COVID-19 Update: We are continuing to offer services through telehealth, along with essential in-person sessions.
COVID-19 Update: We are continuing to offer services through telehealth, along with essential in-person sessions, and a variety of community offerings, which can be found on our "events" page.

Somatic Therapy

What is Somatic Therapy?
Somatic therapy is a body-centered therapeutic modality. Our Somatic Therapy providers at Sage have extensive training in Somatic Experiencing™ (SE), a model of somatic therapy developed by Dr. Peter Levine through studying mammals' bodily responses to traumatic events. While animals are usually able to effectively "shake off" the impact of trauma on the body, humans have lost this capacity. For humans, traumatic events are often overwhelming to the nervous system, cannot be processed effectively in the moment, and get trapped in the body producing painful and disturbing symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, hypervigilance, and bodily tension.

Somatic Therapy supports the resolution of trauma by working with the body's innate capacity to heal. This body-centered approach bypasses the conscious mind and allows access to trauma that lingers in the body, supporting the release and processing of the emotional and physiological symptoms.
What to expect with Somatic Therapy?
Somatic Therapy often begins with education about the nervous system and how trauma affects the body's physiology. The therapist will then guide you back to your body, supporting you in uncovering and regaining awareness of bodily sensations and related emotions.

Often, the therapist will use a tool called resourcing to help you access your innate strength, build capacity, and cultivate peace in the nervous system. Once you have a better understanding of how the trauma lives in your body, are able to access the related sensations, and have developed resources to support you in moments of overwhelm, the therapist will support you in slowly revisiting the trauma.

This gradual process is called titration and it slows the trauma down to allow you to process it in a safe setting. In a somatic therapy session, it is common to experience sensations in the body like shaking, shivering, or crying; which are considered to be a discharge of energy that is trapped in the body from past trauma. The therapist may also use specific breathing or relaxation techniques, or touch work to help you process and release trauma from the body.

This approach is very patient-centered. The practitioner always meets you where you are at, and will only compliment the therapy with touch work with your consent.
Who should consider Somatic Therapy?
Somatic Therapy is most known for its focus on trauma, however it is not limited to trauma. Good candidates are anyone who has experienced obvious trauma (sexual, physical, emotional abuse) and not so obvious ones, such as medical interventions, falls, the stresses of long term illness or difficult workplace or home environments, global pandemics, and even living in our busy society. In addition somatic therapy can be useful in helping clients with anxiety and depression as a means to help guide individuals to the root of their symptoms, and develop skills to work with them. Somatic therapy is also an incredible adjunct to psychedelic integration, as altered states of consciousness often reveal much about our relationship to our bodies.

Somatic sessions teach patients about how their own reactions are part of the protective response of their nervous system. Patients will learn how to be with comfortable and uncomfortable responses in the body, and it will foster a deeper relationship and connection with self. Somatic therapy also creates an opportunity for the patient to explore their body's own innate capacity to restore regulation and build more tools and capacity to adapt to future stressful or traumatic situations or events.
Meet Our Somatic Therapy Providers:
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, MSN
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Ancient + Innovative Wisdom in Medicine
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