What is your body trying to tell you?
Blog post by Kat Deery, GSCI
Have you ever experienced a break out of acne after a stressful week? Random pains occur in your body without explanation? Or perhaps you're developing arthritis in your thirties, wondering how could this be? Well sometimes these occurrences can be explained through Somatic Therapy.
Somatic Therapy is an approach to therapy that focuses on the mind-body-soul connection. This theory supports the idea that what manifests in the physical is a reflection of what is happening mentally and emotionally. It’s known that stress can take a physical toll on the body: you may be more irritable, your sleep patterns may be disrupted, or your appetite changes. Our central nervous system adjusts and reacts to the emotional and mental stress we experience. When traumatic experiences lay dormant and do not receive the proper attention they deserve, the emotional stress of it all can get stuck in the body and manifest itself in physical ways.
Somatic therapy is an experiential process that can work in conjunction with other psychotherapy approaches to counseling like cognitive behavioral therapy to alleviate symptoms and facilitate healing. This type of therapy is often used with clients who are experiencing anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, chronic pain or illness, etc. Interventions like deep breathing, meditation, exercise, yoga, dance, art therapy, and cognitive reframing are all ways to facilitate body-mind-soul connection and spark some self awareness.
Why is Somatic Therapy relevant to counseling today?
It’s no question that 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, with a global pandemic occurring, racial injustices continuing, jobs being lost, family members isolated, travel plans cancelled, online schooling, political arguments, and so much more it’s no wonder rates of depression and anxiety are increasing.
I encourage you to take a look at your body’s wellbeing. Has it been affected by these events over the last few months...Are you seeing any changes that concern you? What is your body telling you? Do you need more rest? Do you need to implement boundaries with those around you? Do you need more love and acceptance of yourself?
Sometimes chronic pain like arthritis is your body telling you that it feels criticized or you're holding on to resentment. Acne could be your body telling you that you need to increase acceptance of the self.
Somatic therapy can provide healing to those who participate because not only does it relieve some of the physical symptoms it investigates the root cause and attempts to heal those wounds from the inside out. Using techniques like positive self-talk, intentional body movement, and cognitive restructuring are incredible ways to combat the emotional causes for our physical symptoms. Somatic therapy is not a replacement for professional medical care but it is a great addition to improve how we care for our bodies, mind, body and spirit.
Hay, L. L. (2012). Heal your body: The mental causes for physical illness and the metaphysical way to overcome them. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House.
Somatic Therapy. (n.d.). Retrieved September 09, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/somatic-therapy
To book an appointment with Katherine Deery, click here.
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