When tough things happen, they happen to the whole of you. Body and mind.
They strain your brain, tense your shoulders, and tax you emotionally.
And when it feels like you can’t escape the physical and emotional pain, you may do what so many others do: bury it, ignore it, or try to medicate it all away.
Unfortunately, the resulting muscle aches, brain fog, and stomach cramps may be telling you that those tough times are still with you- unresolved and upsetting your happiness.
But there is a way to soothe the physical and mental upset you haven’t been able to shake on your own.
In essence, with the help of a trained and compassionate therapist, you can find relief through somatic therapy treatment. And you can get back to living your best life possible.
What Is Somatic Therapy?
The Greek word “soma” translates “living body”.
Somatic therapy is a holistic and distinctly body-centered approach to healing.
As it pertains to recovery, this therapy explores the link between negativity in your past and its impact on your current physical and mental state. By improving awareness of how your mind and body are stuck in the past, you can gain more clarity and relief from persistent tension.
Through specific techniques, interventions, and practices, somatic therapy helps to relax and free you up bodily and mentally, allowing for more in-the-moment living and closer, more engaged relationships.
Why is it so effective?
In short, somatic therapy addresses the upset in your autonomic nervous system (ANS) created by negative experiences and trauma.
Such trauma is evident in the way we move, sit or stand, and communicate non-verbally. For example, symptoms of unresolved trauma can also often reveal themselves as
- chronic pain
- digestive trouble
- hormonal imbalances
- sexual discrepancy or dysfunction
- immune system problems
- depressive thinking
- pervasive grief
- persistent anxiety
- addictive behavior
In therapy, your mind and body will learn tools to help you release trauma, cope with triggers, and tolerate new stressors well.
Essentially, the goal of somatic therapy is to soothe the ANS and help you regain your biological and emotional equilibrium. Consider the therapy a way to physically and psychologically learning to “reset.”
How Somatic Therapy Helps
Again, generally, whatever affects your body resides in your mind and whatever impacts your mind lives in your body. So, to make positive changes, somatic therapy sessions revolve around transformation through the following means
1. Somatic therapy pays attention to your body, track sensations, and practice awareness.
in general, awareness is commonly achieved through somatic techniques like vocal or deep breathing exercises, dance or movement, and healing touch.
2. It reframes experiences without the influence of the trauma.
Experiencing less stress and feeling less affected by triggers improves concentration and your ability to be productive and resilient. Moreover, hope, self-confidence, and renewed interest in your abilities and life possibilities resurface.
3. It discharges strain in the nervous system.
Because somatic therapy helps you face difficulty and past memories, then you are able to fully “discharge” strain in the body. Thus, the release allows for a return to full equilibrium. In the end, this leads to a sense of freedom, rejuvenation, stability, and persistent calm. Also, discomfort is no longer a way of life. In addition, concentration and engagement with others improve.
How Will Somatic Therapy Be Used During A Session?
The good news is that a session will feel like a typical therapy session except that – in the moment – I will help you to:
- Keep track of your sensations
- Explore body symptoms
- Notice postural changes and habitual movements
- Bring awareness to your breath
- Embrace grounding and relaxation techniques
All in all, somatic therapy involves both talk therapy and physical techniques that teach you to identify, honor, and examine the crucial connections between the mind and body.
While somatic therapy is a holistic approach, it’s often integrated into other counseling therapies too. As your therapist, I can compassionately tailor this treatment to you.
Finally, as an expert trained in somatic therapy techniques, I am available for consultation. Please contact me. Together we can explore how to resolve the past and embrace the present. Furthermore, with a “living body” solution, you can reconnect to a life you look forward to living wholly free and fully well.
Can Children Benefit From Somatic Therapy?
I use these same techniques with children. Like adults, children want to feel better and have their pain soothed. Children are still very malleable and naturally respond well to Somatic Therapy. This is because it is easier for them to experience their whole self without too many ingrained, habitual patterns getting in the way.
I am trained in Play Therapy, which recognizes that children encounter their world at an experiential rather than cognitive level. Luckily, Play Therapy and Somatic Therapy go hand in hand!
If you are, considering somatic therapy, please contact me for a free 30-minute consultation. In addition, to learn more about my practice, click here.
April Lyons Received her Somatic TrainingThrough Naropa University.
“The Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s degree program with a concentration in Somatic Counseling: Body Psychotherapy is a 60-credit-hour, three-year cohort program that combines theoretical studies, 30 hours of your own psychotherapy along with the development of clinical and mindfulness skills to prepare you to become a psychotherapist grounded in the integration of mind, body, and movement.”
April Lyons, MA, LPC is a somatic psychotherapist and currently owns a private practice in Boulder, CO. She specializes in PTSD, eating disorders, bipolar disorder and child counseling. April is trained in EMDR Therapy, Trauma Informed Care, and is certified as a Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapist. To find out more about April click here: Psychotherapy Boulder.