Somatic Transformation is an approach focuses on the release of traumatic energy within an embodied relational field between therapist and client. It is foundational to a therapeutic process that can integrate other relational and somatic based approaches into the whole. We draw on research from neurobiology and psychology in our understanding of how trauma and developmental trauma is responded to and held within the body and mind.
The term somatic refers to an approach that highlights the experience of one’s body. From this perspective, the therapist will be paying attention to the specific language of your body and what you may be expressing through posture, movement, sensations, tension, and gestures.
Clinical processes involve somatic empathy, somatic inquiry (exploring how and what we know ), somatic interventions (creating shifts in body/brain states) and somatic reflection (focusing on lived experience to discern meaning).
Somatic Transformation supports psychological change through relational regulation as the cornerstone to creating change. Regulation is when our body and nervous system can tolerate experience. When we are regulated our emotion, sensation, and autonomic systems are energetic and flow smoothly without being stressed. Our inbuilt relational systems (bonding, attachment, social engagement) provide the mechanisms to create a secure attachment. Experiences of safety and security are developed through the therapeutic relationship.
Somatic Transformation is a therapeutic approach that most people can benefit from. In particular, individuals who are struggling with relational trauma (childhood abuse and neglect, relationship betrayal), traumatic events (car accidents, assault, sudden loss, illness, war, witnessing violence) will benefit. People diagnosed with a personality disorder such as borderline personality disorder, and individuals dealing with anxiety and depression have made significant gains from this approach. A safe therapeutic relationship is crucial to transforming the effects of trauma and betrayal that have been held within the body.