Somatic Therapy is introduced the first week of treatment for all clients because it is an effective way for emotional stabilization. Somatic Therapy is a modality that is extremely effective for treating all kinds of trauma. Somatic or Body Oriented Psychotherapy, encourages the "communication" of experience between the mind and the body, allowing greater understanding of the issues and enabling sustainable movement towards greater health and wellbeing.
It is a therapy aimed at relieving and resolving the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental and physical trauma-related health problems by focusing on the client's perceived body sensations (or somatic experiences). To be clear, it's not all about sexual abuse although many patients present with this kind of abuse. It can be a traumatic time in a hospital, an automobile accident, emotional abuse, etc.
The symptoms of trauma are the effect of a dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). It further postulates that the ANS has an inherent capacity to self-regulate that is undermined by trauma, and that the inherent capacity to self-regulate can be restored by the procedures of Somatic Experiencing. Somatic Experiencing attempts to promote awareness and release of physical tension that proponents believe remains in the body in the aftermath of trauma. The body literally holds the trauma.
The ANS has an inherent capacity to self-regulate that is undermined by trauma, and that the inherent capacity to self-regulate can be restored by the procedures of Somatic Experiencing.
In the initial steps of Somatic Therapy, the client is only exposed to small amounts of distress at a time, until they develop tolerance and the capacity to handle more.
Somatic Experiencing is considered by its practitioners to be useful for two broad categories of trauma: shock trauma and developmental trauma. Shock trauma is loosely defined as a single-episode traumatic event such as a car accident, earthquake, battlefield incident, etc. Developmental trauma refers to various kinds of psychological damage that occur during child development when a child has insufficient attention from the primary caregivers, or an insufficiently nurturing relationship with the parent.
ST restores self-regulation, and returns a sense of aliveness, relaxation and wholeness to traumatized individuals who have had these precious gifts taken away.
Our bodies are miracles of healing. Through the exploration and expression of deeper understandings, Somatic Therapy can facilitate this healing. With this greater insight comes aliveness, creativity, self regulation and a new-found self awareness that enables you to deepen your personal relationships and helps forge stronger relationships with others.
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