How does a session look like?
• The process does not focus on the event.
• You will not be ask to tell your “story” or examine your past (however, it could be that during the process these ‘stories’ arise, then we will bring attention to them if necessary)
• The focus is in the body rather than the mind.
• The conversation focus mostly in me inviting you to engage with your body awareness.
• You will be guided to consciously explore without judgements all kind of experience that arise in the session, i.e. feelings, thoughts, imagines.
• The focus is in tracking your body sensation, images, affect and meanings.
• I will also truck body movement or positions and subtle changes that arise in the here and now.
Body-oriented psychotherapy is central to my work. Based on years of training and experience, my core skills lie in combining the strengths of talk therapy with techniques that turn subtle signals from the body into therapeutic resources. My two primary therapy influences are from Somatic Experiencing (SE™) and Family Constellation.
Somatic Experiencing is a unique, powerful, yet gentle method for resolving trauma symptoms and relieving chronic stress. It has been developed over thirty years by Dr Peter Levine in USA by combining research from Psychology and Medical Biophysics. His research and therapy from across the world have shown that the body holds valuable knowledge about a person’s condition. Without being consciously aware of it, our bodies can for years hold on to physical and emotional stress, which could harm our well-being.
As a body-oriented practice Somatic Experiencing makes available the subtle sensations from the body to discover possible blockages in the mind-body system due to past situations of stress and trauma, for instance emotional or physical abuse during childhood, youth or adulthood; loss of family members, early attachment issues, birth trauma; but also traffic accidents, medical procedures, and assaults. Such blockages from stress and trauma are often not known to us, but they can manifest themselves in sleeping problems, migraines, depression, helplessness, hopelessness, chronic stress, panic attacks, anxiety, anger and rage. They could constrain the ways we form relations to family members, co-workers and strangers. They can hinder us from feeling strong and confident, and from exploring our full potential.
During practice sessions, body-oriented psychotherapy can discover such blockages and open trajectories towards healing and balance, sometimes in unexpected ways. The aim of the sessions is to help clients increase their awareness of bodily sensations, emotions, behaviors and thoughts—so that also the body can become a resource for self-discovery and healing. Importantly, Somatic Experiencing does not require the client to re-tell or re-live traumatic or stressful events. The practice instead aims to gently guide clients so that they can develop increasing tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions.
Another therapy form that I draw upon is Family Constellation. It was developed by German psychotherapist Bert Hellinger and also employs the body as a resource in therapy. In my individual- based practice it can help the client to explore how family dynamics, including those from past generations, can be present today to inhibit the client and his or her relations to others. The therapy can provide the means to disentangle patterns and trauma that have been present in families over several generations.
Over the course of treatment, my practice aims to support individuals to grow into a sense of peace and safety. Those who are locked in anxiety or rage, or stuck in depression, can gradually find that their feelings of anger, hopelessness or numbness, can be transformed into feelings of relaxation and empowerment—to be more in command of their life, their body and mind. The practice can help to restore inner balance, enhances resilience to stress, and increase vitality and the capacity to live an engaged life.
To read more about Somatic Experiencing and Family Constellation, see these links and books.