Somatic therapy is a type of treatment that links the psyche and body through touch or movement. It is used to assist the body in processing stored trauma. Somatic therapy comprises somatic experiencing, the Hakomi Method, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
In the following section, we will learn more about somatic therapy’s benefits, techniques, and what to expect.
The cognitive or thinking abilities are the focus of traditional talk therapy, also known as the top-down method. It is known as a bottom-up approach that somatic therapy NY concentrates on the body first. The terms listed below are fundamental to somatic therapy.
Grounding, also known as earthing, establishes direct contact with the earth’s surface, which has been demonstrated to reduce inflammation, pain, and stress.
- Growth of Boundaries
Boundaries are the limitations that separate us from others. People with a history of trauma may have learned to disconnect from the physical boundaries of their bodies.
Somatic therapy focuses on how the body responds physically while using exercises to cultivate a sense of boundaries.
- Autonomic Regulation
Self-regulation entails learning to control the overwhelming emotions that may result from recognizing and releasing traumatic memories. Before uncovering and digesting traumatic memories, somatic therapy teaches emotional regulation skills.
- Change and Procedure
Physical activity facilitates emotional processing and release. For instance, if a client has slouched posture, a therapist may ask them to examine how they bear their body mindfully. Awareness of physical movement can induce an internal shift and may even cause a sense of relaxation in the body.
Touch, movement, massage, and respiration techniques can all be components of a process or movement.
When animals in the wild have been on high alert in response to potential threats, they typically recover naturally. This only sometimes occurs with humans. The nervous system can become immobile, and the body can store physical tension. Muscle tension is released due to the discharge of stored memories during sequencing.
Who Can Benefit?
Somatic therapy was initially devised to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma, but it is also beneficial for a wide range of other conditions, including
- Substance abuse conditions
- Chronic pain
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Techniques and Exercises
Exercises and techniques vary among the various somatic therapies, but the following exercises may be used:
Deep Relaxation: Many somatic therapies rely on profound relaxation to alleviate or release muscle tension. According to bioenergetics analysis, muscular tensions are body defenses from past trauma that must be released.
Positive Imagery: Positive imagery visualizes a secure person, place, or moment to restore equilibrium and emotional regulation.
Mindfulness: Mindfulness is re-centering oneself in the present moment, as trauma keeps individuals in the past. Mindfulness and bodywork are combined in the Hakomi method. Various breathing techniques may be utilized to enhance physical and emotional awareness. Somatic experiencing emphasizes improving the understanding of physical sensations to process traumatic memories.
Body movements: May include specific exercises to reduce physical tension held in the body. EMDR processes traumatic memories through eye movements. Brain spotting examines points in a person’s visual field to access memories in the brain.
Home-Based Somatic Exercise
There are a few somatic exercises that can be performed at home as self-soothing techniques:
• Grounding: Place your bare feet on the ground and envision your feet anchoring you to the earth, similar to a tree. Additionally, known as earthing.
• Mindful meditation: Sit in a silent space, take deep breaths, and observe without judgment the various sensations, emotions, and bodily responses.
• Deep relaxation: Similar to mindfulness, but with an emphasis on thoroughly relaxing the body and releasing muscular tension. There are helpful guided meditation apps and videos available online.
What to Expect
Most initial sessions involve getting to know the therapist, who may inquire about your therapy objectives. They will answer your concerns and may lead you through preliminary relaxation or meditation exercises.
Approval of Physical Contact
Touch may be utilized in somatic therapy. A competent therapist will discuss consent and ensure your comfort. Be sure to ask any concerns you have to understand what to expect. Follow your intuition; if a situation feels off, it probably is.
Productivity of Somatic Therapy
Somatic experiencing was found to be an effective treatment for PTSD in one study. In the survey, 44% of participants were no longer diagnosed with PTSD after receiving treatment, even though most were still enduring ongoing trauma.
If the Fit Is Not Right
If somatic therapy does not appeal to you, numerous other forms can improve your well-being.
As stated in the conclusion, somatic therapy is a mind-body therapy. It is body-centered and primarily focuses on bodily sensations. It can include profound relaxation exercises, mindfulness, body movement, imagery, and more. People with post-traumatic stress disorder frequently use somatic therapy to help them process trauma.
A Message from Nicolai Grosell
If you are interested in somatic therapy in NY, locating a mental health professional with the necessary knowledge and training to administer it is essential. You should also feel at ease and comfortable with the person. Be bold and inquire about what to anticipate from therapy, as each form may vary.
Looking for a Somatic Therapist: Considerations for Choosing a Somatic Therapist
It would help if you located a therapist with whom you feel comfortable.
Choosing the appropriate therapist can sometimes feel stressful and intimidating.
Conducting research and posing pertinent questions is a great way to discover the ideal match.
There is no specific certification for somatic therapy, but it is important to locate a therapist who has experience treating patients with similar experiences.
Questions to Ask a Therapist
When choosing a potential therapist, you can pose the following questions:
- How frequently do you intend to see me?
- How would you describe your typical session?
- Do you assign extracurricular tasks to your patients?
- What certifications and licenses do you possess?
- Have you worked with clients whose circumstances resemble mine?
- How should I prepare for my first meeting?
Checklist for Locating the Most Qualified Somatic Therapist
Mental and physical preparations can be made before a somatic therapy session. Set aside time before your session to find calm, collect your thoughts, and formulate personal objectives.
Another essential thing to do before therapy is to acknowledge your healing efforts. It is vital to recognize how proud you should be of yourself for undergoing therapy, which can be difficult and overpowering.