Somatic psychotherapy includes awareness of the client’s physical body. This physical awareness can include sensations, images, emotions, behaviors (voluntary and involuntary), and more. This information from the body is included in the dialogue, and it becomes an active part of what therapist and client are working with.
Somatic therapy works along with other therapy “schools” or modalities.
Many somatic practitioners include psychodynamic, humanistic, behavioral, CBT, cognitive, Gestalt, and other practices alongside their somatic “tool kit”.
The real power of somatic therapy is that it can “get to” and resolve symptoms that just aren’t so easily accessible by the upper (cognitive) layers of the brain. In other words, you can’t think your way out of trauma, depression or anxiety–even though many people have really tried!
In my experience, when you include the physical body in therapy work, you are working more deeply and effectively. You’re also teaching the body and mind to “talk” with each other. So then, the person isn’t working at cross-purposes within themselves (where the mind wants one thing but the body is clearly not cooperating!).
I am trained in Somatic Experiencing (SE), a modality developed by Dr. Peter Levine for the treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, etc. I’ve been practicing SE for 10 years, and I assist SE faculty members in teaching the modality to other therapists and helping professionals.
For more information, please feel free to refer to the articles I’ve written about trauma, PTSD and somatic psychotherapy. (The articles are at the bottom of my GoodTherapy profile page linked here.) Or, feel free to contact me directly, and ask!