What I’ve Learned from 10 Years and 10,000 Sessions as a Somatic Therapist

Fear is the Mind-Killer: What I’ve Learned from 10 Years and 10,000 Sessions as a Somatic Therapist

Just last week, I was sitting at my desk preparing all the initial stuff for my 2021 taxes. 

This is my 10th year as a somatic therapist, so I got curious. I wanted to know how many sessions I’ve actually done over the past 10 years. To my astonishment, on December 18, 2021, I surpassed the 10,000 session mark. Which I think is pretty remarkable. 

It inspired me to ask a good, large question: What have I learned from 10,000 hours of sitting with people working through their stuff? 

After thinking about it for a little bit, if I were to bring it down to one thing, the common denominator is fear. Fear on all different levels.

What sticks out to me the most is the way in which fear holds us back by creating limitations. I can draw a direct parallel between how one person is restricted by their fears, and then how that fear permeates through their family, through their community, through the region, through the country, and eventually, throughout the world. 

So I want to talk a little bit about a couple of the ways that I have learned to work with fear. 

How to Move Beyond Fear

From my perspective, one of the biggest things we struggle with is being afraid of fear. And it’s sort of a strange concept. But the only thing to really fear is fear itself. 

When I begin working with someone and we start working on fear, they don’t know what it is they’re afraid of and they don’t know why they’re afraid of it. They’re having this internal experience that something really bad is going to happen. 

They stay within a preconceived comfort zone and stay within it. They stay stuck inside the emotional box they create even though they have a desire to experience life differently. They have a desire to have a different view on a particular topic. 

As we start digging into it, the most pivotal moment is when they have to let go of a belief system in order to adapt to the new one. 

Right in that moment, they cross over the crest of a mountain range. When they’re on top of this crest, they have to make a decision: What is most important? Staying within the preconceived limitations of how they experience life at the time? Or is it to take the chance and step into something which is unknown?

Before I became a therapist, one of my spiritual teachers used an analogy:

When you’re on a spiritual journey, you take a step into the unknown, and there will either be something to stand on, or you’ll learn to fly. 

I’ve used this particular tool many, many times on my own journey. I’ve learned to trust that fear is an indicator that I am stepping into the unknown. I’m stepping into either finding something to stand on or learning to fly, which means I’m expanding. 

When we get on the other side of fear itself, we can give ourselves permission to acknowledge that our nervous system is kicking into high gear because we’re asking it to do something it hasn’t done before. 

Fear is Giving You a Pre-Warning that You Need to Pay Attention

Fear is giving you a pre-warning that you need to pay attention to because we don’t know what’s on the other side of that fear. 

If you’ve seen or read Dune, you might’ve heard the Bene Gesserit saying that goes, “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

When I work with my clients, we put words to what fear is: an indicator that you are stepping into a place where there could be something that would harm you. This means that fear is not to be afraid of. It is to be embraced. 

It’s the warning system going off. 

So, here’s to another 10,000 sessions. Thanks!

Ready to Get Support to Move Past Fear?

If what I’ve shared in this article resonates with you, and you’d like support moving beyond your fear, I want to help.

The easiest way to get started working with me is to get in touch with me and sign up for a free consultation

I look forward to working with you!

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by Nicolai Grosell, CCEP, EMM  |  www.NicolaiGrosell.com

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