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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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

I am trained in Somatic Experiencing (SE), a somatic trauma treatment modality. SE teaches us that trauma is anything that overwhelms the capacity of the nervous system. Once our nervous system has been overwhelmed, it becomes dysregulated, leaving us swinging between states of anxiety and depression. Through SE, I support you in processing traumas in a gentle way, so that your body and nervous system can safely discharge the stored trauma energy. You will leave feeling more calm and present.

— Danielle Weiss, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Somatic psychotherapy begins with the premise that our bodies are always communicating.

— Ashley Gregory, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in East Bay, CA

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

Somatic counseling invites the experience of the body into the therapeutic process including breath, internal sensations, postures, gestures, and expressive movements. ​Developing our ability to notice and listen to these embodied experiences is the most direct path to increasing self-awareness of our emotions, patterns, identities, values, needs, and desires.

— Lauren Pass Erickson, Psychotherapist in Boulder, CO

Most of us have learned to ignore the body to keep up with demands of the outer world. We cut ourselves off from our wisdom, memories, feelings & intuition, driving ourselves so far from our nature that the body is forced to get our attention through dis-ease. We fear caving in to human fragility in an age prizing immortality & machines, yet great healing, love & unexpected fulfillment come when we have the humility & courage to listen to, follow & trust the body.

— Jen-Mitsuke Peters, Mental Health Counselor in Denver, CO

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

I have practiced quite advanced levels of yoga and fitness, but what I have found most beneficial is the connection of self to body. We must all learn to trust the wisdom of the body. Sometimes we must rest, grieve, overcome, disconnect, connect... Trauma as well as any kind memory is stored there, in the body. It is the source of intuition, wisdom & healing. We can all learn to tap into its brilliance & guidance. It takes humility & courage, but we can learn to listen to its guidance...

— Jen-Mitsuke Peters, Mental Health Counselor in Denver, CO

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:

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

Living in the body-obsessed culture that we do, our bodies are not truly our own and most people tend to live from the neck up. We move through this world using our minds, rather than our bodies, and often do not tap into the natural wisdom our bodies have to offer. I encourage clients to return to their bodies and begin listening to their bodies again.

— Jacqueline 'Jackie' Abeling, Marriage & Family Therapist in ,

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

— Dylan Johnson, Associate Professional Counselor

Although we sometimes think of psychotherapy as all about thoughts and emotions, 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. I am a current student within the 3-year Professional Somatic Experiencing training program and actively integrate this approach within my practice.

— Christo Brehm, Psychotherapist in Eugene, OR

Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT-200) through Yoga Alliance Completed Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga with the Center for Trauma and Embodiment Completed Yoga for Tweens and Teens training series with ChildLight Yoga Completed Yin Yoga Teacher Training at Wake Up Yoga with Corina Benner Completed Nikki Myers' Yoga of 12-Step Recovery Leadership Training Completed Nikki Myers' Breaking Barriers: Transforming the Samskara of Codependency workshop

— Mandi Houser-Puschel, Counselor in Haddon Heights, NJ

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

Prior to my career as a counselor, I practiced as a Licensed Massage Therapist in the state of Florida for 7 years. With that background

— JD Wright, Psychologist in Gainesville, FL

I am trained to focus on the body, the breath, the voice, and non-verbal communication as primary signals for what's going on inside you. When we tune in to the level of the body, we often find old pain that has long been buried. As we process this pain we've been holding in our bodies, new choices emerge, and greater health is possible.

— Paley Burlin, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in Seattle, WA

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

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 have completed training for Somatic Experiencing.

— Crystal Nesfield, Counselor in Phoenix, AZ