© 2016-2020 WholeHearted Integrative Body Mind Therapies LLC          Milwaukee / Glendale ~ Green Bay / De Pere, WI

Somatic Therapy

Somatic therapy explores the ways that past experiences manifest in physical form. While the mind is skilled at narrating, labeling, and interpreting experiences, the body holds its own record of our cumulative experiences -- whether encountered in the course of normal development or in times of stress or trauma -- in our patterns of movement, breathing, tension, and processing of sensory information. These body-based patterns in turn affect a person's emotions, thoughts, and behavior, often outside of their conscious awareness, and over time can lead to chronic physical or psychological pain and dysfunction.

Many people find that narrative-based (talk) therapies, motivational-based coaching, or self-help approaches alone are not sufficient to change ingrained patterns of thought and action. They may be quite aware that certain behaviors don't serve them well, and they may even "know" why these behaviors exist and what they need to do differently, but still find themselves unable to make deep or lasting change. On the other hand, body-based therapies like massage may stimulate bodily-held experiences without truly integrating them into conscious awareness.

The somatic techniques I use offer a means of bringing together both "top-down" (cognitive) and "bottom-up" (sensorimotor) processing, tapping into one's innate body wisdom while helping to maintain the kind of grounded presence that has been shown to be so beneficial in mindfulness practices. Somatic therapy can be beneficial on its own, or serve as a useful adjunct to psychotherapy or awareness practices like yoga and meditation. My work draws upon a variety of sources, including Focusing, interpersonal neurobiology, Buddhist psychology, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and Hakomi.

Somatic therapy can address a wide range of experiences, including but not limited to:

  • anxiety

  • chronic pain

  • feeling "stuck" 

  • grief 

  • life transitions 

  • body image issues  

  • trauma 

  • relationship difficulties 

  • coping with a chronic illness 

  • self-criticism 

  • difficulty making decisions 

  • caregiver stress & burnout

Contact me with your questions, to schedule an appointment, or to discuss how somatic therapy might support you in meeting your goals.

"Far too often our conceptual minds create constructs -- ideas built with words -- that are disconnected from our lived reality... Accessing the body's more holistic knowing can bring us back into accurate relationship with our life situations." 

- David Rome, Your Body Knows the Answer