Somatic Therapy (Body Centered)

Somatic therapy, also sometimes known as body-centered therapy, refers to approaches that integrate a client’s physical body into the therapeutic process. Somatic therapy focuses on the mind-body connection and is founded on the belief that viewing the mind and body as one entity is essential to the therapeutic process. Somatic therapy practitioners will typically integrate elements of talk therapy with therapeutic body techniques to provide holistic healing. Somatic therapy is particularly helpful for those trying to cope with abuse or trauma, but it is also used to treat issues including anxiety, depression, stress, relationship problems, grief, or addiction, among others. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s somatic therapy experts today.

Meet the specialists

 

I am a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a biological, body-based approach to resolving trauma and stress. Imprints of overwhelming experiences are often held in the body. Using SE, I can help you release these imprints gently and process traumatic experiences that are often not accessible to conventional talk therapy alone. This allows you a wider range of responses to the life around you and frees a sense of choice, freedom and joy.

— Claudia Hartke, Psychologist in Boulder, CO

Somatic Psychotherapy is an advancement in the practice of psychotherapy, and is an umbrella term for a variety of therapy models that share in common ancient wisdom and current science. Rather than attending mostly, or exclusively, to our verbal narratives and ‘thinking’ abilities, or what came to be called ‘Talk Therapy’, Somatic Psychotherapy places attention on our fuller reality: the interwoven connections between our brain/body/mind as a whole, within the environment and relationships.

— Daniel Factor, Counselor in Los Angeles, CA
 

I completed my MA in Holistic Counseling Psychology with a Specialization in Somatic Psychotherapy. Somatic Therapy is a holistic form of psychotherapy that incorporates body-based practices, Neuroscience, and Psychobiology. Trauma impacts the Nervous System and brain functioning which can leave traumatic experiences and trauma memories unprocessed in the body and unconscious mind. Treatment requires an understanding of trauma science, and focused attention to the mind-body connection.

— Rory Valentine Diller, M.A., Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Orinda, CA

A large part of my focus as a therapist is encouraging and helping my clients to become more aware of the thoughts passing through their minds as well as the sensations in their body. The body holds many of our memories and is constantly communicating with us on how it feels towards a particular situation. But the body's manner of communicating is often much quieter than our minds and may take some time in order to learn how to hear what the body is trying to tell us.

— Alejandro Rodriguez, Mental Health Counselor in Lake Mary, FL
 

Within somatics, I have specialized training in Neo-Reichian (Orgonomic) Therapy. This approach utilized breath work and simple movement to process through underlying emotions and experiences.

— Roza Skenderova, Counselor in Portland, OR

My entire graduate studies were focused on Somatic Psychology at the California Institute for Integral Studies. This orientation provides an added dimension by taking the therapy out of the arena of second-hand reports (from your verbal mind) and into first-hand, felt experience. Our bodies often reveal first what our verbal, self conscious mind attempts to disguise and hide. I utilize Somatic interventions to potentially open you up to information that can be overlooked in most analytic psychotherapy. Traditional therapy practices pay attention almost exclusively to thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. In Somatics, the added awareness of sensations and felt experiences within the body are used to deepen the work. This can provide a channel of cooperation between the unconscious and conscious. In turn, Somatics helps to facilitate communication among parts of yourself that may be lost, hidden, or isolated.

— Vanessa Tate, Marriage & Family Therapist in Denver, CO
 

My somatic training supports me in facilitating connection between your thoughts, feelings, and internal emotional experience. Science shows us that your mind goes beyond the confines of your brain - it is your entire nervous system. Every emotion that you feel begins with a signal somewhere inside of your body. Connecting with these signals can open new pathways in your mind that lead to freedom, healing, and peace.

— Sarah Bower Ho, MA, Counselor in Portland, OR

Somatic psychotherapy begins with the premise that our bodies are always communicating. In a society telling us to "be logical" and "use our heads," it is no wonder rooted in principles reflecting a mind-body split, rife with body-shame and

— Ashley Gregory, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA
 

Somatic (body centered) therapy has been found to be very impactful in healing trauma, managing stress and bringing about greater self-awareness. In addition to Brainspotting, I integrate somatic interventions in therapy to help guide my clients towards greater awareness of how they feel in their bodies and the emotions that they hold in their bodies. As a result, clients gradually learn to have greater present-moment awareness and to gain greater self awareness of their own emotions.

— Jennifer Twardowski, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Walnut Creek, CA

I earned a specialization in Somatic Psychotherapy in 2015 and continue to deepen skills by receiving ongoing mentoring and consultation in body-oriented therapy and touch work.

— Phoenix Jackson, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA
 

I utilize TRM and SE work to help heal the body-mind-spirit from dysregulation and trauma responses.

