What is Somatic Therapy?
Somatic Experiencing Therapy is a technique developed by Peter Levine, and the most widely known method used by practitioners all over the world. It’s a body-oriented approach to accessing feelings and emotions stored in the body, because of past trauma or emotional stress.
These are some common questions that I’d like to address:
- Can Somatic Therapy work remotely?
- What exactly is Somatic Therapy?
- What does a session look like?
I’d like to share a bit more in this blog post, from my perspective in practicing Somatic Therapy for over a decade. My professional training and experience is in Registered Massage therapy, Craniosacral Therapy, Spiritual Psychotherapy and Somatic Experiencing.
Can Somatic work be done virtually?
This is a good question because for most of my experience, I offered craniosacral somatic work. This was done in-person and on the massage table. The hands-on approach is powerful and it can’t be replaced.
However, somatic work can be done remotely and safely with a trained professional. I’ve personally seen cases where it’s been just as effective. Both, in-person and virtual sessions can be effective for variety of symptoms, such as:
- Muscle tension / pain
- Digestive issues
- Skin problems
- Sleep issues
- Chronic Fatigue
What are some of the techniques used?
- Body Awareness
- Guided VIsualization
- Calming tools
- Self massage / touch
What to expect in a session?
A Somatic session can happen in person or online.
If you see a therapist in person, you will complete a health history intake, provide informed consent and some of the work is done hands on the table.
When I used to see people in person (which will happen again soon) we would spend most of the time on the table. Virtual sessions are similar, but without the physical touch. The practitioner will establish safety and nothing will move faster than your readiness and willingness. It’s a client led approach, meaning that, we do not push or try to get you to a place faster than you are ready and willing to go.
Because we understand that trauma is often present, and that for some people it wasn’t safe to feel the body. So we take it easily and slowly, for there is nothing that we need to find and nowhere we need to go fast. A slower pace approach with this work is essential.
A great therapist is trained to follow the client vs. trying to point out the trauma. Often in my session we begin by “Finding a safety anchor”. This can be a breath, a body part, a word .. anything that will bring you back to the present moment
Once established, the client understands that at any time something uncomfortable begins to surface, they are to explore within the boundary of the safety anchor.
Is it safe to do somatic therapy work virtually if someone is dealing with PTSD?
Yes. My clients will often meet me after they have worked with a talk therapist and have tried different forms of counselling already. In fact, one of the first things my clients get access to is a training on How to connect with the right therapist to support your path.
If you are looking to get started with somatic work or to have a virtual experience. I offer virtual Somatic Healing Group Circles that are free and open to the public once a month, allowing people to experience the space.
For those ready to go further.. I’ve created The Wise Body Path – a coaching program where I teach my signature somatic healing framework and support my clients along the path.
Ultimately this work is about presence and patience.
These are skills that need practice, it’s embodiment work, and it takes time and devotion.
The best part about doing this work is that it frees up your mental and emotional space. It promotes emotional intelligence and best of all, once you understand how to safely process emotions through the body, you can teach your children, clients, communities… really, anyone who’d be willing to listen.
This work is fundamental to our wellbeing and i’m here to ensure that it’s accessible and that everyone has the opportunity to participate if they choose to. At this time, the healing circles that I facilitate are meant for adults (mature teens and early adolescence can tap in). The intention is to offer support to those, who support others (parent’s, teachers, caregivers, organization leaders).
I promise you that what you’ll learn and practice can be passed along to those who look up to you for guidance.
I’d love to hear form you, let me know, what is your lever of experience with Somatic Healing work? Please share with me in the comments below.
To join the next Healing Circle – CLICK HERE
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You’ve misspelled Peter Levine’s name in your blog. Just thought you’d want to know. 🙂
Great Catch Jesse, thank you for taking the time to let us know. Hope you found the article helpful. Have a great day 🙂