What is somatic psychology?
The body is the center of our experience. Somatic Psychotherapy can help us integrate our subconscious experience, and make what we think and how we feel more cohesive.
As a therapist, I teach my clients to understand and relate to their sensations and emotions. In this process, we are able to modify old patterns and habits, control stress levels, and resolve feelings of anxiety and depression.
~ SOMATIC PSYCHOTHERAPY
How can this help?
One of the hardest experiences we might have as human beings is feeling trapped or tortured by our thoughts and emotions. We feel flooded with panic and anxiety, our thoughts start racing, and we have a hard time calming down. Other times we might feel depressed or lethargic, and struggle to complete even the most basic of tasks. Through therapeutic work we identify these patterns and we develop new neural nets, which provide alternative ways of responding to every day demands, without getting stuck in old habits and reactions.
How we act and how we feel in the present has a lot to do with what we experienced and what we learned in the past. In this sense, old wounds, unsolved trauma and our unconscious perceptions represent a threat to our wellbeing. As we develop a greater understanding of how our emotions and psychological patterns work, we gain freedom to make decisions, respond with flexibility and face challenges with efficacy.
How do we integrate neuroscience and mindfulness into psychotherapy?
The most recent findings in the field of neuroscientific research have helped us understand how different traumatic experiences of abuse, violence, rejection and neglect impact our brain and our development.
To work with the affected parts of the brain we use specific tools that give us access to the implicit memories we need to reprocess in oder to heal trauma.
Anguish, anxiety, grief, stress and depression can be very hard to tolerate emotions. We can't really make them go away through logic and thinking. In therapy we learn how to relate to these emotions, holding them with compassion, and to regulate the activation of our nervous system in order to feel more grounded and supported.
We can learn to tame our mind, ground in the present moment, use our breathing to make difficult sensations more tolerable, and break toxic cycles. Mindfulness exercises and contemplative practices support us in this process.
Focusing on resources
Resiliency is our capacity to adapt, be flexible, and respond to the world's demands in an effective way. Pain is inevitable. Resiliency is about integrating traumatic and painful events without getting caught in detrimental cycles or being flooded by unsolved sensations.
As a therapist, I help my clients identify and grow the resources they already have in order to feel good and calm. By reinforcing these experiences we develop a sense of trust in the body, and of our own sensing and experiencing. We are then able to make contact with difficult emotions in a healing way, trusting that we can get back to a state of calm and regulation.
It can be very empowering to track the activation of our nervous system, and to have effective tools to relate to our experience without feeling triggered or overwhelmed. When we can see clearly, we find new and creative ways of dealing with life's challenges.
As a psychotherapist,
I help my client identify
and develop the resources
needed to feel calm
What does this look like in a session?
Somatic therapy integrates classic psychology methods with new techniques that help us process the sensations and emotions that come up in session. As we become more present in our bodies we develop our ability to enjoy, to love, to be in peace. As a result, we develop resiliency and flexibility to face life and ourselves.
In session, the focus is on tracking sensations, exploring symptoms in the body, observing habitual movements, and tracking and working with the breathing. We integrate talk therapy with experiential exercises to create a new experience for the client.
What is EMDR therapy?
~ EMDR THERAPY
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy is an integrative approach to healing trauma and other painful or disruptive experiences. This methodology has been proven to be highly successful in treating panic, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, sexual abuse, depression and phobias. In session we use dual attention (or bilateral) stimulation to reprocess memories, sensations, beliefs and emotions related to the affected neural nets.
In an EMDR session, the client starts by talking about the traumatic event, and identifying the emotions, images, and thoughts that arise. The process is about letting the memory unfold, and allowing and supporting resources to appear. As a result, we get new and different ways of understanding and relating to the event.
EMDR session are done virtually.
~ VIRTUAL THERAPY
~ ONLINE THERAPY
I have been practicing psychotherapy over video calls for several years. It is a new field that is developing to meet new and different client needs, and has proved to be safe, confidential and highly effective.
My online clients choose this methodology for several reasons: some live in remote areas, others live in areas where somatic therapy and neuropsychology aren't common or developed, others live away from home, in countries where they have a hard time finding a therapist who speaks English. Some of my clients travel frequently and it serves them to be able to commit to treatment without their job suffering.
Others struggle to leave the house, and online therapy allows them to start treatment without the added stress of traveling to an office. Finally, since I work on a sliding scale, some people choose this form of therapy because they are able to afford it without it being a big stressor on their finances.