Do you want an approach to healing that goes beyonds words and honors the messages of your body, embraces your feelings and incorporates your spirit? Somatic Psychotherapy meets you where you are honoring all aspects of your being.
Sometimes reaching out for support can be a difficult thing to do. Yet, there is a spark of aliveness in each individual that realizes there is much more to life, coupled with a blossoming desire to change and grow. It is this momentum that allows one to engage in the process of therapy and to plant the seeds that will support and nourish your life.
I am honored to be part of this journey of self-discovery as you move towards wholeness. I offer the following services to support and encourage your continual unfolding.
My approach to Somatic Psychotherapy is influenced by over 40 years of working in the field of body/mind integration. I hold a Masters and Doctoral degree in Clinical Somatic Psychology. My dissertation research focused on the healing aspects of embodiment. Additionally I hold certifications in Somatic Experiencing, Yoga, Somatic Movement Therapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Life Coaching , Nutritional Psychology, as well as extensive training in Energy Psychology (EFT), Expressive Arts and Process Work. I am always keeping up with the latest research in neuroscience informing how the brain contributes to change and the neurobiology of attachment.
Somatic Psychotherapy is a good choice when words alone may not be enough to create a deep lasting change.
Somatic derives its meaning from the Greek word Soma which refers to the living body. Our bodies and minds are intricately connected. Research has shown that the conscious mind is only about 10 % of our experience. Our subconscious holds the key to early experiences and memories which inform how we perceive the world, the relationships we chose and what we think, feel and believe. These unconscious imprints often lead to habitual behaviors and limiting beliefs that continue to hold us back until we are able to tap into the core experiences that formed our perception of the world. Additionally, many or our early experiences are pre-verbal and are only effectively processed and integrated when we include the body in therapy. The ability to tap into our body intelligence enables us to unhook unconscious patterns that may have eluded the conscious mind allowing us for perhaps the first time to make real change in our lives.
Honoring the Body ~
Somatic Psychotherapy is especially effective in understanding the wisdom inherent in our physical symptoms. Our bodies often express what we are unable to consciously own and bring forth. For instance, when we don’t honor our bodies need for rest, it will let us know through an injury or illness. Likewise, when we over ride a need we have or don’t speak our truth, our body may protest with a stomach ache or headache. Our bodies are always speaking to us. Are you listening? When we don’t listen, our bodies speak louder until we get the message. Increasing our awareness through the tools of Somatic Psychotherapy can enable us to live a healthier, more authentic and integrated life.
Embracing the Heart ~
Somatic Psychotherapy approaches emotions as lived bodily experiences assisting us to effectively process emotions and connect with our hearts. Our feelings live in our bodies as sensation and offer us very important messages about what we need, want and what action is best for us in each moment. When we disconnect from our bodies we lose important information about how we feel – our gut feelings and what’s right for us. Feeling our emotions with a strong foundation of embodied awareness allows us to ground, center and focus our intention on what we want enabling us to make clear, insightful decisions. Our bodies also assist us to move e-motion, clearing blocks and re-establishing authenticity and congruency.
Anya’s approach to working with emotions honors each person’s pace creating a safe container in which to explore what’s right about our experience and to harvest the wisdom of our bodies. She brings her insight and ability to perceive on-going patterns, connecting the dots and offering ways to integrate our past into the present in a non-threatening, gentle and fluid way. She draws from the tools of Somatic Experiencing, Somatic Resourcing, Process work, Somatic Movement Therapy, Creative/Expressive Arts and Psycho-Spiritual Integration.
Calming and Balancing the Mind ~
Somatic Psychotherapy integrates mind and body bringing more balance to an unsettled mind by guiding the mind into the aliveness and presence of our body. When we focus the mind on the felt-sense of the body and our breath we immediately come into the present and ground our being into the wisdom of our body connecting to all of who we are and tapping into the unlimited resource and potentiality of life.
Connecting with Spirit ~
Ultimately, reconnecting with our bodies is a sacred journey. Bringing Spirit into matter is our life mission. Our bodies are our homes on this planet. Our bodies are the temple of our soul. We are in a new era of honoring our bodies and discovering how fully inhabiting this sacred temple is a spiritual journey. We deserve to be here, to connect with conscious enjoyment, pleasure and the pure joy of being in a body. To embrace our purpose, to manifest the life we want to live. It is not necessary to transcend the body and deny the body to be spiritual. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Embracing our human potential requires all of us, body mind, heart and spirit.
