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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We live in a society that does not support embodiment- true connection with the wisdom of the body. As a result we may live disconnected from our bodies, especially when we have experienced trauma or stress. Numbing out, avoiding, overriding the signals of stress, anxiety, trauma reactions from the body, are common best attempts to cope. Somatic therapy offers a bridge between body and mind so that we can heal and release stuck trauma physiology, and return to wholeness.

— Kim Torrence, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Rockville, MD

Utilizing our own Somatic Resiliency Model of training, therapists at HeartMind Resiliency receive ongoing training and supervision in somatic and experiential approaches to therapy that are informed, in part, by Somatic Experiencing, NARM, Parts Work, and Focusing.

— HeartMind Resiliency LLC, Licensed Professional Counselor in Richmond, VA

Connecting the mind, body and spirit is essential in the healing and growth process. I utilize many somatic approaches in order to support better integration of the change we are trying to create. This can look very different and is individualized for the person and situation. This could include art, movement, mindfulness, inner child work, visualizations, embodied practices, or simply attuning to your body.

— Erika Nelson (Accepting New Clients), Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA

Using a combination of somatic psychology, movement therapy, developmental movement, trauma-sensitive mindfulness and neuroscience, I gently invite body awareness and relational practices into therapy. Paying attention the body’s messages, patterns and sensations through a process-based approach offers insight into not only the felt sense but also the unconscious which can provide a more nuanced, experiential pathway to living more fulfilled and healthily embodied.

— Caroline Gebhardt, Licensed Professional Counselor in Atlanta, GA

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!

— Yoni Banayan, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Las Vegas, NV

Perhaps you're already someone who feels deeply in your body, but feel overwhelmed by the sensations, as if they are taking over. Or, you may be someone who has learned to protect yourself by feeling nothing at all, and you're ready to sense into yourself and the world again. At your pace and if it feels ok to do so, we gently release the grip of tension and tightness through trauma conscious techniques and exercises.

— Nanae Ito, Clinical Social Worker

Somatic Therapy is the practice of focusing and listening to your body to find your felt sense and discover new personal insights. We will look for parts of your body that stand out to you, letting the body talk and providing it with a way to talk to us. If your shoulder is standing out to you, we will go further and look for shapes and colors and images and find metaphors and real feelings that connect to pain, joy, memories, or relationships.

— Kristen Crowe, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in LA, CA

The theory behind somatic therapy is that the mind, body, spirit, and emotions are all related and connected to each other. As a result, the stress of past emotional and traumatic events affects the central nervous system and can cause changes in the body and even in body language, often resulting in altered facial expressions and posture as well as physical pain. Somatic therapy helps you to release... the emotions that remain in your body from these past negative experiences. -Psychology Today

— Jules Allison, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

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 Claremont, CA

I am currently training in Somatic Experiencing®, a body-centered trauma therapy. I am also supervised by an Orgonomic Therapist who incorporates bodywork. Our group practice is holistic and collaborates with other healing modalities such as massage, movement, and acupuncture.

— Lauren Traitz, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

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

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

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

I am currently participating in extensive training with Somatic Experiencing, which is a body-based trauma treatment modality.

— Lindsay Bunselmeyer, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in , CA

As important as it is to cognitively understand how we feel and why, it is also important to release the emotions and trauma responses that have been stored and trapped in our nervous system. Somatic experiencing focuses on how these difficult emotions and negative thoughts *feel* in your body and on finding ways to release these sensations. This type of therapy helps improve the mind and body connection.

— Brianda Diaz de Leon, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I have studied Somatic Therapy for many years and have assisted and participated in a variety of somatic trainings and workshops.

— Keri Willis, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Asheville, NC

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

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