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Psychosomatic
Bodywork

Psychosomatic bodywork is a means for improving emotional awareness and recovering from trauma. 

The body holds trauma and trauma is healed and released through the body too.  By working with a body-awareness approach, it is an invitation to reclaim your physical, mental, emotional and energetic presence.  

Psychosomatic therapy works by tapping into mind-body communication and the purpose is to connect the two again.  It can then be possible to heal the mind through the body and/or to heal the body by way of the mind.

Trauma work & Bioenergetics Analysis 

The Psychosomatic bodywork that I do is inspired by a variety of sources including Somatic Experiencing, Polyvagal Theory, Trauma/Tension Release Exercises (TRE) and Bioenergetics Analysis.  As a Practitioner of Bioenergetics with ongoing training to be a Psychotherapist of the same method, I incorporate bodywork in sessions with clients or hold bodywork sessions alone if that is the preferred approach and primary need.  As the body holds our trauma, it must be released via the body.  And as well-known MD and author Bessel van der Kolk says, “The Body Keeps the Score.”

 

The Bioenergetics approach works with the whole person because it integrates both the mind and the body in the psychotherapeutic process and focuses on the energy flow (life force) between them.  The premise is that the mind and body function as one and the goal of working psychosomatically is to unite them. 

 

Bioenergetics is both verbal and physical. The verbal work is about exploring your personal history, desires, associations and current challenges, and working with the body is about giving you the chance to become aware of emotional issues on a tangible body level to facilitate change.

 

While traditional talk therapy is useful and necessary, I see it as only half of the journey and for some people it would be counter-productive in fact with the potential of reinforcing trauma.  Perhaps you know clearly what the difficulties are but you haven’t found relief or change no matter how much personal work you do.  Or perhaps you’ve gained a lot of awareness about your patterns and where they come from, yet you are still triggered and brought back to the same reactions time and time again.  This is because trauma isn't about the experience itself but is about how we remember the experience and how we lived it.  This memory then stays trapped in our body, and the same trauma/memory can get activated (triggered) today, in the present.  Therefore, when you experience something 'similar', you are actually reminded and taken back to the initial experience when you were defenseless or too young and vulnerable to handle it. 

Trauma happens when a situation is/was too much to handle.  Trauma happens in the here and now because the body holds the reaction and bears the burden.   The good news is that this can change and there is relief.  Humans have the capacity to self-heal with the right tools.

 

Bioenergetics is considered a humanistic therapy which emphasizes the importance of being your true self in order to lead the most fulfilling life.  The body tells the story of a person's life and as a person becomes more acquainted with their deeper feelings and emotions, they are often quite surprised to discover how their bodily tensions, posture and breathing patterns support the suppression of their emotions (usually of sadness, anger and fear), reinforce “unlivable” belief systems (Other people’s needs are more important than my own, therefore I won’t even feel my own needs) and hide their shame (I’m useless, don’t deserve to be loved, everything I do is doomed to failure, etc.).  And with the hard work of discovering these feelings and old somatic (body) holding patterns in a supportive relational setting, there can be the exciting discovery that the expression of emotion and the loosening up of bodily tensions results in a feeling of well-being, joy and a new connection to life. Sometimes this therapeutic work takes a long time to achieve the “hard-work miracle”, as there may be very early childhood and relational traumas involved. At other times people can achieve quick insights that help make life more livable and joyful right away.

Let's talk about this and how working psychosomatically could help you.  Here you can schedule either a 20 minute "Get to know Meghan" or schedule a session to get started. Packages are also available.