If you’ve been following us on social, then you know we’ve been diving into somatic therapy this month.
Somatic therapy addresses your physical state in order to help make sense of your mental state. It revolves heavily around grounding in the present moment and tuning into your bodily sensations. Having increased awareness of our body responses and sensations helps us stay more present and attuned. If we know what it feels like when we’re off, we can track that and shift back toward regulation as needed.
We’ve been covering this really interesting topic because one of our very own clinicians, Melissa Erickson, recently held a seminar to share her in-depth studies of somatic processing with the rest of our team.
Melissa is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker doing clinical work with adults and adolescents. She first became interested in the role the body plays in trauma healing when training for a volunteer crisis intervention role on a local hotline supporting survivors of sexual violence. The training touched on the ways that trauma lives in the body, as well as the ways that survivors often experience a disconnection between mind and body. Since then, Melissa has been studying somatic therapy and sharing her insights with the rest of the KCC team.
When working with a trained provider, somatic interventions in psychotherapy can help teach traumatized clients how to access sensation in the body safely. Using somatic interventions, practitioner and client can also explore the ways that sensations in the body give us information about our needs at any given moment. Some practitioners are trained in specialized forms of somatic therapy such as Somatic Experiencing or Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and these modalities focus on completing a stress response and moving stuck energy through the body to help support trauma healing.
While somatic psychotherapy can be immensely helpful for trauma survivors when used safely, it can also be helpful for anyone with a body (so everyone!). Even if we don’t have a past history of trauma, our bodies are sending us signals and giving us information through our sensations about a number of internal processes. All of us will experience some level of nervous system activation in our day to day life and becoming attuned to the signals our body is giving us can help identify and tend to our needs quickly and more easily than if we are constantly disconnected from our bodily sensations.
Whether through somatic therapy or not, KCC is always here to help you process stuck energy to feel more connected to yourself and live a more embodied life.