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