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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Meet the specialists

 

We have multiple providers who work with Somatic Therapy techniques for body based healing and self-acceptance.

— Selah Counseling & Wellness, Counselor in Springfield, OR

I could have spent my whole life talking about trauma instead of moving it through. As a student who stumbled into the field, I was its biggest critic. I wanted evidence that felt senses mattered. In my most profound relationships now as client or healer, we don't talk a lot & the evidence is right there in the ability to process & release pain without analysis paralysis. I lead folx to learn from their own body how stress shapes the way they walk the world & they let it lead them toward freedom

— Sarah Kendrick, Mental Health Counselor in Portland, OR
 

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

Body Psychotherapy and Movement Therapy go beyond traditional “talk therapy” as these specialized approaches offer mindful consideration to the crucial role of the body structure and process of the psyche. During a session, I pay close attention to sensation and body states, which allow unconscious material to authentically manifest and possibly be worked with using breath, spatial awareness, consented therapeutic touch, movement, sensation, and imagery.

— Lina Návar, Psychotherapist in Austin, TX
 

For the past two years I have been a participant in the three-year Somatic Experiencing (SE)ⓒ Training Program for resolving trauma and I've completed the Intermediate level of the training. I will be an Advanced student in the Spring. SE has taught me the immense value of the body, as experienced from within, as a resource for healing and transforming physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual wounds, and behavior patterns that have been a source of pain and suffering for years.

— Peter Carpentieri, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA

I am training in Somatic Experiencing.

— Aydrelle Collins, Counselor in Dallas, TX
 

Somatic therapy helps reinforce the body-brain connection. So much of our emotional experience is processed and stored in the body. Tapping into that relationship helps promote deeper integration and understanding, increases embodied in-the-moment living and uncovers valuable information about how we view ourselves and our experiences. There are many body-centered tools I use with clients. All of them are non-invasive and are universally available and adaptive to all people.

— Courtney Terrell, Counselor in Fishers, IN

Somatic therapy incorporates the mind, body, and spirit into therapeutic healing work. Somatic therapy aims to treat the effects of PTSD and other mental and emotional health issues through the connection of mind and body and uses a body-centric approach. Somatic therapy incorporates body-oriented modalities such as dance, breathwork, and meditation to support patients through their healing journeys.

— Nastassja Vargas, Clinical Social Worker in ,
 

Western culture privileges the knowledge of our minds over the wisdom of our bodies. We know that the body holds memory and pain and is reponsible for a huge part of our emotional experience and reactions. We work with clients to become more acquainted with emotions as they are experienced in their bodies and build techniques to help lessen reactivity, soothe anxiety and worry, heal and release trauma responses, and feel more at ease.

— Kindman & Co. Therapy Practice, Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

Our bodies hold important information, when we're able to listen. I've done trainings with Peter Levine and Bessel van der Kolk , and integrate their valuable lessons into my therapeutic work. We will get "centered" at the beginning of every session, slowing down and noticing the important experiences that we have in our core, in that "place without words." By listening closely to our emotions, paired with our thoughts, we find greater clarity and the energy we need for change and growth.

— Joseph Hovey, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Brooklyn, NY
 

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, Psychotherapist in Austin, TX

Intermediate II Level Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (Completed 2022). Body-centered counseling to treat underlying trauma, nervous system regulation issues, chronic grief, along with other persistent mental health issues that require a less cognitively-based, approach to healing.

— Aleana Krupinsky, Clinical Social Worker in Morrisville, NC
 

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

I provide Brainspotting therapy and am in process of becoming a certified Brainspotting practitioner.

— Margaret King, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

My entire graduate studies were focused on Somatic Psychology at the California Institute for Integral Studies. This orientation provides an added dimension by taking the therapy out of the arena of second-hand reports (from your verbal mind) and into first-hand, felt experience. Our bodies often reveal first what our verbal, self conscious mind attempts to disguise and hide. I utilize Somatic interventions to potentially open you up to information that can be overlooked in most analytic psychotherapy. Traditional therapy practices pay attention almost exclusively to thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. In Somatics, the added awareness of sensations and felt experiences within the body are used to deepen the work. This can provide a channel of cooperation between the unconscious and conscious. In turn, Somatics helps to facilitate communication among parts of yourself that may be lost, hidden, or isolated.

— Vanessa Tate, Marriage & Family Therapist in Denver, CO

I could have spent my whole life talking about trauma instead of moving it through. As a student who stumbled into the field, I was its biggest critic. I wanted evidence that the body mattered. In my most profound relationships now as client or healer, we don't talk a lot & the evidence is right there in the ability to process & release pain without analysis paralysis. I lead folx to learn from their own body how stress shapes the way they walk the world & they let it lead them toward freedom

— Sarah Kendrick, Mental Health Counselor in Portland, OR
 

Somatic therapy incorporates the intelligent healing power of the body into the therapy room. A neuroscientifically researched approach, somatic therapy reaches well beyond the limitations of "talk therapy". This approach moves into the realm of how our bodies have processed wellbeing, stress and trauma throughout our lives and incorporates experimenting with : breath, movement, alignment and other "bottom-up" interventions to aid the progress of healing.

— Leigh Shaw, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Tacoma, WA

In addition to Hakomi, which is a body-centered, mindfulness-based modality, I began formal training in relational somatic healing beginning in 2021. To learn more about relational somatic healing, led by Shir Dvir, visit their website: https://relationalsomatichealing.com

— Maureen Backman, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Pacifica, CA
 

My favorite way of working includes the body. When the body mind connection are recognized, you access your wisest self. You also experience an improvement in mood, a decrease in anxiety, and experience more fulfilling connections with yourself and with others.

— Sara Rotger, Marriage & Family Therapist in Montrose, CA

We all experience emotions through our bodies. Body-centered allows a deeper level of clarity about your feelings, and a more direct way of engaging with them.

— Abigail Thompson, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA