Getting over severe trauma and emotional pain is an uphill battle that might seem impossible to win when you’re in the throes of an emotional breakdown. It’s difficult when you lose your bearings and can’t see through the haze when there’s nothing guiding you to shore. Thankfully, there are plenty of treatment options available today that will help guide you to the path of healing. Our Trauma and Beyond Center’s ®, somatic treatment program is one of many treatment options we offer for our clients.
What is Somatic Treatment Therapy?
The word somatic comes from the Greek word “soma” which means living body. Somatic therapy is a holistic therapy that studies the relationship between the mind and body in regard to psychological past. The theory behind somatic therapy is that trauma symptoms are the effects of instability of the ANS (autonomic nervous system). Past traumas disrupt the ANS. (Khan, K. (2018 July 8). How Somatic Therapy Can Help Patients Suffering from Psychological Trauma.)
Somatic therapy uses the body and the connection between mind and body for healing. A somatic therapist will work with both the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous system to help a client find a more balanced state of being. Somatic therapy practitioners use the sensations of the body, mind-body exercises, and help a client discover where trauma and distress might be “blocked” in their body, and need to be released. The completion of fight/flight/freeze responses can help heal physical and emotional wellbeing.
What Happens During a Treatment Session?
The therapist gently guides the individual in noticing where trauma is stuck in the body. Sometimes, but not always, clients may describe specific traumatic events, but that is not necessary.
The therapist then teaches the individual some physical techniques such as deep breathing, relaxation exercises, and mindfulness / meditation to help them recover and relieve symptoms like heightened blood pressure or difficulty breathing.
How Does Somatic Therapy Work?
It is believed by some psychologists that our bodies hold on to past traumas which then reflect on our posture, our body language, even our expressions. In some cases, trauma can manifest itself with physical conditions.
While traditional “talk” therapy is often effective in addressing many mental and emotional health challenges, it is believed that somatic therapy may help an individual quickly address deep-rooted emotional issues not revealed through talk therapy by simply paying closer attention to the physical symptoms. Unresolved trauma and other psychological concerns may potentially have negative effects on an individual’s autonomic nervous system. A person experiencing emotions and psychological issues may also be affected by physical concerns such as digestive issues, hormonal issues, sexual dysfunction, or tension in specific parts of the body like the head, neck, shoulders, or stomach.
Therapists who practice somatic therapy help guide individuals in becoming more aware of these physical manifestations and learn therapeutic techniques to release any tension that the body is holding. During a session, the individual may be asked to take note of patterns of behavior and identify any effects these patterns may have on new emotions, experiences, or concerns that come up in therapy. This new self-awareness lets them become more attuned to their own bodies, reduces stress, and lets them explore emotional and physical concerns.
Why the Somatic Treatment Program Could be Right for You?
Somatic therapy helps people who suffer from depression, stress, anxiety, grief, addiction, and other issues related to trauma and abuse. All of these could cause physical manifestations and eventually lead to actual medical problems if left unresolved. If left unattended, these could lead to chronic physical pain, digestive orders, eating disorders, and more.
While traditional “talk” therapy is always part of a healthy treatment program, some may require a more physical and holistic approach to healing. Somatic therapy teaches the individual physical techniques on how to cope with stress and anxiety, ergo helping you learn to better handle difficult emotions.
Trauma and Beyond Center ® and its somatic treatment program offers a myriad of benefits. It will help teach you to reframe and alter negative experiences, and instill a greater sense of self, resilience, confidence, and hope. It lessens stress and discomfort which leads to better concentration and a general sense of freedom.
Trauma and Beyond Center ® heals not just the mind but the body, heart, and soul as well. We believe that to achieve mental health, everything else must be taken into consideration. Our holistic approach to healing ensures that our clients are well-equipped to handle stressors and triggers to help them face the world without fear and hesitation.
If you feel that you need help managing your anxiety, depression, or PTSD, call us and we will be happy to speak to you about our somatic treatment program and all of our treatment programs for anxiety, trauma, and other mental health issues. Call us at 818-651-0725.