Listening to the unheard
In working with people somatically we are simply including the whole body (mind, spirit and soul) in the conversation and ‘being’ more ‘present’.
Many of us may not like to admit it, but we are generally conditioned to operate from ‘the head’, as if the rest of our body is not connected. Somatic coaching, however, takes a more holistic approach to working with people, one that connects to the body’s intuition and awareness, enabling us to facilitate deeper and more meaningful change. It also speaks to your heart and opens up a new and different way of communicating that is much more resourceful and focused on your ‘sense of self’.
All of us come with our own ‘history’ shaped by our upbringing and the environment in which we live. Each of us is also shaped by our own life experiences – good and not so good. Working somatically and learning to ’embody’ new practices allows you to slow down, listen to the unheard and uncommunicated, to be aware of your own stories, how they have shaped you, and how they sometimes limit you.
You will also become more aware of your own emotions, and body sensations (the felt sense) so that you can use this deeper intuition and self-observation to support the change, shift or transformation that you wish for, thereby creating more vitality in your life and more trust in yourself.
Feeling overwhelmed? Functioning, but not feeling energized?
Through a specific therapeutic approach called Somatic Experiencing (SE®), I also work with people who have gone through, or are going through, overwhelming, traumatic, stressful or painful experiences.
It is not uncommon to think of trauma as a huge or unusual event in our lives, such as being a victim of war, domestic abuse or terror, or being involved in a major life-threatening accident. For many it is ‘that event’ or experience that totally throws us off course.
However, in truth, most of us, no matter what position or role we have at work or in our personal lives, experience something that is overwhelming either as a repeated or one-off event. And that event or experience can, but doesn’t necessarily, have to be ‘mammoth’ in order to create an aftermath of symptoms that can have an impact on our well-being and life in general.
Here are just a few examples of some possible symptoms:
- being stuck/blocked and feeling incapable of functioning in day-to-day life
- overwhelming stress and anxiety at work
- emotional overload/numbness
- physical tension and feeling that your body is braced, or constantly ‘holding’
- feeling shame and unable to trust in yourself or in others
- living in a self-destructive pattern, drawn towards withdrawal rather than participation
- sensing a lack of connection with yourself, others or your surroundings
- physical/chronic pain
- addictive tendencies
- helplessness and hopelessness
- unable to cope with relationships
- feeling recurrent fear and unsafe in situations where others would feel comfortable
- lacking resilience
- continuous exhaustion
- digestive problems
The SE Approach:
Somatic Experiencing is a body-oriented approach which focuses on the healing of symptoms arising from physical, emotional and psychological shock, stress and trauma. It is a process that works with the felt sense and the body’s natural self-regulating systems. It can, but does not necessarily, involve the use of touch.
In SE we are not focusing on the traumatic event, but rather on building more emotional, physical and mental capacity for you to manage your life fully – in the present and in the future.
The process is supported by your own inner resources which are used in this work to bring about a sense of safety to your body and mind as you help your body restore its balance.
Visit traumahealing.org for more on Somatic Experiencing (SE®)