Somatic or sensorimotor Processing
Within the last decade books have been written about the effects of trauma stored in the body. I attended an interesting workshop by Peter Levine which used videos of animals interacting. When I watched a video of a cheetah chasing a gazelle and realized that attack was imminent, I could feel my own heart beating. Imagine the gazelle and the adrenaline racing through its body. This was traumatic even for me. The gazelle collapsed, the cheetah ran off to collect his pride for dinner, and then the gazelle came back into motion, continued its running motions as it lay on its side, stood, shuddered, looked around, and ran away. This was a demonstration of the body releasing the effects of trauma.
I am interested in using somatic processing techniques to work through the effects of trauma that were not able to be released naturally. People usually try to go about their business even after falling down steps, being knocked down, being sexually assaulted, and almost drowning. When their mind begins to generate negative thoughts and it affects their life, we may see them in therapy. Most of the time the techniques fit very naturally into talk therapy and are a continuation of the movement clients begin to make on their own.
Authors of books or articles in this area are Peter Levine, Richard Scaer, and Pat Ogden.
Because the West is now paying attention to Eastern Medicine, I find that some clients come in with an interest in alternative health care. We are aware that energy flows through the body and that psychological and physical pain may mean a disruption of the flow of energy. I will use some of the techniques of healing touch, pranic healing, and energy medicine when the client is interested in it. Interestingly enough, energy work can be accomplished without touching a person.
Some types of energy work that I have used are Healing
Touch, Pranic Healing, and Energy Medicine. Websites of the sponsors
of the trainings I have taken are these: www.healingtouchstlouis.org,