Somatic therapy uses the body, mind, and spirit to help heal inner mental and emotional issues. The goal is to connect the mind and body with a more body-centric approach. Typical mental health treatments mostly focus on the mind, while somatic therapy also uses breathwork, meditation, and dance throughout the healing process. If you are considering somatic therapy, here are some things you need to know:
How Does Somatic Therapy Work? The premise of somatic therapy is that your life experiences and any trauma you have endured are not stored only in your mind but physically in your body as well. The idea is that by focusing on your physical reactions alongside discussing your problems, you can fully heal by reaching all of those target spots.
Somatic therapy uses different approaches to connect the physical body with the mind with the goal of helping you heal. Grounding, providing detailed descriptions, calling on your emotional resources, and movement are all common tactics used during somatic therapy. You will learn the tools you need to calm yourself and learn how to release tension by alternating your focus on what is stressful to you and what is not. You also learn how to set firm boundaries to help prevent further trauma from occurring from the same source.
Are There Different Forms of Somatic Therapy?
There are a variety of therapies within somatic therapy. The most common form of somatic therapy is somatic experiencing therapy. During these sessions, a patient will talk about their issues like you normally would in a therapy session. However, a somatic therapist will encourage the patient to also focus on their breathing, any mind or body experiences they are enduring, use visualization, and other forms of physical sensations to help guide the patient through the experience.
Another subgroup of somatic therapy is sensorimotor psychotherapy. This uses the human body as a way to target intervention by using it for information. Bioenergetic analysis is another subgroup of somatic therapy and utilizes one's energy to do the relational and analytical work one needs to do in order to heal. Brainspotting is a somatic therapy that incorporates the position of the eye to help better train one's emotional reaction.
What Can Somatic Therapy Help Treat?
There are a number of conditions somatic therapy can be used for. Anxiety, depression, grief, post-traumatic stress disorder, and stress are among the most common conditions somatic therapy helps. It can also help with physical issues including digestion issues, chronic pain, and sexual dysfunction.
Contact a provider to learn more about somatic attachment therapy.