Somatic Therapy

Somatic Therapy

What is Somatic Therapy?

Somatic Therapy is a body-based method that seeks to connect the mind and the body in a wholistic manner. Often as humans, we rely too heavily on our minds to resolve conflicts. However, our cognitive processes have their limits. When we incorporate body awareness, sensation, and movement into our healing, we offer a more balanced way to relieve mental pain.

What types of mental health conditions could it help?

Somatic treatments are fantastic for treating trauma, anxiety, and chronic pain. More specifically, there is significant research that identifies specific brain-based and body-based symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Peter Levine, Ph.D., a highly recognized psychologist and founder of the Somatic Awareness Institute, believes trauma can be best resolved using body-based techniques. “By listening to the “unspoken voice” of my body and allowing it to do what it needed to do; by not stopping the shaking, by “tracking” my inner sensations, while also allowing the completion of the defensive and orienting responses; and by feeling the “survival emotions” of rage and terror without becoming overwhelmed, I came through mercifully unscathed, both physically and emotionally. I was not only thankful; I was humbled and grateful to find that I could use my method for my own salvation.”

In his words, “Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness.”

How is Somatic Therapy conducted?

The methods often include yoga, dance, mindfulness, and Thai Chi. Breathing practices are often a central part of this form of therapy as well. Many clinicians within Wellspring’s program incorporate somatic therapies at some level. Talk to your clinician if you think this method could be an option for you.