Body- centred psychotherapy
Body-focused psychotherapy is a general term for a host of therapeutic approaches that essentially use awareness of the body as primary entry point, rather than conversation and engaging the mind.
The simple reason for that is that our mind can never experience directly. It can think and create meaning from our direct experience, but NOT feel and sense.
As we bring awareness of the body into psychotherapy, we can have a portal to our feelings,
the unconscious and to Spirit.
In my approach, I tend to borrow from Hakomi practice, Sensorimotor psychotherapy for trauma and Buddhist based, body-focused meditation techniques. I am also deeply indebted to Medicine- Wheel teachings of Siksika/ Blackfeet people.
In my sessions, clients can still talk and discuss their experience and move towards deeper insights, yet there are times in each session, when we study present experience in the body, discovering pathways to healing, to greater wholeness, and ultimately to Spirit.
Through mindful study of the body, we can access and heal deep unconscious beliefs and repressed memories. We can create in-session opportunities to experience what was missing in our development, such as for example, feelings of safety, being held, acknowledged, seen, being helped to name a few. When we have an experiential taste of these, the limiting beliefs we have formed in our early life, in response to these nourishing experiences being unavailable (" I cannot ask for help, I am alone...Life is not safe"), begin to soften and change.
Processing traumatic experience in the body (sensorimotor psychotherapy especially), is a way to heal trauma on a deeper and safer level. By learning various body-focus strategies and skills, trauma survivors can begin to experience positive regard for their body and feel safety and containment, perhaps for the first time.
Medicine-wheel healing practices of Siksika/Blackfeet people, which I incorporate, are also body based, as there is an understanding that we can only change through direct experience, either by facing pain directly, not suffering, or bringing self-love and kindness, directly into our " lodge", the body.
Over the years, I have witnessed such moving and profound healing in body-centred psychotherapy, for myself and my clients, that I am inspired to keep bringing this work forward.