About Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
Usually when we think of psychotherapy, we think of talking, analyzing, and mentally processing. We don't tend to give much thought to our hands wringing, or our legs shaking, or our feet tapping. But the body holds a lot more information than we typically give it credit for. The body tells a story through posture, gestures, facial expressions, and movement. The body holds on to traumas, and through mindful awareness of the body and its movements, it can finally release these traumas.
Sensorimotor psychotherapy is a somatic approach that focuses on the body as the means to resolve traumatic symptoms. Whether we're aware of it or not (and we usually aren't), trauma holds on to the nervous system and manifests in what we learn to recognize as as trauma symptoms. We then use the body as the entry point for processing, rather than using emotions or thoughts. It is from this somatic processing that we can effect gentle and lasting healing.
What I love about this modality is that we don't need the story; we have no use for the past. We're working with the present moment and observing where it takes us, eventually to resolution. The body is the guide and the resource.
A NOTE ON TRAUMA
Trauma is generally defined as a deeply disturbing or distressing experience. After this definition, there's no one-size-fits-all traumatic experience. Trauma could be as seemingly innocuous as stubbing your toe or something more universally definitive.
Whatever it is, trauma occurs when there's a disconnect between the body and the mind, when one is unable to mindfully process an experience on both the mind and body levels.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
In sensorimotor psychotherapy, instead of a "top-down" strategy, the body and its impulses are used as the entry point for obtaining clarity and healing.
Using a "bottom-up" approach (aka body before mind), we focus on the language of the body and its innate movements to lead the client to greater present-moment awareness and the development of new neurological pathways that can bypass habitual traumatic (and often unconscious) responses.
No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
- Albert Einstein