Somatic Therapy Australia. How Focusing, Somatic Experiencing & Sensorimotor Psychotherapy are changing the world
Somatic therapy is reshaping psychotherapy. Therapies such as Somatic Experiencing in Australia, sensorimotor psychotherapy, or Focusing Oriented Therapy (FOT), remind us to go beyond our mind, and into the landscape of the wisdom of the body.
If you’ve tried traditional talk therapy, or looking for something which takes a more holistic approach, my somatic therapy Melbourne practice may be of interest.
I really love this approach, as it offers a complete different way in working with my clients.
While I still incorporate traditional “talk” therapy, the integration of somatic therapy offers an incredible paradigm shift in working and understanding and working through emotions.
Somatic Therapy – A glimpse into: Somatic Experiencing, Focusing and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
Somatic therapy is a type of holistic therapy which focuses on a process known as introperception.
It’s a fancy word, but in short, it’s the process of navigating and having an awareness to nuanced sensations that are within the body.
How is that helpful?
Normally, we think our way out of problems.
And while the mind is an amazing tool, it has its shortcomings.
When emotions get in the way, our mind tends to spiral us down even more into our thoughts.
Somatic therapy, uses the wisdom of the body to help understand what is painful.
Essentially, the story we tell ourselves, is predominantly influenced by the state of our nervous system, through a process call neuroception.
By learning to navigate, relate, and explore to emotions that are in the body, we can experience what is known as a “felt shift”.
Somatic Therapy, releases trauma from the body that is “trapped”.
The sensation when the body returns to back to its resting place can be very liberating.
The end result, is a therapy that get’s to the core problem much faster. This allows for changes occur at the neurobiological level.
This combined with traditional talk therapy also creates change at the cognitive and behavioural levels as well.
What really is trauma?
Typically, trauma can be defined as the long-term emotional response one has to events such as disasters, accidents, sexual assaults, abuse, or other distressing events.
However, emotional trauma is also just as pervasive. This can manifest from narcissistic abuse, a borderline partner, or even having an ill parent who was absent. The list goes on.
Trauma from abusive, BPD, Narcisstic Parent / Partner
The importance of being correctly attended as a child can’t be underestimated.
Issues can occur when a parent is controlling, anxious, or avoidant, or has other mental health issues, such as NPD, BPD, and drug addiction
And of course romantic relationships with a narcissist, or any other personality disorder can be traumatic.
Trauma can cause flashbacks, physical symptoms, nausea, as well as hinder relationships.
Consequently, this can lead to unhealthy patterns of coping such as self-harm and substance abuse.
Somatic Experiencing Australia & Sensorimotor psychotherapy
Somatic experiencing in Australia as well as around the world, was developed by Peter Levine.
However the somatic therapy movement, actually has its roots with Eugene Gendlin, who developed a style of therapy called Focusing Oriented Therapy.
Somatic experiencing in Australia, is a derivative of this. Another is sensorimotor psychotherapy.
Throughout somatic therapy, I will encourage you to increase your emotional and sensory awareness.
You will develop greater awareness of the tension you have been holding in your body since the trauma occurred.
The somatic experiencing approach holds that traumatic experiences can cause a dysfunction of the nervous system, which prevents the sufferer from fully processing the trauma.
As a somatic therapist in Melbourne, we can help restore the body’s nervous system back to its safe resting place.
What prevented you from processing the trauma?
In a healthy scenario, after a traumatic event occurs, we are either able either self sooth, or someone safe is able to offer to self sooth, or someone is able to offer the nurture and tenderness that was needed.
When we don’t get this, our nervous system doesn’t “complete” the process, and essentially get’s trapped in the body.
This can result in perpetually being stuck in this traumatic state, in mobilising fight or flight states, as well as dorsal
It is thought that the “freeze response,” an alternative to the fight-or-flight option to escaping danger, explains the trapped sensations in your body.
I offer a Somatic experiencing in Australia type therapy called FOT (Focusing Oriented Therapy) which works in a similar way, by renegotiating, and releasing the body’s hold on the trauma inside the body.
By doing so, it helps to restore your nervous system’s balance.
This relieves symptoms of anxiety, irritability, and hopelessness.
And this reduces the negative ways of coping that have been impacting your life.
Focusing Oriented Therapy – A Somatic Experience
Focusing Oriented Therapy (FOT) is a key healing technique that I use as a somatic therapist in my practice with clients in Melbourne.
FOT employs a similar somatic experiencing therapy in its focus on releasing trauma held within the body.
It is a person-centered therapy based on the belief that people already possess the answers they need to solve their problems.
The FOT therapy that I use is grounded in what is called focusing theory, which focuses on the on the internal experience.
Somatic Therapy & The Felt Sense
A central concept of Focusing, an FOT concept, is the felt sense. Connecting with the felt sense during FOT can be an important guide to your emotions, thoughts, and feelings.
As a somatic therapist in Melbourne, I will help you to develop awareness of your body’s felt sense.
This is done by directing attention towards an internal landscape that dips below the conscious mind.
With the use of focusing techniques, I will guide you through a somatic experiencing process.
This process can assist in creating a visceral felt shift as the nervous system restores and returns back home.
The body has its own innate wisdom. It knows what it needs.
I will work with you to assist you in acknowledging and affirming both the knowledge and emotions that your body possesses, which will benefit you in your emotional journey.
What to expect in Somatic Therapy such as Focusing, sensorimotor Psychotherapy & Somatic Experiencing
- An approach which is non-judgmental manner to help you connect with your own body
- A collaborative approach in a safe environment to explore difficult traumas and emotions
- An acceptance of your life’s experience, which will help you find the steps to make your own lasting changes
- You will have a greater awareness of the emotions you hold within
- A better understanding of your physical reactions to your emotions
- Significant reduction in stress and anxiety
- You will gain improved resilience
Services I offer:
I am a Melbourne-based somatic psychotherapist and counsellor.
As a somatic counsellor in Melbourne, I also incorporate more ‘traditional’ therapies.
This allows for a holistic therapy.
Modalities such as CBT, psychodynamic psychotherapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, existential therapy are integrated for an eclectic therapy.
How do I conduct therapy sessions?
I offer a few options: in-person therapy at my Melbourne Counselling Clinic. However most of my clients are now preferring online video counselling via Zoom. Both options are there for you depending on your needs.
Therapy sessions are typically 60 minutes long, and deeper work may require sessions that 90 minutes.
I offer a free 20-minute initial consultation. Book your first appointment now with a somatic counsellor in Melbourne: https://ronnieadamowicz.com/booking