Somatic Psychotherapy: Tuning into our Wild Wisdom
Somatic Experiencing is about returning home in our own body. So often, we become disconnected from our physical self, especially when we are burdened by unresolved trauma. Body-oriented therapeutic approaches, like somatic work, can bypass the mind when words fail to help us process certain issues in our lives. Though somatic work was developed to help trauma survivors, it has been proven to help in all sorts of mental health issues: intimacy, parenting, anxiety, depression, chronic stress, etc.
In short, your body is always speaking to you, but we are rarely listening. Tuning into our body’s wild wisdom can unlock a lot of healing potential.
The body remembers things that the mind cannot and it can get stuck in survival mode, doing whatever it can, underneath our awareness, to keep us far from stress or danger. Unfortunately, these unconscious reactions can take a toll on us, since our body thinks it is always under threat, and tend to manifest as psychological and physical symptoms of illness.
It is possible to reconnect with your body through somatic exercises and mindfulness. It helps us tune into the unique language of our body, to feel safe in our physical self, to release that pent-up survival energy, to recognize and manage our triggers and internal cues, and, ultimately, to appreciate the work our body does beneath our awareness.
Intellectualizing our problems (through talk therapy) can only help to a certain point. I firmly believe this and have seen the limits of the intellectual mind in helping us get unstuck. It is one thing to understand our patterns mentally, but it is a whole different thing to be able to notice when a pattern is triggered and mindfully choose a new response that is more in line with who we want to be. In these cases, it is useful to access the root of psychological distress or discomfort and access body-based beliefs, and release the experiences that are held in our body memory. Somatic therapy uses exercises such as: mindfulness, breathwork, resourcing, grounding, movement, sequencing, boundary setting, and pendulation to achieve results.
For More Information:
IntegrativePsychotherapy.co “10 Somatic Interventions Explained”
Somatic Experiencing International “About Us”
TalkSpace.com “What is Somatic Experiencing Therapy?”
Ergos Institute of Somatic Experiencing “About SE”