"Sensorimotor Psychotherapy blends theory and technique from cognitive and dynamic therapy with straightforward somatic awareness and movement interventions... that promote empowerment and competency."
- Dr. Daniel Siegel, Executive Director, Mindsight Institute
Sensorimotor psychotherapy is a somatic approach that addresses the symptoms of unresolved trauma using somatic experiences as the gateway to long held trauma in the body. Trauma, whether developmental or acute trauma, gets stored in sensory perceptions, posture and movement, as well as emotions and thoughts - all difficult to process when only using words. Because trauma is held deep within the body, we can be completely unaware of it.
Sometimes all we know is that our lives don’t feel right. In Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, the bodily sensorimotor processes (sensations, reactions, movements) are the focus of therapeutic interventions. Through this process, automatic somatic narratives that are embedded in procedural memory (unconscious learned actions and beliefs) are interrupted. These patterns may be stuck in the past as a result of trauma or attachment inadequacies. SP utilizes interventions at both the verbal and somatic level, addressing gestures, eye contact, proximity-seeking movements, posture and beliefs. As the debilitating effects of trauma are released from the body, new resources of strength promote the capacity to change at the cognitive, affective and somatic levels. SP integrates current findings from neuroscience to transform traumatic memories into strengths and resources for the client, allowing the natural wisdom of the body to be revealed through self-awareness and curiosity. Therefore, mindfulness, respect and collaboration with the client is central to this work.
Because the process of SP goes to the root of the trauma and is completely processed, it allows the brain to process information from a place of safety and mindfulness. As your source of information goes from negative historical experiences held in the body to your innate source of the body’s wisdom, your authentic strengths, clarity, wisdom and intuition begins to reveal itself on your new path of lasting transformation.
This method was developed by Pat Ogden, Ph.D and colleagues in 1980s. It blends theory and technique from cognitive, affective, and psychodynamic therapy with somatic approaches, and has become a renowned method to treat some of the most difficult psychological struggles, including physical and emotional trauma. Sensorimotor psychotherapy combines somatic therapies, attachment theory, cognitive applications, neuroscience, and techniques from the Hakomi method. Since its inception, the approach has garnered international acclaim and has become a renowned memo to treat Dr. Ogden’s 2006 book on her method, Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy, has also gained international success.
A Happier, Healthier You
Recognizes the rapidly growing connections between psychology and neuroscience, illuminating interactions of the mind, the brain, and relationships. As new emotional experiences occur in therapy, new neural pathways are formed, allowing substantial changes in feelings, mood, and behavior.
Here For You
Mindfulness is an integral part of SP in that it opens the window to “the effects of trauma, neglect and abusive or emotionally painful relationships with childhood caregivers that are held in our nervous systems, posture, and movement habits, as well as in unresolved painful emotions and limiting beliefs...New information that often remains unnoticed in conventional therapies is revealed by paying attention to both aspects—body and mind. This can accelerate healing and lead to more lasting change..” In our work together, you will begin to appreciate your capacity to trust this inquiry as you let go of anger and fear and discover instead clarity, energy and the wisdom of your own somatic intelligence.
“Whether relationship promotes secure attachment or is frightening, these right brain to right brain , body-to-body experiences are later remembered not as visual or verbal narratives but in the form of body memories, procedurally learnt emotional, autonomic, motoric, visceral, and meaning-making states.” (Ogden, Minton, & Pain, 2006; Tronick, 2007).
Traumatic and inadequate attachment experiences leave behind a legacy that can affect patterns of body structure,
and compromise the ability to connect deeply to one’s own or another’s emotions.
Sensorimotor psychotherapy integrates somatic interventions and practices for treating attachment issues that can help you make meaning of your relationship struggles, connect and heal early memories, process unresolved grief and loss from the bottom up; and access innate and yet unknown resources;