Somatic Psychotherapy

What is Somatic psychotherapy?

Somatic psychotherapy is a type of therapy that recognises the connection between the mind and body.  It focuses on the physical sensations, movements, and experiences that are related to our emotions and psychological well-being.  This therapy approach acknowledges that our bodies hold valuable information and can be used as a resource for healing and personal growth.

When is Somatic psychotherapy used in psychology?

Somatic psychotherapy is used in psychology when individuals want to address psychological issues that are manifested in the body or when there is a desire to integrate the mind-body connection in the therapeutic process. It can be helpful for various concerns, such as trauma, stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. Somatic psychotherapy is often used alongside other evidence based treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT).

What can you expect in Somatic psychotherapy sessions?

In somatic psychotherapy sessions, you will work closely with your psychologist who will guide you in exploring the sensations, feelings, and movements that arise in your body. Your psychologist will help you develop awareness of your bodily experiences and learn to listen to the messages your body is conveying.  During sessions, your psychologist may use different techniques to support your somatic exploration.  These may include breathing exercises, movement exercises or body awareness exercises. The goal is to help you access and release physical and emotional tension stored in your body.

Remember, therapy is personalised to your unique needs and experiences. Your psychologist will adapt the approach to ensure it is respectful, empowering, and supportive of your therapeutic journey.

Reference: Reuille-Dupont, S (2021) Applications of somatic psychology: movement and body experience in the treatment of dissociative disorders, Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 16:2, 105-119

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