— SC (Stacy-Colleen) Nameth, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA

Body Psychotherapy and Movement Therapy go beyond traditional “talk therapy” as these specialized approaches offer mindful consideration to the crucial role of the body structure and process of the psyche. During a session, I pay close attention to sensation and body states, which allow unconscious material to authentically manifest and possibly be worked with using breath, spatial awareness, consented therapeutic touch, movement, sensation, and imagery.

— Lina Návar, Psychotherapist in Austin, TX
 

SE is body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders developed by Dr. Peter Levine. It offers a framework to assess where you are “stuck” in the fight, flight or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states by focusing on body sensations and releasing stuck energy while building upon and strengthening your resiliency.

— Leanne Lemire, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Phoenix, AZ

In my work, I honor that we do not just HAVE bodies, but that we ARE bodies. I believe the body holds a deep wisdom from which many of us become disconnected. In therapy, I spend a lot of time helping clients tune into this wisdom. In couples therapy, I help partners embody love, tenderness, and affection.

— Hayden Lindsey, Counselor in Austin, TX
 

If you live in Asheville, I don’t need to tell you about the immense beneficial effects that yoga can have on your mental, spiritual, & physical wellbeing. And if you’re on this site, you’re also aware of the potential that psychotherapy has to improve your mental & emotional health, and your life in general. Imagine the effects of combining these two practices. I did! TALKyoga© is a unique & powerful integration of talk therapy (aka psychotherapy, counseling, therapy) with yoga & mindfulness.

— Dr. Michelle Alvarez, Clinical Psychologist in Asheville, NC
 

My favorite way of working includes the body. When the body mind connection are recognized, you access your wisest self. You also experience an improvement in mood, a decrease in anxiety, and experience more fulfilling connections with yourself and with others.

— Sara Rotger, Marriage & Family Therapist in Montrose, CA

We are born embodied. Yet life experiences can disconnect us from hearing the signals of our body. Somatic therapy is a holistic approach aimed at reconnecting with the body's innate wisdom. In other words, it addresses the relationship between the mind and body. This approach supports our re-learning of how to connect with our body and experience it as a place of safety, worthiness, and belonging.

— Jess Jarris, Counselor in Seattle, WA

Somatic Psychotherapy is the foundation of my work. It is an integrative approach that brings awareness to the entirety of an individual and includes the experience of the physical body along with one's thoughts, emotions, and essence or soul. The brain does not only reside in the head, neural net processors around the heart and the gut are part of the larger concept of brain. Somatic Psychotherapists work with the body while working with emotions and thoughts because optimal health emerges from an integration of body and mind. The experience of trauma is not about the past, it’s about a body that continues to behave and organize itself as if the experience is happening in the moment. For this reason working in the present, somatically, is key to healing from trauma and restoring a sense of safety, creative expression and vitality. As a Somatic Therapist I support the safe release and integration of overwhelm and trauma, along with self agency and playful discovery.

— Erika Shershun, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
 

Have you experienced anxiety, weight gain, chronic pain, or sexual dysfunction? What about physical, sexual, or emotional abuse? Maybe several of these? With a holistic approach, I help people resolve these issues without medications. Sound too good to be true? How are the medications working? Have they healed your issues? If they haven’t, then you're ready for Somatic Therapy, and I can help. Remember, medications don’t heal. Somatic Therapy heals.

— Rice Pierce, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Phoenix, AZ

I graduated from the California Institute of Integral Studies with a MA in Somatic (mind-body) psychology. I draw from over 4 years of training in Formative Psychology, which helps us to sense and shift how we are forming our embodied experience, well as generative somatics, which allows us to put into practice new ways of engaging in interpersonal dynamics.

— Jacquelyn Richards, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
 

There’s only so much we can figure out in our heads. It’s my belief that our bodies are constantly speaking to us - whether that’s of anxiety, unprocessed trauma, anger - or even joy! Often, we repress, deny and push down these important communications. Through a variety of somatic interventions, I support clients to reacquaint themselves with the wisdom of their body’s intelligence.

— Monroe Spivey, Therapist in Asheville, NC

Somatic Psychotherapy is the foundation of my work. It is an integrative approach that brings awareness to the entirety of an individual and includes the experience of the physical body along with one's thoughts, emotions, and essence or soul. The brain does not only reside in the head, neural net processors around the heart and the gut are part of the larger concept of brain. Somatic Psychotherapists work with the body while working with emotions and thoughts because optimal health emerges from an integration of body and mind. The experience of trauma is not about the past, it’s about a body that continues to behave and organize itself as if the experience is happening in the moment. For this reason working in the present, somatically, is key to healing from trauma and restoring a sense of safety, creative expression and vitality. As a Somatic Therapist I support the safe release and integration of overwhelm and trauma, along with self agency and playful discovery.

— Erika Shershun, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA