The separation of psychology from the premises of biology is purely artificial, because the human psyche lives in indissoluble union with the body. -Carl Jung
How do we include the body in psychotherapy?
* Breath * Posture * Movement * Touch * Awareness *
Somatic Psychotherapy is a holistic approach to healing where the body’s innate wisdom supports, deepens, and guides the therapeutic process.
Connecting to your body in psychotherapy can help you feel more grounded, relaxed, and secure. We have all experienced that, when under stress, our body contracts in a habitual way and our breath may become shallow or tight. Just bringing awareness to this can begin to shift our emotional state and help us reconnect to the present moment. When our mind and body is experiencing stress, we cannot engage with our lives in a creative or authentic way and we become stuck in survival mode. Neurobiology has shown that when the nervous system is having a trauma response, the brain is unable to make sense of language or find creative solutions to the issues in our lives. Our first step in therapy is to help you re-inhabit your body and increase your capacity to be present through Somatic Resourcing and Mindfulness. Learning simple practices of breath and body awareness can help your feel more grounded and secure throughout your week in between therapy sessions.
All of our feelings and emotions are initially experienced as sensations in the body. By developing subtle awareness of the language of our bodies, we may notice the subtle heat of anger, or sinking heaviness of sadness. We may learn to become aware of our emotional states before they have "snowballed" and work to slow ourselves down so that our speech and actions don't become harmful to ourselves and others. In psychotherapy, we may be able to contact the beliefs and memories that create our recurrent emotional patterns. By becoming present with how we experience emotions in our bodies, we may begin to recognize subtle states that we have defended against, such as vulnerability or parts of ourselves that we have been afraid to share with others. We can use our bodies as a resource to support and develop new ways of expressing ourselves in relationships.
Our bodies will offer clues to our own creative potential and our own healing. We may contact states of freedom and creativity or become aware of how old wounds and stories live inside us. Imagine noticing that whenever your partner comes close to you, your heart slightly pulls back. Imagine breathing and softening that space. What might happen in the relationship when the habitual restriction in the body and the old fears wrapped up in it are released? Or imagine that there is wisdom in the experience of pulling back, a boundary that wants to be asserted and you have been avoiding it in order to be nice. Imagine finding the power to communicate your needs with gentle honesty.