|Overcoming Emotional Trauma With Somatic Experiencing|
Conventional talk therapy often helps clients to become intellectually insightful about their trauma. However, in many cases, it doesn't help clients to heal from the trauma, which is why I prefer using mind-body oriented treatment modalities, like Somatic Experiencing, clinical hypnosis or EMDR, which I have found much more effective in helping clients to heal.
Feeling Cut Off from the Body Due to Emotional Trauma
Dissociation Can Go Unnoticed in Traditional Talk Therapy
A client can go through years of conventional therapy in this state, gain intellectual insight, but not still not overcome the trauma. At the conclusion of what the therapist perceives as a "success" therapy, the client is often left wondering why he or she still feels as traumatized at the end of treatment as he or she did at the beginning. Some clients end up blaming themselves for this, which could be a life long pattern due to a history of trauma.
Somatic Experiencing as a Gentle and Effective Therapy
The answer is that, initially, for clients who are significantly out of touch with their emotions and physical sensations, the Somatic Experiencing therapist helps them to start getting these experiences back "online." There are Somatic Experiencing techniques that gently and safely help clients to overcome their dissociation.
For people who are cut off from the sensory experiences of their bodies, they often don't realize how tense their muscles are.
Their muscles have become like body armor without their even realizing it. Helping clients to learn how to relax their bodies is one way to begin the process of reacquainting them with their bodies and gradually bringing various parts of their bodies back "on line" again.
The Somatic Experiencing therapist is observing and tracking what's happening for the client on an emotional and physical level. Before any work is begun, the therapist ensures that the client has the internal emotional resources for doing the work. If not, the therapist works with the client to develop those skills.
Early on, when clients with significant trauma came to me, I found that psychodynamic therapy had its shortcomings in helping clients overcome trauma, which is why trained in various mind-body oriented treatment modalities, like clinical hypnosis, Somatic Experiencing, and EMDR.
I still use psychodynamic psychotherapy with some clients, but I now use it in a much more dynamic and contemporary way.
Also, see my article: Overcoming Childhood Trauma that Affects Your Adult Relationships