My blog was selected by Feedspot as among the
top 100 psychoyherapy blogs on the web

Nuances of Somatic Psychotherapy

I was honored to learn that my blog was selected by Feedspot as one of the Top 100 Psychotherapy Blogs on the web. 

In listening to Manuela Mischke-Reeds, MA, MFT on a podcast, I was able to gain insight about somatic psychotherapy, an area that I find endlessly inspiring to explore. One of the sections that I found inspiring pertained to a quote that she shared that reflected that the mission of persons in the helping professions is to inspire full human being-ness.

This speaks to what motivates the clinician to engage in healing and places an emphasis on considering that there is more complexity to undertaking psychotherapy than just techniques.

I find this idea relevant as often I had felt that in graduate school there was a great emphasis on skills and techniques, but inspiring human being-ness encompasses bringing connection and accessing the dignity of the client much more. I am learning a meditation practice that references the body while I listen to the podcast as I learn more and more about taking a holistic approach. I think this is an area where I can gain more understanding about reading client's affective states. One of the insights brought out is that there is biological aspect of trauma and individuals enter a very different physiological experience.

When people enter the trauma state, they transmit frequencies of anxiety, for example. Hence, it is critical for the clinician to know how to read their body experiences and track the body cues of the individual rather than hurry the them out of the anxiety or launch into "fixing" the individual. As the clinician reaches a calm state, the anxious individual calms down. The clinician can track cues by saying. "I notice your chest getting tighter" which is a non - judgmental way of identifying the client's anxiety although I have noticed some of my clients often become defensive in that immediacy. Achieving a grounded state is essential for the therapist in order to help clients regulate their emotions.

As Manuela worked with torture survivors, she began to learn that the body heals itself. What was moving and resonated with me was the sense of being aware of the darkness of humanity as a result of working with clients with trauma. I realized it is critical for me to be more and more aware of self- care.

As I listened to the podcast, I thought about the way in which I have dedicated myself to be outside in nature and consciously feel a connection with the life force and the earth.

Recently, I began to teach myself Reiki in order to strengthen my connection with the life force and I see that is beneficial in being present for clients who come from traumatic pasts. I did not realize this so keenly until I listened to the podcast. I found a powerful emphasis on the value of working on my own healing.

One intervention spoken about on the podcast pertained to an early clinical mistake had to do with asking clients to lie down and listen to soothing water sounds.

These individuals had received torture with water, but the clinician did not have information about it. I think this speaks to the importance of knowing the history of the clients and involve the clients in decisions, for example about what kind of music they like to listen to as trauma can involve having choices taken away.

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