Somatic Therapy (Body centered) includes a variety of approaches to mental health that emphasize the importance of the mind/body connection. Integrating traditional talk therapy with practices that use the body as a healing resource, body centered therapy may include activities like stretching, breath exercises, tai chi, dance, yoga, massage, and relaxation techniques. Body centered therapy can be effective for a wide range of issues including anxiety, body image problems, eating disorders, stress, trauma, abuse, chronic pain, physical illness, terminal disease or disability.
Somatic therapy is based on the belief that individuals may be able to quickly address deep emotional issues which have gone undetected through traditional talking therapy. This form of therapy works on the premise of paying close attention to the body’s communication. Past trauma and other psychological issues may have potentially had a negative effect on the individual’s autonomic nervous system. In addition, individuals who have suffered emotional or psychological issues could also have physical concerns including sexual dysfunction, hormonal issues, digestive issues, or tension within specific parts of the body.
Therapists who practice this form of therapy somatic assist individuals with building awareness of their bodily sensations as well as learning and using techniques in order to release tension held by the body. Techniques include breathing exercises, sensation awareness and physical exercises such as dance or other movement, voice work, massage, and grounding exercises.