Say it with me, So – maa – tick. Psy – cho – ther – apy. A.K.A.: Body Psychotherapy.
Okay, so what the heck is that?
In short, somatic means body-oriented. Now, you might be asking, “How’s that supposed to help me?”
Well, to that, imma say, “You live in a body, right?
Your body and your mind are always in a conversation.
Your body listens and responds to your thoughts and your thoughts listen and respond to your body. It’s a two way street, baby!
Take 1: You’re out hiking. The trail turns along the side of a cliff. Your mind says, “Holy crap! Get me out of here – one wrong move and I might slip and fall.”
Your body responds to this – your heartbeat starts to race, your belly tightens, your breath gets stuck in your throat. Your anxiety shoots through the roof and before you know it you’re in full panic mode, overwhelmed with fear that you’re going to plunge to your death if you don’t turn and RUN!
At this point, your thoughts are running the show and you’re helpless to their tyranny.
This is where I yell, “CUT!”
Take 2: Same scenario. This time at cliff side, you take a deep breath, you press your feet into the Earth beneath you. You allow your rib cage to expand. You soften your eyes.
The mind responds to this – “Everything is okay. I can do this. Girl, look at that view!”
You get it. But maybe you’re still asking, “What does that have to do with therapy?”
By working somatically, you’re bringing ALL of you into therapy – not just your mind. While our minds are deserving of attention they can also lead us astray into fear, anxiety, irrational thoughts, self-defeating beliefs, etc.
When you learn how to tap into the “body” portion of the mind-body conversation you bypass those tricky little thoughts, shed light on other parts of you, and you get to know yourself better.
And when you know yourself better, you make better choices for yourself and those you love.
Pretty cool, eh?