Working with the body is another
way of knowing
The way that I practice Somatic or body-oriented psychotherapy, integrates traditional talk therapy with body-centered, mindfulness-based approaches. We would each be seated in chairs and we would use dialogue to explore your situation. What is different than traditional therapy sessions is that I will be inquiring from time to time about sensations in your body. Traditionally, the body was left out of therapy, as the practitioner focused on thoughts and emotions. However, in the last few years, research suggests that including the body in therapy leads to more beneficial outcomes.
Real growth and change happens in
the present moment and at the level
of physiology, leading to:
- Enhanced mental and physical well being and expression
- Decreased impact of chronic stress and anxiety
- Recovery from accidents, injury, and traumatic stress
“Trauma is the most avoided, ignored, denied, misunderstood and untreated cause of suffering.”
— Peter Levine
Trauma is a common occurrence and can result from:
• Childhood abuse or neglect
• Violence or crime
• Major health conditions
• Medical or Dental procedures
• Military and war experiences
• Auto accidents
• Sexual abuse
• Abusive relationships
• Physical Abuse
• Loss and grief
• Emotional and Verbal Abuse
Trauma, Somatic Experiencing and Peter A. Levine, PhD
In my counseling sessions I often incorporate the groundbreaking methods of Peter Levine, founder of Somatic Experiencing and author of Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma. His powerful approach is the cornerstone of my training to help clients recover from trauma.
“Trauma is not in the event itself; rather, trauma resides in the nervous system.”
— Peter Levine
Why is it important to bring the nervous system back into regulation?
Too much Dysregulation = Anxiety, Anger, Paranoia, Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors, Panic Attacks, Insomnia, Mania, and Hypervigilance.
“Just right” = Calm, Energized, Balanced, Embodied, Playful, and Empowered = Regulated Nervous System.
Not enough Regulation = Fatigue, Depression, Lethargy, and Lack of Motivation.
Trauma breaches a nervous system boundary by igniting a tremendous amount of energy (adrenaline) for survival. When this energy is not used up or released there is a tendency for the nervous system to become dysregulated. The body becomes stuck in time, as it wants to experience completing a successful defensive response (fight or flight) to protect itself. When the nervous system is dysregulated it will often fluctuate between a painful cycle of “too much” and “not enough” (as described above). When we assist the body in completing a successful defensive response it can often return the nervous system back to regulation or feeling “just right.”
“As we are unbound from the past, a future abundant with new possibilities unfolds. Our ability to be in the present expands, revealing the timeless essence of the ‘now.’”
— Peter Levine