In our sessions, we may opt to combine meaningful dialogue with a modality known as Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, or SP, is essentially a form of therapy that includes an integrated awareness of one's body and nervous system.
"Sensorimotor Psychotherapy blends theory and technique from cognitive and dynamic therapy with straightforward somatic awareness and movement interventions that promote empowerment..." - Dr. Daniel Siegel, Executive Director, Mindsight Institute
Sensorimotor approaches are often used in treating situational trauma, such as car accidents, assault, abrupt life-transitions, shocking events and inter-personal or marital conflict; it used in the process of uncovering important resources that may not have been accessed or developed due to developmental and relational-trauma, such as long-term family conflict, and/or abuse. Clients with developmental trauma or those processing shock often express feelings of being stuck, depressed, overwhelmed, numb, "floaty", enraged or flooded and hijacked by sensations or "feeling-states" such as fight, flight, submit or freeze. In this form of work, we engage in a safe process of integration and transformation en route to nurturing experiences of stability via grounding and centering techniques. The approach helps clients learn how to support themselves as we navigate 'the organization of experience" in each session.
SP is also a supportive therapy for individuals living with neurodegenerative disorders, post-stroke symptoms, MS, chronic arthritis and other diagnosis that have an impact on one's movement, sense of self, and sense of "self-in-relationship" after experiencing symptoms or receiving a diagnosis.
I sought out further education in sensorimotor psychotherapy partly due to my belief in the importance of non-verbal expressions of experience, but also in effort to continue co-sculpting a comprehensive "tool-box' for clients who seek assistance with the emotional processing of impactful events. Moreover, after 3-years of working as physiotherapy-assistant in hospitals and clinics much earlier in life, SP was a natural path following my psychotherapeutic training .
Sensorimotor psychotherapy provides an excellent opportunity or pathway to help you regulate your ANS (autonomic nervous system) after situational/event or developmental/childhood trauma. The following video offers an explanation of trauma and the nervous system from a polyvagal perspective.