A personal look into Somatic Psychotherapy

Nicola is a trained Somatic Psychotherapist. Nicola is passionate about working with clients to manage stress, anxiety, relationship challenges, depression and chronic illness. In this article she shares her personal healing journey which led her to become a Somatic Psychotherapist.

After I burned out through work-related stress, I chose to work with a psychologist to increase my resilience and better manage my stress. The psychologist worked with me on some mind-based strategies which helped short-term but did not prevent the recurring patterns of anxiety and stress in my life.

Bodywork vs Mindwork

Before Somatic Psychotherapy, I rationally knew the cause of my personal challenges through talk therapy but working with the body in therapy alleviated my anxiety, reduced my stress and I started to experience healthier and more fulfilling relationships.

After feeling the benefits of Somatic Psychotherapy, I felt passionate about ensuring more people had access to this modality to heal and live their best life. Somatic Psychotherapy has helped me to connect with my gifts of compassion and creativity and transition out of a senior corporate role and live my purpose to work as a therapist.

Where does Somatic Psychotherapy originate from?

Somatic Psychotherapy (otherwise known as Core Energetics) was founded by Dr. John Pierrakos. It is based upon his work with Alexander Lowen (co-founder of Bioenergetics) and teachings from Wilhelm Reich, a student of Freud.

Somatic Psychotherapy believes that unprocessed and unintegrated emotions from our personal history and life experiences are held in the tissues of the body.  These (subconscious) emotions can affect our posture, breathing, emotional and mental outlook and quality of our relationships.

What can you expect from a session?

No therapy process is the same and depends on the client I am working with. We usually start with talking through the person’s current challenge and set an intention for the appointment. For first-time clients, I take their personal history and seek to understand their goals for therapy.

We then move to some body-based exercises to process the client’s personal challenge and move them towards their therapeutic goal.  These exercises include anything from free-style expression, breathing, working with vibration and releasing tension in the body to allow feelings to surface and manage any symptoms such as anxiety, depression or stress.

How many sessions does it take to heal?

It is an ongoing journey to heal and it depends on the client’s history and goals for therapy. I usually discuss this in the first session and in follow up appointments. My experience is that positive changes can be observed within 10 sessions, depending upon the client.

For further information about Somatic Psychotherapy or to  enquire about a session at Upaya Email: nicolasomaticpsych@gmail.com



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