Have you recently heard of someone who is going into a career in somatic psychology? Did it peak your interest but you weren’t exactly sure what this profession involves? Basically, if you are interested in the connection that exists between the human brain and the human body, then this could be a perfect professional path for you.
Somatic psychology is a branch of psychology that is considered to be an interdisciplinary approach to studying the body, the somatic experience, and the embodied self. Each of these main areas of focus within this branch includes holistic approaches as well as therapeutic approaches to the human body. Within the branch of somatic psychology, there are several focus areas, such as dance therapy, body psychotherapy, and somatotherapy. Keep in mind, somatic psychology operates under the function of bridging the gap that exists between the human mind and the human body. The primary focus within somatic psychology is that of the relationship that exists and the empathy that a person feels for his or her own body. Generally speaking, somatic psychologists function on the thought that positive energy has the ability to bring healing to the body’s affected parts if a sufficient amount of awareness is directed to this part of the body.
In your capacity as a somatic psychologist you will surely use a wide variety of techniques in order to help your patients in an effective manner. For instance, it is common to use mirroring, movement, sound, touch, and breath. It is important to understand that an individual records the experiences of their life during pre-verbal and non-verbal periods in a different manner than during the verbal and personal narrative periods. As a somatic psychologist, you will work with the patient’s implicit knowing of early experiences of their life. Keep in mind, the non-verbal qualities that take place early in life mark most human communications and play an important factor in a human’s development. In this industry it is common for practicing psychologists to believe that social, psychological, political, and cultural aspects support how the mind and body split and fragment. These factors are believed to significantly influence an individual’s biological health, mental health, and relational health.
It is critical to understand that somatic psychology is a body oriented branch of psychology that operates within a holistic approach. Thus, the maximum amount of respect is given to a person’s body, mind, and spirit and the extremely powerful connection that exists among these is capitalized upon. This branch of psychology has drawn a significant amount of influence from other areas such as: movement and art therapy, Far Eastern spirituality, Far Eastern philosophy, family and systems theories, existential, gestalt, and humanistic psychology, biology, neurology, and dance. Individuals who seek help from a somatic psychologist do so for many different reasons, such as depression, stress, relieving anxiety, relationship and sexuality issues, grief and loss, many types of addictions, trauma including abuse recovery, fatigue, pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, or headaches.
Somatic psychologists can alter their therapeutic approach based on the different needs of their patients. For instance, a psychologist practicing in this area can apply interventions that include developing a mindfulness and awareness of a person’s physical presence. This can be accomplished using meditative and relaxation techniques, breathing techniques that aim to increase awareness of and improve a person’s functioning of the breath, and movement that is intended to promote a deeper physical awareness, which also helps to expand a person’s capacity to feel and express emotions.