained in attachment focused somatic experiencing that can help move you through the somatic healing process in a gentle and freeing way.

— SoCal Individual, Family, & Trauma Therapy, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Irvine, CA

I believe that increasing awareness of our physical experiences helps us to heal and cultivate self-compassion. Our thoughts are very good at telling us things that are not actually true. Our bodies always tell us the truth. It is in that truth where we can find relief from suffering.

— Megan Bengur, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in , NC

Working with thoughts and emotions through the body is transformative. Using a science-based approach, I help clients explore how various bodily sensations are linked to their emotional experience. This method can help us identify and heal old wounds, increase awareness of needs and desires, and provide greater insight around how we relate to ourselves, others, and our environment.

— Jane Thibodeau, Somatic Psychotherapist, Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in , NC

Emotions are a body-based process and I teach and guide clients through figuring out how to tap into the superpower of our bodies. I'm anti-diet and body positive and believe that strengthening the mind-body connection is available for all body sizes and abilities.

— Amy Goins, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Dallas, TX

I use somatic therapy to help connect clients to their sensations during session. Our thoughts, sensations, and emotions are intricately connected. Often clients are unaware of their sensations, posture and movements. These physical factors have an impact on their wellbeing and provide essential data on the client's functioning. Somatic therapy aims to create more wholeness for clients, and help them clear emotion, settle the mind, and connect with their personal power.

— Devin Bard, Licensed Professional Counselor in Minneapolis, MN

I am a BIG believer that trauma and emotions get stored in the body! I have a strong background in physiology, but what informs me the most is my prior career as a full-time Massage Therapist, my own extensive experience with body-focused forms of meditation and my enrollment in Peter Levine's 3+ year Somatic Experiencing® Professional Training Program. This particular sect of my work is such an incredIble passion of mine because it weaves together everything that I love and I see that it WORKS.

— Margo James, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Austin, TX

Somatic Experiencing (SE) is what is called a bottom-up type of therapy as it involves learning to pay attention to (or track) your sensations and emotions (what is happening in the body) which will result in changes to feelings and cognitions. When we experience threatening situations and cannot fight or flight the survival energy gets stored in the body but thankfully can be released later. In learning how to pay attention and release it one becomes more connected to themselves and others.

— Addie Michlitsch, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Roseville, MN

Through art, breath and energy work we work with the body to help clients feel more grounded, present and calm.

— Celine Redfield, Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR

Somatic therapy is the healing part of therapy. It uses the body's natural drive to process through traumatic and painful experiences.

— Lindsay Perry, Licensed Professional Counselor in Bellaire, TX

I often use mind-body exercises when helping people cope with stress, anxiety, depression and life changes. Since the mind and the body and interconnected, I often find that blending talking with body-based work often leads to more effective and long lasting relief. Also, as a certified yoga teacher of 20 years, I draw from yoga postures, breath practices and relaxation techniques I have collected over the years. Body centered therapy is paced with your comfort level.

— Amanda Rebel, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Wheat Ridge, CO

I am certified in Trauma Conscious Yoga Method (TCYM) and utlized body based practices in my work. What this can look like may be noticing where a certain emotion lands in your body or engaging in certain breathing techniques or postures to assist in regulation.

— Courtney Burns, Therapist in Portland, OR

I found somatic therapy when I began noticing that my clients who had survived so much were experiencing a plateau in talk therapy. As a student of Somatic Experiencing and I continue to be amazed by the healing that can come from slow and gentle body-based therapy. Our bodies hold memories that our minds may not recall. Somatic therapy allows the Nervous System to complete the survival responses that were thwarted in the natural "freeze" that occurs during trauma.

— Nicole Nelson, Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate in Nashville, TN

My approach is informed by Somatic Experiencing.

— Shaye Mueller, Licensed Professional Counselor in ,

Somatic Experiencing techniques are some of my favorite to use in session. Our bodies keep the score of every event we have endured, and connecting the emotional to the physical can be a powerful, moving experience. Expanding this connection can transform the way you show up in relationships and the way you view the world. Every nervous system is capable of finding and keeping regulation- let's discover the pathway that works for you :)

— Hailey Hughes, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Austin, TX

I use body-work to guide clients in releasing their trauma histories. When trauma occurs early in life before language skills are fully developed, the trauma automatically becomes stored in the body. Symptoms of pain, repeated injuries, and even susceptibility to illness can all be signs of unprocessed childhood trauma. When we work somatically, we release the emotions stored in the body to relieve the physical symptoms and postural habits.

— Rebecca Spear, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, CA

I believe in the wisdom of the body, and support my clients to pay close attention to their present moment bodily experience during therapy sessions. We utilize the body as a resource for bearing feelings, understanding dilemmas and finding creative choices to live more fully. I have trained in embodied approaches to trauma both at the California Institute of Integral Studies Somatics Psychology department and through Sensory Motor Psychotherapy where I completed one year of intensive training.

— Nathan Michael, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA