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Body Psychotherapy

So often words fail us.  Many of us know this already, but from a biological level this phenomenon can actually be born from a positive, protective coping strategy. Highly stressful situations often trigger our survival responses in order for us to focus on what will keep us alive such as running away, fighting, or going into shock/hiding.  In these cases communication is less meaningful than gut instincts and heightened body awareness. 

 

Sometimes without proper space to heal from those negative events, we get stuck in survival responses which is often the case for those with PTSD.  More so, being creatures of habit, we pick up much more than we realize on an unconscious, bodily level.  This can be exemplified by the deep seated messages we carry from our childhood or other ongoing relational patterns that we enact unconsciously. It is for this reason that I find our bodies to be crucial in the healing process.

There are a variety of ways I like to integrate body work into the therapeutic process depending on what a client needs at a given time.  Some examples include mindfulness exercises, visualizations, expressive movement, cathartic release, mirroring, and more. This component of the therapeutic process can be vulnerable for many people at first so I invite clients to be honest about discomfort and bodily sensations as they arise.  

My primary body-based psychotherapy modality is called Core Energetics which involves creating movement in the body in order to feel one's powerful life energy.  Using this modality, life energy is often accessed through expressive release, catharsis, and grounding exercises.  Those seeking body psychotherapy will also be offered some teaching tools to understand why we are doing what we are doing using a Core Energetics lens.  These tools can also help create language for your unconscious beliefs, defenses, and blockages.  If you are primarily interested in body work energetically or holistically as opposed to integrative psychotherapy, please see my page on holistic health.

Image by Adrien King
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