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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I am a certified teacher of The Realization Process, an embodied path to spiritual awakening, personal growth, and healing created by Judith Blackstone.

— Andrew Conner, Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in Portland, OR

Cultivating the wisdom of the body, and to deepen into a felt experience can offer an enlightening perspective.

— Dylan Johnson, Associate Professional Counselor

Somatic Psychology (body-mind psychotherapy, body-oriented psychotherapy, etc.) is a holistic form of therapy that respects and utilizes the powerful connection between body, mind, and spirit. How we are in this world, how we relate to ourselves and others, is not just purely about the mind or our thoughts, but is also deeply rooted in our bodies and our spirits. Unlike traditional talk therapy or cognitive therapy, Somatic Psychology tends to be more experiential and powerful.

— Chris Tickner, PhD, MFT, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, CA

I found my way to Pyschotherapy as a result of many clients emotional experiences as a massage/ CranioSacral therapist. So many clients were having emotional releases and needed help to process them, so I became a therapist. What does somatic therapy mean and look like? Implicit memories (the ones without a movie in our head) that ares stored in the body keep people stuck. These memories can be released and accessed with or without the story being shared to heal the body and the mind.

— Karen Lucas, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

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. You might be turned off by this approach or thinking "I don't feel my emotions physically". That is okay. I can help you work towards building that awareness and unlocking the power your body holds.

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

Somatic therapy is whole-bodied focused. Different than Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), it's a person-centered approach which views trauma, anxiety, depression, stress, and any number of symptoms through how they arise, effect, and are located within the body. Somatic therapy is uniquely poised to assist clients with self-regulation.

— John Moletress, Psychotherapist in Philadelphia, PA

Body Psychotherapy is holistic; it takes the entire human being and his/her/their life experiences into account. It offers mindful consideration to the crucial role of the body in the structure and process of the psyche. During a session, I pay close attention to sensation and body states, which allow unconscious material to manifest and possibly be worked with using breath, spatial awareness, consented therapeutic touch, movement, sensation, and imagery.

— Lina Návar, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX

I have been a massage therapist for 30 years and found my way to Pyschotherapy as a result of the many emotional experiences that the body released during with newborns and their parents with CranioSacral therapy. I found that the implicit memories that keep people stuck can be accessed with or without the story being shared to be released and healed in the body and the mind.

— Karen Lucas, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

Prior to my career as a counselor, I practiced as a Licensed Massage Therapist in the state of Florida for 7 years. Since beginning my career in counseling I have received training and supervision in a range of somatic-based therapies and have consistently brought awareness of the body into my work with clients.

— JD Wright, Psychologist in Gainesville, FL

I lead clients through somatic experiencing to process the emotions that are effecting their nervous system.

— Allison Jensen, Licensed Professional Counselor in Chicago, IL

I use body-work to guide clients in releasing their trauma histories. When trauma happens before clients have developed the language skills to speak of the complexity of traumatic situations, the trauma automatically becomes stored in their bodies. 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, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, CA

In addition to working with thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, we are learning more and more that the body and nervous system, particularly when we are talking about trauma and overwhelming or chronic stress, plays a central role in our well being. This is why I integrate Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy and Somatic Experiencing into all of my work.

— Christo Brehm, Psychotherapist in Eugene, OR

Somatic psychotherapy begins with the premise that our bodies are always communicating. In a society telling us to "be logical" and "use our heads," our senses are dulled by demanding a mind-body split.

— Ashley Gregory, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in ,

I incorporate body-focused techniques to help clients to be present with their experiences, clarify their emotional experience, and process through emotions that have been "trapped" in their bodies.

— Michael Johnson, Psychologist in Gilbert, AZ

iRest Yoga Nidra Level One Teacher Certification with Richard Miller, Ph.D.‘s Integrative Restoration Institute (2017) Certified in Trauma-informed Yoga with Hala Khouri & Kyra Heglund, (both LCSW, SEP, ERYT) (2017)

— Aly Dearborn, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

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

Somatic Therapy is focuses on body sensations and gentle movement to increase the flow of energy in your body. This is important because we store our emotions, memories and experiences in the tissues in our body so without addressing our trauma and pain from a somatic place it's easy to feel "stuck". Somatic Therapy brings self-awareness to your physical body and emotional states for a deeper understanding of what you're feeling and then what you need to care for yourself in the moment.

— Elizabeth Sumpf, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR

What does somatic therapy mean and look like? Implicit memories (the ones without a movie in our head) are stored in the body keep people stuck. These memories can be released and accessed to heal the body and the mind with or without the story being shared or even touched. Together we bring on regulation, safety, with a compassionate witness to have a felt sense of being seen, heard and understood. Internalizing the safety into your body is the thrive of health.

— Karen Lucas, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

A large part of my focus as a therapist is encouraging and helping my clients to become more aware of the thoughts passing through their minds as well as the sensations in their body. The body holds many of our memories and is constantly communicating with us on how it feels towards a particular situation. But the body's manner of communicating is often much quieter than our minds and may take some time in order to learn how to hear what the body is trying to tell us.

— Alejandro Rodriguez, Mental Health Counselor in Lake Mary, FL