Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP) is a body-based approach that is useful when working with trauma, attachment, and developmental issues. Mindfulness is a central feature of SP. We work collaboratively, focusing on the body's habitual patterns and uncover underlying beliefs that reinforce patterned responses. Core beliefs and our ways of being in the world are often developed from early messages. Information about common responses to trauma is provided at the beginning of treatment, and clients are assisted to develop a compassionate, curious view of themselves.
Unlike traditional talk-therapies such as CBT, SP uses a bottom-up approach: emotions and cognitions are accessed indirectly through somatic (body) based interventions. SP draws on the body's inherent wisdom to explore impulses, automatic movements/gestures and somatic responses in an experimental, curious (sometimes playful) way. We work within a state of mindfulness and within 'the window of tolerance' so that you are not overwhelmed. Since traumatized individuals have a tendency toward affect dysregulation (hyperarousal: too much nervous system activation, or hypoarousal: insufficient nervous system activation), early goals of treatment are safety and stabilization. We also explore unconscious impulses experienced by many trauma survivors, such as fight, flight and freeze, and work together to increase the ability to recognize and manage emotional distress.
If you would like to read more about Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, founded by Pat Ogden, go here: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy ©. Watch Pat Ogden describe the importance of working with the body to heal trauma: Pat Ogden video.
Read more about the importance of working with the body and moving beyond the limits of "talk therapy" here: Bessel van der Kolk on the Limits of Talk Therapy.