What is Somatic Movement Therapy & Education?
Somatic Movement Therapy & Education (SMTE) is a fusion of integrative bodywork, movement practices, and psychology & counselling theory inspired by Body-Mind Centering®, Authentic Movement and Somatic Psychology. It is based on an understanding that what we need for our healing and growth lies within, and can be accessed by listening to our inner experience and wisdom. The body holds a natural intelligence which is far vaster than our conscious mind. Commonly used phrases such as ‘gut feeling’, intuition, ‘sixth sense’ and ‘inner perception’ point to this bodily intelligence.
‘Soma’ refers to the experience of the body from within. Through dialogue, focused touch, breathing, imagery, and sensitively guided movement a client is accompanied to better understand their sensations, emotions and thoughts. It is a highly interactive, exploratory and creative self-learning process. Areas of tension and blockages may be released as the client is aided to find their own inner resources for support. As habitual patterns in the body change or become more flexible, the mind also changes, allowing for greater openness, choice, spontaneity and joy of being.
What to expect from a Somatic Movement session?
Although every SMTE session is unique and tailored to the individual client they share the same structure in that each session begins with a dialogue in which the client is encouraged to speak to and reflect on presenting issues whilst checking in with their sensations and emotions. In collaboration with the client I draw from my experience of a variety of psychosomatic methods to meet the needs of the client; doing hands-on work or more guided movement awareness exercises. The work is co-creational which means that the direction is determined by the interplay of both the client and the practitioner. Attention is constantly given to one’s proprioception (inner sensory experience) in both movement and stillness.
The movement explorations, on their own or after some bodywork, help the receiver integrate the new awareness they are gaining of their anatomy, emotional patterns and held beliefs. The client is constantly encouraged to bring their experience into words, however difficult that initially might be, to increase their ‘body literacy’ and communicate clearly from their authentic self. Writing, drawing or music can help the process of translating the somatic experiences into words to capture their meaning and significance and are sometimes used in a session.
What are the benefits of Somatic Movement Therapy and Education?
Somatic Movement Therapy & Education can be beneficial for a number of psychosomatic disorders, dysfunctional habits and patterns and conditions that threaten our health and functioning.
ere are some additional recorded effects:
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