Understanding Somatic Therapy

Have you ever heard of somatic therapy? This type of therapy explores how our bodies hold and express deeply painful experiences, helping us heal from trauma. Imagine our bodies as sponges, soaking up all the stress, pain, and joy we experience. Sometimes, we hold onto the pain so tightly that it gets stuck inside us, affecting how we feel and act. Somatic techniques help release this trapped pain, allowing us to feel better.

The Connection Between Body and Mind

The famous book, The Body Keeps the Score, has shown us that trauma impacts us deeply. However, somatic therapy is still catching up to other types of therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). While CBT focuses on changing how we think and act, somatic therapy starts with the body, teaching us to notice and release physical sensations tied to our emotions.

Who Can Benefit from Somatic Therapy?

People with different kinds of emotional pain can find help through somatic therapy. It can be especially useful for those dealing with:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Grief
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Issues with trust and intimacy
  • Low self-esteem

When we’re anxious, our bodies might feel tense, causing pain in places like our neck or back. This approach aims to ease this tension, helping our bodies and minds relax.

How Somatic Therapy Works

A somatic therapist uses various techniques to help people let go of their pent-up emotions. These techniques can include acupressure, hypnosis, breathwork, and even dance. The goal is to guide people in recognizing and releasing the tension stored in their bodies. Some key techniques include:

  • Body awareness: Helping people notice where they feel tense and think calming thoughts.
  • Pendulation: Moving between a relaxed state and a state similar to their traumatic experiences, then back to relaxation.
  • Titration: Gently exploring traumatic memories while paying attention to any physical sensations and addressing them.
  • Resourcing: Reminding people of safe and calming places, people, or memories in their lives.

Starting Your Healing Journey with Somatic Therapy

If you’re thinking about trying this therapy, it’s important to know that there’s not a lot of scientific research on its benefits yet. This is why we would often recommend starting with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which has proven benefits.

Challenges in Finding a Somatic Therapist

Finding a somatic therapist can be tricky because not many people are trained in this type of therapy. The US Association for Body Psychotherapy offers an online tool to help find a therapist, but it might take some time and effort.

Why Consider Somatic Therapy?

Even though there’s less research on somatic therapy, many people have found it very helpful. It offers a different approach to healing by focusing on the body and its connection to our emotions. If you’re struggling with painful feelings that seem stuck inside, this therapy might be worth exploring.

A Christian Perspective on Therapy

As Christian counselors, we also provide cognitive behavioral therapy, which can be a great starting point for those seeking healing. We understand the importance of a holistic approach, addressing both the mind and body in the healing process.

Embrace the Healing Journey

In conclusion, somatic therapy offers a unique way to heal from trauma by focusing on the body’s role in holding and expressing emotions. While it might be challenging to find a somatic therapist and navigate insurance coverage, the potential benefits could be worth considering. If you’re struggling with emotional pain, don’t hesitate to explore somatic therapy as part of your healing journey. Remember, the road to healing can start with just one step.

Finally Alive Counseling

Finally Alive Counseling Ministries is a Christian based counseling facility. We help those suffering stress, anxiety, anger, depression, and more.


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