Attend to life with more Ease, Clarity, and Confidence.

Somatic Experiencing is a resource-based therapy that builds upon our existing internal strengths. In doing so, it increases our capacity to be gently present with and resolve accumulative stress patterns stuck in the nervous system.

Somatic Experiencing and Psychotherapy

As a licensed Psychotherapist and Somatic Experiencing practitioner I relate genuinely rather than trying to analyze or diagnose. I move at your pace, checking in often to be sure we are on the right track, offering reflection and suggestions to include the body in your healing process.

Traumatic Stress

Areas of support include: Anxiety, Depression, Relationship Challenges, Difficulty setting Boundaries, Men’s Issues, Addiction, Self-Esteem and Financial issues, Chronic Anger, Grief.

The psycho-biological roots of Somatic Experiencing can also help alleviate symptoms of traumatic stress, such as PTSD, chronic fatigue, relationship challenges, difficulty recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, anxiety, digestive and other symptoms of physiological stress.

Contact Joel: 510-229-9765 ~Berkeley Office

Body Awareness: A Core Somatic Intervention in Therapy

Body Tracking

Being mindful to the body’s wisdom requires tracking the inner landscape; from whole emotional shifts to more subtle feelings, sensations, movement impulses, variations of temperature, tingling, pulsating, or trembling. Through this body-based mindfulness approach to somatic therapy, habitually stuck patterns of stress accumulation are able to be noticed and processed through to completion.

I encourage clients to follow, with an attitude of curiosity, these seemingly benign sensations, that are the beginning movements out of trauma-based truncations of life energy.

Stress Resiliency

As we increase our capacity for tracking and experiencing these shifts in physiology, we increase our capacity to be in the here-and-now without replaying internal stories created by past traumatic experiences. This increase in the interoception of safety, helps distinguish and resolve emotional triggers, reactive behaviors, and negative self-talk. ‘Interoception’ is a term coined by Dr. Stephen Porges, as the capacity to sense into the stimuli and conditions arising within the landscape of the body.

When we feel tension, stress, or a difficult feeling we often try to avoid it, to get rid of it through self-medicating, isolating, or some other invention of our own self-led therapy. We stretch out neck tension, take a hot bath, have a glass of wine, get a massage, a pain killer, antacid, or try to control those around us.

But the pain or tension keeps coming back, so we have to keep managing it with compensatory strategies. Our range of motion decreases, quality of life decreases, resiliency (our capacity to return to baseline after or even during stress) decreases, and more importantly, our awareness of embodiment decreases.

Until we learn to explore the nuances inside of the ache, tension, pressure, burning, or churning sensations, we are unable to allow the instinctual energies at the root of our pain the space and time to resolve.

Somatic Therapy

With somatic therapy we enter into these remnants from incomplete past traumas, into the sensation of incomplete muscle memory actions, and follow them through subsequent unfolding sensations – moving energy from the core of the body to the periphery, and out! We do this through introducing gradual exposure of awareness to the highly charged sensations, commonly referred to as titration, and balance the activation with the reality of your resources, the external environment, and the here-and-now safety of the therapist’s genuine caring presence.

As we inhabit more deliberately the felt-sensations of the body, we digest bit by bit the layers of stress physiology, helping to curve the whole organism towards a state of calm and away from stress, anxiety, and the quickly escalating sympathetic triggers that lead to panic.

As we increase our capacity to balance internal trauma-based stress signatures with external orientation to the here-and-now, we feel our sense of aliveness increase. As we learn to differentiate these seemingly benign yet chronic tensions from the energetic signatures of movement impulses, we feel a sense of control, excitement, and hope for changing into deeper states of ease, flow, and well being.

With a greater nuanced attention in somatic therapy we learn to make gentle and titrated contact with the stories our body’s carry, discovering that going into difficult experiences does not have to end in the familiar, stuck, overwhelmed, or depressed habitual patterns, but instead liberates us further into our spontaneous aliveness.
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