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 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

Somatic therapy is body-centered therapy and helps to understand the connection between stress, emotions, mental wellbeing, and physical processes. Physical pain and illness can manifest as a result of chronic stress and trauma and healing needs to encompass the entire system. We can learn to listen to our bodies, to our feelings and sensations and use movement to process energies and regain a connection to ourself.

— Jessica Eden, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Arvada, CO

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

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

My core approach to therapy is mindfulness focused, relational, and integrative. I am trauma sensitive, while integrating techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and somatics. Sessions consist of a combination of talk therapy and experiential & somatic activities that incorporate mindfulness and creativity. The approach is excellent for short-term problem solving and long-term in-depth work.

— David S. Wu, Clinical Social Worker in Pleasant Hill, 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

I find value in bringing the body into the therapy session as I have often found that people tend to overthink and forget to listen to our bodies responses. This may look like something simple as identifying colors or imagery to feelings to begin strengthening this pathway in order to strengthen connections with yourself.

— Kodie Mobbs, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Liberty Lake, WA

Somatic therapy is quite useful when working with trauma that stores in the body. Working with our thoughts and beliefs alone is only one aspect of healing from trauma. I have participated in several trauma first aid trainings from notable trauma experts like Peter A. Levine as well as training courses on the biology of trauma. Somatic approaches allow for the body to release stored trauma through movement like dance, tapping, trauma-sensitive yoga, and more.

— Alaina Ewing, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Tacoma, WA

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

You're probably way too in your head about it. Your body does SO much. Have you tried thanking it? Humor me with this: identify a part of your body you are grateful for. Then THANK IT and notice how it feels to appreciate it. It takes a lot more work and energy to NOT be friends with your body 💜

— Megan Herrington, Psychotherapist in CHICAGO, IL

Often we have memories that go beyond the brain and our sourced in our bodies. I am trained in modalities which help us identify sources of trauma and other stressors in the soma, so we can explore and unearth what may be held in these areas.

— Morgan Grace, Psychotherapist in Austin, TX

Somatic therapy is the physical underlying prompting of all emotion and action. It is physically felt through the vagus nerve (12th cranial nerve in the brain) throughout our whole body. When you develop awareness of your sensations you can learn how to “feel” feelings in a completely new way. It is like having another sense. Once you have this sense, you can develop techniques that make moving through emotions, trauma, eating disorders and other “intense” states a breeze. It is fun and easy!

— Yehonatan Banayan, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Brooklyn, NY

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 of your physical body and emotional states so you understand

— Elizabeth Sumpf, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Portland, 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

I am a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner-in-Training. Somatic Experiencing is a body-oriented therapeutic model for healing trauma and other stress disorders.

— Mark Myran, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Alamitos, CA

The Somatic Experiencing® method is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. Somatic Experiencing® explores where an individual may be “stuck” in a fight, flight, or freeze response and works with an individual’s natural resilience to move through these “stuck” self-protective responses. I am a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner and I have assisted with Somatic Experiencing® trainings around the country.

— Victoria Muñoz, Counselor in Phoenix, AZ

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