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Body-Centered Psychotherapy

How we inhabit our bodies mirrors how we live in the world. Body-Centered Psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach that explores the physical body and its manifestations, integrating the physical, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of who we are, and bringing them into the therapy process. Also known as Somatic Psychotherapy (soma: body), this approach acknowledges the intimate relationship between the human body, and psychological, emotional, relational, and spiritual well-being.

We are not always able to rationalize our way out of our conflicts and concerns. Our inability to resolve pertinent issues can often lead to feelings of physical and/or emotional entrapment. An example of this is feeling anxious and not being able to calm down, despite your best effort to talk yourself out of your anxiety. In fact, the more you attempt to negotiate verbally with your negative experience, the more persistent it becomes.

​This is where body-centered therapeutic work can play a critical role. Somatic interventions bypass the sometimes ineffective narrative and work with the direct experience of the body to facilitate the development of new neural pathways and behavioral "grids." Rather than put all of your energy into avoiding or numbing your discomfort, you have an opportunity to connect with your present moment holistic experience just as it is. This allows you to become aware of your needs and respond to your environment in non-patterned, creative, and resilience-informed ways that build on your personal strengths and assets.

As a body-centered gestalt therapist, I view the body as a resource for self-discovery, healing, and growth. Conscious engagement with the body’s innate wisdom through practices such as mindful body movement and psychotherapeutic yoga allows you to tap into your own resources in your process of healing. Through careful tracking of somatic sensations such as numbness, tingling, and stiffness, and of body cues such as shallow breathing or the holding of breath, past experience can be accessed and brought into the present moment where it can be approached within the safety of our therapy session.

Using the body in psychotherapy is a powerful tool in unlocking traumatic memories and experiences. We hold our histories and traumas in our bodies, and accessing these experiences through the body allows for more profound resolution. Moving beyond the conscious, rational, and verbal approaches that are the domain of most traditional talk therapies and allowing the body to tell its story is key to releasing trapped emotions and memories. Body-Centered Psychotherapy creates a more holistic therapeutic experience, accommodating and honoring all of who you are as an individual, and opening the doors for sensation, memory, emotion, authentic expression, and full living.

​I have received certified training in a number of trauma-informed body-centered psychotherapy modalities, including Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing, and Transformational Chairwork.

For more information about my experience working with body-centered psychotherapy, or to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact me.

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