Somatic Psychology

Somatic Psychology


Somatic Therapy, also known as physical psychotherapy is a field that focuses on approaching the body in a therapeutic manner and living in not only our cognitive frame but physical state. Treatment is based on working with the patient’s mind, body and emotions. Somatic Therapy revolves around the development of the physical being through a client’s psyche. By taking a closer look at the patient’s history the counselor will be able to attune to the way that they interact with their mind and body. This is based on physical expression by studying the client and focusing on their feelings, language or gestures. Every patient possesses a different expression through their body because of their cognitive wellbeing.

Goals of Somatic Therapy

The goal of Somatic Therapy is to understand why the client has issues and how that has resulted in change within their lives. Treatment will focus on how the issues have cause a physical manifestation. After treatment has been finished the client will know how to replace the natural patterns with empowered physical reactions. The joy that is experienced between the mind and body has a lot to do with fear which in turn has an effect on muscle contraction. If a client does not like their current situation it can result in physical stress. By eliminating the tension in the patient it will in turn eliminate the pressure that affects comfort and breathing techniques. Eventually this treatment can lead to an increase in the patient’s euphoria and they will feel balanced in both their body and mind.

When is Somatic Therapy Used?

Somatic Therapy is used on clients who are suffering from physical discomfort as a result of issues that have affected their mental or emotional state. As a form of psychotherapy it is used on patients who are having a difficult time recovering from a traumatic incident, feeling or relationship. This is extremely common in many people who are not aware of the effect that it has on their physical health. These thoughts and emotions can take a heavy toll on the body which in turn will affect body posture and happiness. Somatic treatment is used when the client needs to overcome repression for the purpose or accepting, relaxing and enjoying the present.

How Somatic Therapy Works

Somatic treatment begins with the counselor getting to know why the patient is looking for healing and what experiences have caused their current health status. The first session may or may not cover the unraveling of personal history depending on the client and how much trauma has occurred. This is a collaborative therapy which begins by deciding on the correct treatment approach. Sometimes Somatic Therapy consists of traditional talking and interacting by going over the patient’s emotions, physical presentation and thoughts.

There are many clients that want to relieve their mental and physical symptoms immediately – although, the process can take some time. For many the body experiences change abruptly in a positive manner which catches the client off guard. The patient should be aware that when positive changes take place negative feedback will follow in an attempt to change the client’s current pattern of thinking.

The techniques will show the patient how to create awareness between their mind and body. By doing this they will also learn how to ease any chronic pain. When the trauma or confusion in the client is eliminated the chronic pain will also diminish which resolves a lot of mental and emotional anguish. There is a link between the mind, body and spirit. If one element is offset it can result in a chain reaction. By building a deep connection with one’ self and others it can increase the client’s balance and harmony in life. When a person is undergoing tension in their back, neck, chest or shoulders it may be the aftermath of stress and tension because of a past event. When negative energy is released and the patient uncovers a tranquil state of mind it will in turn take the pressure off of their physical manifestation. Their state of mind is what has caused this tension which means that it can be eliminated when the patient releases traumatic memories.

Criticism of Somatic Therapy

Experts claim that the therapy does not distinguish between patients who have a severe physical condition that is not the result of mental or emotional anguish. Somatic Therapy does not address the cure for discomfort that is associated with the chronic pain. Patients with medical conditions not associated with mental trauma cannot depend on the treatment to cure their discomfort.


Integrative psychotherapy. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Somatic psychotherapy and trauma healing. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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