Somatic Psychotherapy can help:
- Resolve and integrate traumatic experiences
- Integrate and process pre-verbal imprints that live on in your subconscious memory and body
- Create a positive and healthy relationship with your body and physical symptoms
- Re-pattern the nervous system for optimal functioning and resiliency
- Reduce stress and overwhelm with life giving tools to manage day to day challenges
- Integrate and process feelings as all feelings live in the body as sensation
- Change unconscious beliefs and patterns to support your growth
- Disarm your inner critic and use your body/mind to support you, not sabotage you
- Tap into your body intelligence which is the source of creativity and intuition
- Discover your truth and core sense of grounding and centering
- Move from reacting to responding from your authentic self
- Re-program ways of thinking that no longer serve you
- Integrate mind and body to support your full potential
- Increase self-esteem and confidence
- Enhance relationships and learn how to communicate more effectively
- Support recovery from depression and anxiety through understanding the role your body plays.
- Support better health, optimal weight, eating habits and vitality by learning how to hear what your body is telling you.
- … And More.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What happens in a somatic psychotherapy session?
I offer sessions internationally by phone and Skype. Many of my clients enjoy the convenience of working in this way and find the effects to be as potent and powerful as if they were in person.
The initial session is a time to get to know each other and to determine if we are a good match for working together. We spend time talking about your goals and what you would like to get out of therapy. We will go over the intake form you filled out prior to your session (will be emailed to you when you schedule an appointment) and see if you have any additional questions or things you would like to share with me. It is my intention for you to be heard, understood and met in our time together. As relationships do take time, it is the beginning of establishing how we will work together and what you need in general and from me to feel comfortable and safe to explore the issues which bring you to therapy.
After the initial session, we will work together to meet your goals. If you are unclear about what your goals are, that is where we will start. Sessions begin with a check in. The check in can be verbal and/or somatic. A somatic check in might be an inquiry into what your body is feeling in this moment. What are you sensing and what are you needing. This may lead us into the session to follow the messages of your body as we deepen exploration through awareness, breath and sometimes movement and sound.
At times we will be working with re-patterning the nervous system through Somatic Experiencing and other neurobiological modalities, as needed. During this time, I will mindfully and gently assist you in following the movement of your nervous system through felt-bodily sense and help you to integrate feelings, thoughts, images and body sensations as I guide you (and your nervous system) towards regulation and balance.
There is no standard sessions as you are in charge of where we go and your body is brilliantly telling us what needs to be processed. As your therapist, I am trained to observe and listen to both your body messages and my body wisdom as we collaborate on creating new life giving experiences. As a skilled facilitator I offer insight, support and encouragement to invite your whole being (including your nervous system and brain) to open up to new possibilities.
What is the difference between Somatic Psychotherapy and Body Wisdom Life Coaching?
As both a therapist and coach there can be a fine line between how I work as a coach and how I work as a therapist. However, therapy is more focused on dealing with day to day challenges, developing communication and coping skills and resolving past trauma and experiences that are getting in the way of leading a full life.
Coaching is more solution focused with a forward momentum of meeting particular goals. That said, I bring to both deep listening and observation to increase awareness and enhance personal growth. There is sometimes an overlap when a coaching client discovers that an old trauma is in the way of her achieving her goals. In that case, we may put coaching aside for a period of time and do some trauma therapy to resolve past issues. After which time, we can resume coaching. On the other hand, a therapy client may feel she is ready to focus on a particular project or bring her gifts into the world and wants to be coached in this next phase.
How often are sessions?
That is something we can discuss and I trust your own wisdom to know what you need. That said, most new clients like the consistency of weekly sessions and find this works best especially at the beginning of our work together. I recommend weekly sessions to begin with as the continuity helps establish trust and relationship, as well as supporting changes in the body and nervous system which require consistency in order to establish new neuronal pathways leading to lasting change. Our bodies learn through experience so it is essential to build a reservoir of positive experiences in order to shift the balance toward where we are to where we want to be.
Coaching sessions are scheduled on a monthly basis with three of four 50 minute sessions per month. Please see the section on coaching for further information.