Description of my work

A friend recently asked what I did in my Somatic therapy practice and what kind of referrals I take. I find that lately I am so busy with my practice and with teaching at Fairhaven College that I have little time to write on this blog and have little time to update my website, which hasn't been done in 2 years. For this I apologize and hope one day to say more, but for now it is totally sporadic. Nonetheless here is how I answered. "Yes and thanks for thinking of me. As for referrals I would say that who ever is ready to work through the embodied issues of their past. The readiness is not always available while the curiosity usually is. How I work, hmmm...........First I take history to try to get a sense of their earliest environment, what shaped them, what was their attachments experience, and basic early formation surrounding emotion and identity. This first session usually reveals a lot of information for me regarding their somatic response to this early environment. Because we have no claws, shells, or sharp teeth and are very vulnerable and dependent on others for everything, we each have early automatic defenses that protect us from the sting of environments that cannot totally meet our basic needs. These defenses take the form of holding, bearing, contracting, splitting in the attention, and a whole host of mammalian autonomic responses to relational styles of our parents or other care givers. Later in life these collections of strategies become the foundational roots of personality and character. The contractions and defenses needed to survive certain situations may have required the blocking of specific emotions. All earliest emotions are both social (communication) and volition (movement) based, so emotions create movements towards and/or away from the environment. When this all becomes chronically immobilized we suffer in many ways; mind, body, and emotion. My approach is to create both safety and rapport first and formost, then introduce the work. Utilizing breath and some touch the autonomic nervous system becomes enhanced, so blocks in the expression say in ones voice will-or-can be felt as a constriction in the throat, or one's jaw will unconsciously lock etc. I work with them encouraging expressing the feeling and to make contact with the block and what needs to come out from the block-like a yell that has never been heard, or words, or a cry.....everyone is different, but the key to my practice is helping the client make contact with the felt sense of their own emotional, physical life and listen to it and allow it to move more freely. I am having lots of success with auto-immune disorders, trauma victims, helping men to cry and women to express anger, and generally over time my clients are able to feel deeper into their life and make contact with their experience underneath the ranting mind. This leads to deeper fulfillment, tolerance, self regulation, and deeper sustained emotional contact with the world. The hard part is that this takes time and facing and processing hard feelings and letting go of the early less-mature strategies that need to hold back, control and restrict in order to belong and get our most basic needs met is so very challenging. Once clients find their way through this area of fear and deep contraction the rest of the work gets easier and generally lasts a life time. Does all this make sense? I hope its not too much info, but it is deep work for our complex life in a culture that is both body-phobic and rewards the suppression of feelings." This is today's answer and I am sure as I grow within this work so to will my description. Until next time. Scot

Carl Jung Quote

"There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious." ~ Carl Jung

the Voice and the Body

"Bodywork is anything that works on the body itself and helps a person become more able to perceive through the five senses . Bodywork allows the singer to release physical tensions, move more freely, feel more fully, and breathe more deeply, and also increases one's awareness of sensations. It amplifies one's trust of the body and its reponses. Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method is a way of working on all aspects of the voice so that the singer (or speaker) may increase awareness of sound-making as a physical process. The singer becomes more able to sense the throat and effect changes without manipulation and increases intuition about vocal choices. Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method is influenced by the principles of Alexander Technique™, Feldenkrais Method™, Swedish massage, shiatsu, acupuncture, Rolfing™, Bioenergetics™, and Therapeutic Touch™, as well as other healing disciplines."

#1 Somatic Psychotherapy is....................

As I work with clients I find that how I explain Somatics evolves. Lately I have been describing the process as follows. The somatic process is Emotionally Focused work. By focusing our emotions we are able to glean valuable information from them about our selves and our relationships. This information is culturally marginalized and not highlighted as important, yet our emotions provide us with meaning, feeling, navigation, and a sense of ourselves. Emotions are bodily events, movements, sensations, the feeling of heat, the feeling of sorrow, and each of these can be seen and felt through the nerves, flesh, posture, guts, etc. We spend a lot of time in our culture focusing the talents of the mind. If the mind/reason could figure out and resolve emotional themes, then psychology would not exist and we would have a different looking culture. The mind is not so equipped at resolving emotional patterns. Emotions deal with our being, with a timeless sense of our felt and lived experience. This is why some emotions are patterns that we continually revisit which gives the feeling that we have always been here. When it comes to reason and thinking, it is much more "Do" oriented, action, linear, moving forward in a progressive line. Somatics nurtures our innate capacity to focus our feelings, much like we do with the mind, by focusing of the raw sensations of the feeling and seeking what the feeling is saying. The language of emotions speaks very differently, but through focusing on the raw feeling of the emotion one can really make changes based on the felt experience of the meaning and need of the emotion. For instance sorrow is felt in many locations in the body and can be a cue that perhaps one is lonely, cut off from others, unable to speak ones truth, etc. Through focusing emotions people find their own solutions to tricky situations by listening in to the vital information of their bodily experience of feeling. So what about numbness? This too is a cue. Perhaps the numbness is a feeling that is cutting off emotions, which again is important information pointing to a fear of feeling. This is at least what i am thinking about today.