Somatic Psychotherapy


Somatic Psychology, or body-mind psychotherapy or body-oriented psychotherapy, is a powerful form of mind-body therapy. It is holistic form of therapy that respects and uses the powerful connection between body, mind and spirit. Your experiences and emotions are stored in the body; when you encounter a situation that triggers that body memory, your response is based on the past rather than the present.

Your body stores insights in your posture and reflexes. By accessing the body’s intelligence and memories stored at the cellular level, it is possible to transform your current experience with a particular situation, circumstance or relationship.

See also: Bioenergetic Analysis

As a very simplistic example, if you had fear as a child, you likely felt the need to defend yourself and your posture would indicate that by being hunched over, with your chest caved in, your back rounded and your arms around your knees. As an adult, if you find yourself similarly folded into yourself, it may be a measure of protection and a clue as to how a particular relationship is being experienced on a subconscious level. As one application of this insight to consciously gain freedom from fear today, you can straighten and expand your posture to experience a release and become more present to your resources and resilience in your current relationship.

Unlike traditional talk or cognitive therapy, Somatic Psychotherapy tends to be more experiential. It has a long and rich history, being derived from the theories and practices of Wilhelm Reich (a psychoanalyst and student of Sigmund Freud). Since then, it has been influenced by existential, humanistic and gestalt psychology, dance, movement and art therapy, family and systems theory, biology, neurology, Far Eastern philosophy and spirituality.

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