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 draw on a process that allows you to identify and connect with your body where you feel bound, stuck, or any sensation that feels out of place. There is a language of accepting this experience and encouraging it to move through and integrate into your overall body mind wisdom.

— Carolyn Memmott, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in West Jordan, UT
 

Bridging our thoughts with a felt sense to our thinking patterns and fears can be super helpful to help our shifts in thinking to "stick"!

— Genoa Hamiel, Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

The mind and the body are intricately connected; with the body holding its own memory. Somatic work can aid in a holistic focus where the two worlds can work together to facilitate healing.

— Brittney George, Licensed Professional Counselor in , VA
 

Utilizing somatic interventions like he trauma-based intervention, Community Resiliency Model®, I integrate psychotherapy, mindfulness and somatic work in helping balance the mind, body and soul from trauma responses, anxiety and other forms of emotional and physiological dysregulation.

— Robert Novickas, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

I draw on a process that allows you to identify and connect with your body where you feel bound, stuck, or any sensation that feels out of place. There is a language of accepting this experience and encouraging it to move through and integrate into your overall body mind wisdom.

— Carolyn Memmott, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in West Jordan, UT
 

We live in a society that does not support embodiment- true connection with the wisdom of the body. As a result we may live disconnected from our bodies, especially when we have experienced trauma or stress. Numbing out, avoiding, overriding the signals of stress, anxiety, trauma reactions from the body, are common best attempts to cope. Somatic therapy offers a bridge between body and mind so that we can heal and release stuck trauma physiology, and return to wholeness.

— Kim Torrence, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Rockville, MD

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
 

Utilizing somatic interventions like he trauma-based intervention, Community Resiliency Model®, I integrate psychotherapy, mindfulness and somatic work in helping balance the mind, body and soul from trauma responses, anxiety and other forms of emotional and physiological dysregulation.

— Robert Novickas, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

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
 

For the past two years I have been a participant in the three-year Somatic Experiencing (SE)ⓒ Training Program for resolving trauma and I've completed the Intermediate level of the training. I will be an Advanced student in the Spring. SE has taught me the immense value of the body, as experienced from within, as a resource for healing and transforming physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual wounds, and behavior patterns that have been a source of pain and suffering for years.

— Peter Carpentieri, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA

I am a graduate of the JFKU somatic psychotherapy program, and have a certificate from relationalsomatichealing.com. My practice is framed in incorporating the body into our process through safe somatic touch, movement and mindfulness practices. We hold unexpressed emotions, trauma, and parts of ourselves in our body, and if we can slow down together we can begin to make shifts in our entire constitution.

— Erica Berman, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA
 

Body-centered therapy is of great use when issues are pre-verbal or non-verbal. It also gives a place to work when clients have a general feeling of being "stuck" but not knowing why. Sometimes the issue isn't non-verbal, it's just unconscious for a variety of reasons. Body-centered therapy is a great jumping off point and it leads easily into Mindfulness Integrated CBT.

— SHANE HENNESEY, Licensed Professional Counselor in Richmond, TX

I work heavily with the human bio-energy field. Somatic experiencing is a complimentary therapy to Energy Psychology that also focuses on energy within the body which is activated in our nervous system and felt physically. Healing trauma requires discharging the toxic stress/energy from the physical body. Have you ever felt like talking just doesn't resolve things?? That's because it doesn't; we cannot heal trauma by thought alone. It is a physical and cellular experience.

— Michelle Byrd, Counselor in Denver, CO
 

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

Living in the body-obsessed culture that we do, our bodies are not truly our own and most people tend to live from the neck up. We move through this world using our minds, rather than our bodies, and often do not tap into the natural wisdom our bodies have to offer. I encourage clients to return to their bodies and begin listening to their bodies again.

— Jacqueline 'Jackie' Abeling, Marriage & Family Therapist in ,
 

Somatic Psychology (body-mind psychotherapy, body-oriented psychotherapy, etc.) is a holistic form of therapy that respects and utilizes the powerful connection between body, mind, and spirit. How we are in this world, how we relate to ourselves and others, is not just purely about the mind or our thoughts, but is also deeply rooted in our bodies and our spirits. Unlike traditional talk therapy or cognitive therapy, Somatic Psychology tends to be more experiential and powerful.

— Chris Tickner, PhD, MFT, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, CA

The theory behind somatic therapy is that the mind, body, spirit, and emotions are all related and connected to each other. As a result, the stress of past emotional and traumatic events affects the central nervous system and can cause changes in the body and even in body language, often resulting in altered facial expressions and posture as well as physical pain. Somatic therapy helps you to release... the emotions that remain in your body from these past negative experiences. -Psychology Today

— Jules Allison, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Portland, OR
 

Somatic Experiencing® is a body-oriented approach to healing trauma and other stress-related symptoms. Developed by Dr. Peter Levine, SE® focuses on helping us to release trauma that has gotten stuck in the body. When these traumatic energies are able to let go, we are able to heal and come back into equilibrium. The experiential process focuses on safety and going at a pace that is not overwhelming to the individual.

— Jack Rubin, Counselor