what is SOMAtherapy
"Over the years your bodies become walking autobiographies, telling friends and strangers alike of the minor and major stresses of your lives."
SOMAtherapy is a space in which to reveal insights and create strategies to positively transform our feelings, thoughts and movements.
Life is full of change and experience, challenges and uncertainies, some of which can generate hurt, anger and fear. When we are hurt, by people or events, it is natural to react by protecting ourselves. With continual hurts we can begin to shut down connection and damp down or 'suck up' our emotions. We learn to instinctively protect ourselves. This holding creates tight muscles, stiff inflexible postures and movements, perhaps a reluctance to engage with people, recognise joy or feel pleasure. Our experience of the beauty and joy in our world shrinks as we withdraw from events, people or thoughts, anything which make us feel sad, angry or hurt. We are often unaware that this is even happening.
During difficult and stressful times such protection helps us survive these events, it enables us to do what is necessary to protect ourselves or others. However, when the event is past our body response can continue to act as if it is still in a state of stress, developing a pattern of resistance which makes it difficult for us to leave the past behind. We continue to carry fear, from a threat which has past, because our nervous system and musculature is not able to release and relax.
A SOMAtherapy session works with what is going on NOW by encouraging a mindful focus on body sensations and your unique body mind responses to events and thoughts. Through gently learning to recognise how we judge ourselves we can then practice ways of being less self critical and begin to become more open, compassionate, and curious.
SOMAtherapy helps when we feel...
unable to connect with the world or people around you
What happens in a SOMAtherapy session...
Every Somatic session is unique. Your individual body movements and way of holding yourself when you stand, walk and sit is unique to YOU. Your insights, combined with my observations, inform us where you may be holding physical & psychological tension. Together we will identify resources which nurture, begin healing work by expanding awareness of your unique body mind self exploring movement through Clinical Somatic exercises, free movement, either in silence or with sound. This awareness encourages new ways to move, creates new patterns and helps remember old ones. It develops strategies which can be used in times of stress, while also working on healing past hurts and nurturing new connections which encourage personal growth and healing.
Somatherapy & movement:
Life is movement. As a Movement based Somatic Therapy I value movement as an agent for change and personal growth. However, I also understand that movement can be challenging or uncomfortable, we can literally feel 'frozen'. Working together we will explore how movement lives within your body, how sensations shift and change with emotion and thought, how it is possible to create greater flexibility and to reach out for more nurturing interactions with life.
SOMAtherapy & breath:
Breath is the source of life. It is also the area which reacts dramatically at times of stress, as we hold our breath in fear or expection. Together we will witness and respect how breath moves within your body, using somatic interventions which involve meditation and visualisation.
SOMAtherapy & talk:
SOMAtherapy combines elements of counselling and coaching. What you think and say is important. The way you see your world and tell me about it matters. In order for healing to occur it is important to combine both body sensation with thought, to express this through gesture, movement and voice. To engage both body awareness and cognitive thought to truly create positive change.
SOMAtherapy & relational attachment:
Attachment security emerged as the missing piece in my work and studies into the psychophysiological ramifications of trauma. Working through an attachment focus encourages a relational connection to form within the therapeutic space. Our personal connections with family, friends and colleagues are all impacted upon the way in which we were taught how to 'do' connection and love. No matter what your past experience was our human system is wired to connect and heal.
A typical SOMAtherapy session begins with sensing in to how your body is feeling - NOW.
With practice Clinical Somatic Movement Exercises thaw frozen body patterns while encouraging flexible and free movements. Developed by Thomas Hanna these exercises are gentle, non invasive and easy - a form of meditation with motion. Movements which mirror early motor development often occur naturally when we are encouraged to move freely - such movements help us grow in spirit, mind and body.
Most importantly within a SOMAtherapy session I seek to encourage a feeling of play -
sensing and/or doing spontaneous movement which is joyful and without judgement.