Somatic Therapy vs. Talk Therapy: What's the Difference?

Somatic Therapy vs. Talk Therapy: What’s the Difference?

One of the most common questions I get is, “What’s the difference between Core Energetics and traditional talk therapy?”

Well, the main difference between somatic therapy (Core Energetics) and talk therapy is that in somatic therapy we focus on the way things feel in your body. 

What we don’t do is focus on the story your mind makes up about the way you feel. 

The best way to explain the difference is to look at what happens when someone experiences a traumatic event. 

What happens when you experience trauma? 

When you have a traumatic event, there are two components to it: 

There is the cognitive piece, or the story that we tell about it, and then there is the emotional piece or the way it feels in the body, the way the body responds to it. 

In traditional talk therapy, you overwhelmingly work on the cognitive piece. You focus almost entirely on the story about the event. You go into the office, sit down, answer a series of questions or talk about the experience you had. 

Through talk therapy, you can gain an immense amount of understanding of why you feel the way you feel. 

On the other hand, somatic therapy focuses on the way your body feels.

A lot of people who start somatic therapy start in the same place as talk therapy. You go into the office and share about yourself. In the beginning, you’re building a relationship between you and your therapist. 

The difference between a talk therapist and a somatic therapist is how they listen to you.

But the difference between a talk therapist and a somatic therapist is how they listen and what they listen to. 

When I’m working with a patient, I pay very close attention to what their body is doing as they’re talking. I’m looking for clues. Maybe they have a bouncing leg, a hard time keeping their feet still, shallow breathing, their gaze is wandering around the room, or have a hard time keeping eye contact. 

Oftentimes, the more you talk about the situation, violation, or traumatic event you had, the more your body will start to respond.

In upwards of 90% of the cases in talk therapy, you don’t use all that information. Anything like the way the body responds to jitters, shortness of breath, a difficult time keeping your gaze with the therapist… none of that stuff is used for anything. 

They just focus on the story and ask you something like, “And how did that make you feel?” 

And then what happens next? 

If you have a version of anxiety, feel jittery, jumpy, or any sort of physical symptom, Western medicine attempts to eradicate the symptoms rather than address the root cause. 

They try to cover up a much larger situation. 

I’m not saying all talk therapists do this. Rather, it’s what the system encourages them to do. 

In Core therapy, I do the opposite. 

Core Energetics helps heal the root cause of your symptoms.

I encourage all the emotions and expressions of emotions you have rather than having you suppress them or prescribing medication. 

We don’t just talk about a traumatic event. We pay attention to what’s happening in your body and how your body is responding… so you can allow energy to release. Once the energy is free to express itself and move through your body, it dissipates and your symptoms naturally heal. 

For example, I firmly believe that depression is unspoken aggression (in most cases).

If a client expresses they feel depressed, I might encourage them to get in touch with and express their anger. Perhaps there was a moment they learned anger was bad… and they shut down their anger. 

And then because they no longer express or release anger, that energy doesn’t have anywhere to go. It gets stored in their body and they become energetically heavy and depressed. Then they have to designate an immense amount of their daily energy just to keep their anger down. 

This is why I see my clients start getting more energy as they do somatic therapy. 

As they release all this stuck energy from their system, the energy that they’re using to hold it in is now being released to them to use however they see fit. 

You could spend years doing talk therapy and still feel depressed and low energy. 

I have had clients come into my office and tell me they’ve been in talk therapy for a very long time. Sometimes a decade! They say, “Yes, it helped me tremendously. It helped me to understand the situation I’m in, but I can never seem to move on.”

Talk therapy had become a way for them to deal with the status quo. 

They never moved on because they didn’t release the energy from the traumatic event that was stored in their body.

And through working with me and the somatic therapy processes and tools we use, they release and reclaim that stored energy. 

So, to recap: 

The difference between Core Therapy (somatic therapy) and talk therapy is that somatic therapy works the physical and energetic aspects of a traumatic event rather than just the story or cognitive side.

Want to experience Core Energetics for yourself? 

If you’d like to experience Core Energetics for yourself, it’s my mission to support you as a client.

Schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation call. This is not a sales call. It’s a simple check-in to make sure we resonate with each other. 

I’ll ask you some questions about what’s happening in your life and answer any questions you have about my work. 

If it doesn’t feel like a good fit, I’ll let you know or you can let me know. There’s no pressure to work together.

Click the link below and we can find a time that works for you and schedule your complimentary 30-minute session:

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