What is Somatic Sensing Therapy?

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What is Somatic Sensing Therapy?

Somatic sensing therapy is an alternative form of psychotherapy that focuses on the body. It employs various techniques to help people heal from stress and trauma. The therapy seeks to alleviate physical symptoms such as chronic pain or tension in clients.

The body remains an underutilized resource in therapy. It offers insight into a person’s feelings, as well as the physical sensations triggering those emotions. This can enable therapists to work with trauma-related memories and assist clients in moving forward with their lives.

Trauma is a type of stress that can originate from various sources. It could be an acute event such as an accident or trauma, or it could be chronic and ongoing stressors like emotional abuse, family conflict, war and natural disasters.

In a somatic sensing session, the therapist and client will review the traumatic experience together. Then, the therapist may ask the client to describe and re-experience sensations associated with that trauma in an incremental fashion so as not to overwhelm the individual with overwhelming feelings of unease.

Titration, also known as body awareness, involves the therapist gently helping their client gain awareness of their body. For some people this can be challenging so the therapist must use their skills and expertise to ensure no triggers arise that would be distressing.

Therapists will also observe their client’s posture and gestures, as this can give them insight into the physical manifestations of trauma. They may even detect physical manifestations of emotions like tightening in the stomach or feeling overwhelmed.

In addition to titration, the therapist may utilize other bodywork techniques to help the client process trauma. These may include massage, tai chi or other forms of physical movement.

Another critical element of somatic sensing therapy is boundary setting. During sessions, the therapist will help their client assert their boundaries with themselves and others in a safe, supportive way. This step of healing helps the body feel protected and stable within itself.

Boundaries are essential in any healthy relationship, so it’s essential to learn how to set them in an effective and balanced manner. In SE sessions, the therapist will lead the client through exercises that help them become aware of when they naturally set boundaries and practice saying them out loud.

The therapist then assists the client in practicing using these boundaries in their everyday lives, whether through physical movement or other techniques like nonverbal communication.

Somatic sensing therapy has the potential to treat a variety of mental health conditions. Research has indicated it to be successful in treating PTSD and provide an alternative for patients who may find traditional talk therapy too stressful or unpleasant. However, further investigation is necessary in order to assess its potential effectiveness for other mental health disorders as well.

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