What is Somatic and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy?
Somatic and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy stem from revolutionary research in the field of neuroscience, psychology, physiology, and sociology which supports the mind body connection. For clients who experience intense, distressing physical sensations connected to their emotions or who have not found traditional cognitive-behavioral approaches to therapy helpful, Somatic and Sensorimotor Psychotherapies may be the solution.
Somatic Psychotherapy is based on the belief that sometimes the difficult emotions (sadness, anger, grief) that arise during a difficult or traumatic experience, do not get fully processed and remain trapped in the body leading to distressing emotional and somatic symptoms. Somatic symptoms are physical symptoms with no organic cause) such as chronic pain, digestive disorders, sleep disturbances, etc.
A therapist who is trained in Somatic Psychotherapy will help you work through such difficulties through various strategies to release these emotions and by helping you understand the connection between the mind and body and how this relates to the difficulties that you’re experiencing.
An advantage of this therapy for trauma is that it focuses specifically on the body and does not involve any cognitive processing (thinking or talking about the traumatic event). This can be helpful for those who find speaking about the trauma too difficult or who do not have memories of the event. It can also be helpful as an adjunct to traditional therapy either before to prepare the nervous system for processing.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy stems from research which suggests that our experiences change our nervous system and how the nervous system conveys our emotions to us. Using various awareness, breath, movement, and cognitive (thinking, talking) approaches, a sensorimotor trained therapist will help you become more aware of your sensory and emotional patterns so that you can regain control of your emotions, understand your behaviour and attachment patterns, and challenge limiting beliefs.
Both therapies are associated with decreases in distress, increased control of your life, ability to reconnect to the things that once brought us joy, fulfilling relationships, and making meaning out of the traumatic event. They are successfully used to treat the symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders, stress, and PTSD and CPTSD stemming from developmental and or acute traumas.