What is Somatic Therapy?
"Somatic" simply refers to the body. By bringing attention to your own body's way of reacting to thoughts, memories, and emotions, we have an extra tool by which to work toward healing. For clients who have been in talk therapy before with limited or short-term success, this may be a new avenue for growth and change. I have found these somatic techniques can facilitate deeper, more meaningful work in less time with positive outcomes that continue over time.
What is Sensorimotor Psychotherapy?
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a body-oriented, talk therapy developed by Pat Ogden. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy blends cognition, emotion, and talk with physical interventions that address traumatic memory. Post-traumatic stress can become exacerbated by implicit body-based memories and nervous system dysregulation. Many clients report disrupted sleep, difficulty in relationships, mood swings, disordered eating, substance use, and other symptoms. By bringing awareness to the body and the information it holds, we can integrate what may not be in one's consciousness. This therapeutic approach is unique in its ability to attend to psychological trauma, physical trauma, and traumatic attachment.
What is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)?
EMDR is a structured therapy that encourages the patient to focus briefly on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (in my office this is delivered via tappers, headphones, or self-tapping), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories. EMDR therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and PTSD symptoms. EMDR therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain. Our brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories and events. This process involves communication between the amygdala (the alarm signal for stressful events), the hippocampus (which assists with learning, including memories about safety and danger), and the prefrontal cortex (which analyzes and controls behavior and emotion). While many times traumatic experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously, they might not be able to be processed without assistance. Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create an overwhelming feeling of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.” EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories and allows healing to resume. EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue or completing homework between sessions. (Source: emdria.org)
What is Integrative Body Psychotherapy?
Integrative Body Psychotherapy is a non-invasive somatic psychotherapy that treats the whole person, integrating body, mind, and emotion. Borrowing from Eastern and Western psychological, physiological and spiritual body-mind theories and practice, IBP experiential practices help to break through old, somatically maintained dysfunctional behavior patterns by reawakening and establishing fully integrated states of well-being. Through guided breath work, we together explore holding patterns stuck in the body and ways to restore integrated breathing that can contribute to an overall sense of well-being and connection to self.
Somatic work is not for everyone, and it is always up to you whether you want to explore these modalities of practice as a part of our work together.