As we know Somatic psychology is a form of therapy which focuses on somatic experience. It’s a body-centered therapy which looks at the connection of your body and mind. It uses physical therapies and psychotherapy for holistic healing. Therapists use mind and body exercises. They also use physical techniques to help release tension. This tension negatively impacts your emotional and physical well-being.
How does Somatic Psychology Work?
The theory behind somatic psychology is that the body, mind, spirit, and emotions are connected to each other. Because of this, the stress of the past traumatic and emotional events affects our central nervous system. It can also cause changes in our body and our body language. This results in changing our facial expressions, posture, and physical pain.
By developing awareness of the body and mind, we are able to release anger, frustration, tension, and other emotions we have in our body. These emotions may have come from our past negative experiences. The purpose of this is to help us relieve from the pain and stress which prevent us from engaging in our life completely. Here’s how it works.
- Somatic treatment starts with a counselor getting to understand why a patient is looking for healing. The counselor asks about the experiences that have caused their health status currently. The first session with the counselor may or may not cover this part yet. It depends on how much the trauma is and if the client is okay with it.
- This is a collaborative therapy. This means that it begins by deciding on the appropriate approach. Sometimes, somatic psychology treatment consists of interacting and talking. This involves going over the patient’s physical presentation, emotions, and thoughts.
- The healing process takes time, even though many clients want to relieve their physical and mental symptoms as soon as possible. Body experiences abruptly change positively. These changes catch the clients off guard. Patients should know that whenever the positive changes take place, negative feedback follows. That’s because there’s an attempt to change the patients’ current way of thinking.
- The techniques show the patients how to create awareness between their body and mind. Doing this helps them learn how they can ease chronic pains. If the confusion or trauma in the patient is eliminated, the chronic pain diminishes. This resolves a lot of emotional and mental suffering.
- There is a link between the body, mind, and spirit. If one of the elements is offset, then it may result in a chain reaction. Building a deep connection with oneself can increase the patient’s harmony and balance in life. When someone is undergoing tension in their chest, neck, back, or shoulders, it may be the aftermath of tension and stress. This is caused by a past event.
- After releasing negative energy, the patient discovers a tranquil state of mind. This takes the pressure off the physical manifestation. When the patients release their traumatic memories, they can eliminate the tension caused by their state of mind.
When is Somatic Psychology Used?
Somatic psychology is known to be very helpful to many people. But when is it used?
- To help people who have suffered from stress, depression, and anxiety.
- To help people who are suffering from addiction, relationship problems, grievances, and trauma and abuse.
- To help people who have digestive disorders, chronic physical pain, and other medical problems. There are those who used the traditional remedies for these issues but didn’t feel better. Therapy techniques can be used for both group and individual therapy settings.
What to Expect?
Somatic psychology combines talk therapy and other forms of physical therapy. The therapists help revive those memories of traumatic experiences. They also pay attention to any of your physical responses after recovering the memory.
This uses physical techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and relaxation exercises. These activities are used to help relieve the symptoms. Other activities that can also be used are adjunctive physical techniques. These techniques include dancing, yoga, exercising, and other types of movement, massage, and vocal work.
How to look For a Somatic Therapist
Somatic therapy is integrated into other counseling psychotherapy practices. When looking for a therapist, there are different factors that you need to consider. Is the therapist licensed? Does he or she have expertise with mental health and somatic therapy techniques? Does the therapist have an appropriate educational background? Below are some tips that you can follow when you look for a somatic therapist.
- Search smart: Finding a therapist requires research. You can streamline this process by asking for referrals from friends and family members. If referrals aren’t available, you can search through Google. Read through each website and check out the reviews. To narrow your search, you can make a list of the characteristics that you think are necessary.
- Shop around:.As soon as you’ve found two or three potential somatic therapists, you can start shopping around. Identify how they react to your situation and how you interact with each other. Just like any relationship, your therapist may look great on paper, but the connection may not be there.
- Confirm the price and make sure it’s right: Therapy can be costly. Some of them take insurance but some are private fee-based. Some offer a sliding scale who adjust the fees based on the income. Before you hire a therapist, make sure to get the pricing information upfront.
In case the insurance doesn’t cover your mental health treatment, try to ask for referrals for psychotherapy students with expert supervisors. This helps you ensure mental health care at the cost which won’t hurt your wallet.
- Don’t just settle with talk therapy: Straight talk therapy doesn’t always work for everybody, especially those who already tried in the past. There are a lot of alternative options that you can go for. Somatic therapy is among these alternatives.
- Use technology: There are high-tech e-therapies that you can go for, especially if you’re not available to do it in person. These therapies can be done through Skype or via app-based texting services. Certain apps match clients with therapists from the roster and provide them unlimited texting. The cost for this is cheaper compared to traditional therapies.