Have you ever noticed your shoulders getting tense or a knot in your stomach? When I talk about somatic psychotherapy, I really am just talking about noticing and working with the whole brain/body, the complex system from the brain and throughout the nervous system. The knot in the stomach, or tight shoulders, when attended to, can have a story, or a clue to a story. That story — once noticed and explored with a safe other — can just be, and then can remarkably transform into new awareness.
This in its most basic sense acknowledges that in order to heal and feel more equipped to have better relationships with ourselves and others, we humans need a safe, warm, and honest relationship. We need to feel seen in the eyes of a caring other looking back at us. In the safety of this relationship, we build secure senses of ourselves. This is actually a complex process involving our whole being in relation to another’s. This hopefully happened when we were young at home, and in community. But sometimes things happened that interfered with that secure relationship to self and others back then, whether we can name those circumstances or not. It’s common that we need to restore, repair, and rewire some systems of emotional health and build more embodied resilience.
Above is actually a picture of our whole brain /body, where we experience things. This complex set of pathways is the nervous system, really our whole brain, as our brain stem flares out to the extended nervous system continuing throughout our body, sending and receiving information about the whole self and communicating with the outside world. I work with attention to this complex system.