I went to therapy for years. It was almost exclusively talk therapy, although we did also do some hypnotherapy and mindfulness. I was lucky that my therapist was an early adopter of Polyvagal Theory. It helped me tremendously to figure out what the fuck actually happened to me, to piece the puzzle together. And that's about as far as it went. Somatic therapy is the cutting edge of psychology, and that's exactly what I'm training in as a Somatic Coach! So, what the fuck is Somatics then?
First, let's explore what talk therapy is all about. This is how most psychologists are trained, to talk you through your problems. This works on a logical level, which can be helpful because a lot of trauma is hard for us to understand. Talk therapy relies on the fact that once you understand your trauma, you can heal it. However, talk therapy and most other popular forms of therapy, only address the mind. They don't work to address the body. There's a split here, with psychology separating the mind from the body. However, as you probably can imagine, the mind and the body are intimately connected. And you can't think your way into the body. The body speaks in sensations, pains, and energy.
The soma is what somatic therapy is interested in. The soma is the entire landscape of you. The mind, the body, and the energy (sometimes called the soul). All three of these pieces work together, they are completely interconnected. They make up the entirety of you. You cannot become whole again after trauma (big or small) if you are only addressing one of these aspects. You can make sense of your trauma with only the mind. You can put the timeline together in your mind. You can even think your way to acceptance with just the mind. But if you don't go through the body and the energy, the trauma will continue to show up in your everyday life. Often in ways you don't desire, like blocking your relationships, or making you hate yourself.
Somatic therapy or coaching can help you go from just surviving the trauma to thriving after it! It can actually give you your life back! We know that trauma lives in the body. So somatic therapy starts at the body. Sensations are the main language of the body, so we explore sensations as a gateway into the held trauma. Since most trauma gets trapped in the body because we don't know, or aren't taught, how else to deal with it, the trauma can speak from these sensations. It's often associated with pains, even inflammation, or disease. Trapped emotions and experiences are destructive in the body, because they are meant to move through the body. And your whole soma has to work to keep those emotions and trauma trapped. Once you can liberate this trapped trauma, you begin to live on a whole new level!
If you haven't read the book, The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van der Kolk, then it's a must read if you're interested in how trauma affects us! I thought years of talk therapy would cure me of my trauma. I thought that just dealing with the triggers in a better way was the best I could do. But it isn't. I wish there was more research on Somatic Therapy so that it can go mainstream in psychology, but we will have to wait for that. In the meantime, you can choose to find somatic therapists. However, since they are so rare, they are often booked out for months if they are even taking new patients at all. The next best thing is to find a Somatic Coach. And hey, you're in luck, because I'm training to be one right now!
If you're looking to get a taste of what it is like, then email me at Lonagarner@gmail.com saying "add me to your coaching list". In the coming weeks I'll be opening up my booking to take on practice clients for donations only. I'm not fully certified yet, but these practice sessions will get me one step closer! I'll need 35 hours of practice clients, so there's still room for me to take more! These sessions will go for hundreds of dollars an hour, so get in while you can for donation only sessions now!
INSPIRED ACTION: Don't take my word for it! Do some research of your own on Somatic Therapy! It's wildly interesting, and new findings are coming out every year! And definitely read The Body Keeps The Score if you want an in depth look at why traditional therapies don't work to cure us, and how the body reacts after trauma. It changed my whole view!