with Aaron Zweig
Where traditional psychotherapy can go around in circles TALKING ABOUT (and above) the problem, and bodywork can trigger a release without a context to deal with it, somatic therapy blends the best tools of both. Somatic psychotherapy uses the body—its sensations, feelings, emotions, postures and symptoms—to free up the energy blockages and false beliefs from the stress of our early years.
The experience of the body is the main instrument in somatic psychotherapy. It moves quickly under the rote stories we tell, to focus within the world of symptoms. The unfolding work is energetic, process-centered and alive. The goal is to free the vital energy current where a piece of it is trapped in clenched muscle, locked away to prevent the pain of an earlier time.
How It Looks
Feelings and sensations lead the client, and posture and process guide the therapist. Somatic Psychotherapy engages the body in 4 different ways:
POSTURE … The responses to life events has shaped your body, and that posture offers direction to the therapist. In addition to your genetics, your body is a map of an adaptation to your past.
TRACKING … When discussing problem areas, subtle changes in your sensation and feeling opens a line of communication with the body. In time you become fluent in this new language, offering another way to know yourself.
INFORMATION … Expressions of the body, gestures, breath patterns, eye movements, vocal changes all offer places to engage a context where an unconscious story is offering to express itself.
REPATTERNING … In a critical moment in the process, we support the body’s awareness with a missing experience: safety, connection, protection, freedom, expression or empowerment, to name a few. The right experience at the right time shifts the old pattern and unlocks the puzzle.
Within the framework of your experience you develop the ability to own your history, to change how you want to be with it, to orient to the problem in an empowered and creative way.
Feelings you were sure would’ve overwhelmed you as a child are now easily felt and handled, bringing great relief, release and expansion. Old ways of holding melt away because there is no need any longer to lock this stuff in the closet. Resistance gives way to the greater potential of who you are. Often, the symptoms that troubled you disappear.