Holistic Therapy

Somatic Therapy

Traditionally, there have been two main schools of therapy. Very simply put, the two main schools have been either insight orientated (i.e. going back into the clients childhood history to find the cause of current problems), or cognitive-behavioral (changing current ways of thinking and/or behaving). What both these schools have in common, is that they focus primarily on the mind, and their principle techniques revolve around talking (what is simply referred to as ?talk therapy?). Thus the focus has principally been on the mind. The ?granddaddy? of ?mind? therapy was Sigmund Freud. But there were also ?granddaddy?s? of spiritual (known in the field as Transpersonal) therapy (Carl Jung), and body-orientated (known in the field as Somatic) therapy (Wilhelm Reich).

Until fairly recently, despite the pioneering work of Jung and Reich, the Transpersonal, and especially the Somatic approaches, were poor cousins to the mind approach and were not regarded with the same degree of importance. However, there is an increasing understanding in our culture of the relevance of a holistic (mind, body, emotions and spirit) approach, especially in the healing arts. Consequently Transpersonal, and especially Somatic approaches have been receiving much greater recognition, although the Somatic approach in particular is still very much cutting edge. My approach is holistic. I do not neglect or underestimate the importance of working with the mind, and of talk therapy. But I add a spiritual overview, learning emotional language and Somatic techniques and approaches to my work.

Somatic therapy involves bringing focus and awareness to our physical as well as mental being. This is all about learning to be less in our heads and more in our bodies. It is not easy to describe this process (precisely because I am using language, a tool of the mind, which is largely inadequate in describing an experience of the body). I also use movement techniques (such as Authentic Movement) to help clients get more in touch with their body experience. To learn more about Somatic Therapy, follow my links on the ?Hakomi? and ?Process Work? pages of this site, or look up information on the works of Wilhelm Reich, Alexander Lowen, Peter Levine, Pat Ogden, Arnie Mindel, Ron Kurtz, Mary Starks Whitehouse, Marian Rosen or Gabrielle Roth, to name a few.

Somatic techniques are very powerful healing tools. They can reach those parts that most other therapy techniques cannot. When a holistic perspective is used, focusing on the mind, the body and the spirit, much deeper and longer lasting healing can result.

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