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Clinicians can use Somatic Therapy (ST) worksheets to effectively treat their clients. These worksheets provide clinicians the tool to effectively establish a treatment plan throughout the therapy process.
What is Somatic Therapy?
Somatic therapy (ST) is a body-focused therapy style that attempts to promote physical, mental and emotional well being by establishing a strong connection between the body and mind. Clinicians that practice somatic therapy find that when talk-therapy begins to slow in desired results focusing on mind-body exercises and other physical techniques can be extremely beneficial. Typically, this approach is successful when stress is reduced in the physical body thus further alleviating mental stress. Along with these physical exercises, clinicians use talk therapy to guide patients through physical sensations that arise in troubling scenarios. Aligning strongly with ancient practices like yoga and meditation, Somatic therapy is practiced in many different styles and has been for centuries.
How Effective is Somatic Therapy?
Somatic therapy has been found to be effective in treating a wide range of physical and psychological ailments through scientific research with particular success in treating those suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. While still in the early stages of intensive research, somatic therapy studies in treatment for ptsd has shown significant improvements in both symptom severity and depression. Other studies have shown success in alleviating symptoms associated with things like cervical myofascial pain, psychosomatic pain and eating disorders. Some studies have even shown somatic therapy techniques having success in treating those suffering from chronic schizophrenia.
While boasting success in numerous areas in many research studies, some clinicians and researchers raise considerable concerns about this therapy style. Like many other therapy styles, somatic therapy requires that patients also have the personal desire to succeed in treatment. While somatic therapists always make a point to receive consent to touch their patients and establish comfortable boundaries, some patients that suffer from PTSD associated with physical trauma may find these processes too triggering to participate in.
How Does Somatic Therapy Work?
Somatic therapy uses a variety of physical movements to create a strong, cognizant connection between the body and mind. With some of its most effective practices being used throughout multiple societies for hundreds of years, somatic therapy techniques have been found to be very effective. While most treatment plans include things like guided meditation and visualization, breathing exercises, grounding or even dance, there are some specific characteristics of treatment style that create rigid subgroups within somatic therapy.
Using things like massage and posture correction work, Neurosomatic therapy targets those suffering from symptoms that stem from tension build up in the nervous, soft and skeletal systems. Generally, neurosomatic therapy aims to eliminate muscle spasms, improve flexibility and biomechanics, and increase muscle strength and endurance. Alleviating these ailments eases the mental tensions commonly associated with chronic pain.
Developed in the 1970’s by Peter Levine, somatic experiencing is one of the most widely used somatic therapy techniques used today. Focusing on the body’s reaction to trauma, clinicians that practice somatic experience attempt to release physical and psychological stress by allowing patients to work through physical motions that may trigger negative feelings associated with past trauma. Dr. Levine theorized that some people that experience traumatic events find themselves perpetually stuck in the “freeze” option of the flight or fight response. The built up energy produced when freezing in triggering moments manifests itself in counterproductive outlets like anxiety and stress. By allowing patients a safe outlet to work through these triggering motions, they can better reallocate this energy into more healthy, productive areas of thought.
Brainspotting is a treatment method that focuses on responsive eye positioning that may be associated with emotional responses to scenario moments.
Developed by Ron Kurtz, the Hakomi method focuses closely on mindfulness. The goal of the Hakomi method is to promote mindfulness, allowing patients to be present in moments without judging them. After establishing a feeling of acceptance and comfort between the patient and clinician, clinicians guide patients’ attention to their bodies and unconscious response that it may produce in triggering scenarios. This technique emphasizes ideals of nonviolence and aims to find safe outlets to release this unconscious energy.
Which Conditions Can Somatic Therapy Treat?
Being used in many societies for years, somatic therapy and its various techniques have been used to treat many different ailments. With its focus on the connection between the body and mind, somatic therapy is used to alleviate both mental and physical symptoms that are associated with some specific mental health disorders like Chronic stress, anxiety, depression, grief, addiction, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), interpersonal relationship issues and sexual function. Somatic therapy has also been found to be very effective in treating those who haven’t achieved their desired result from more traditional styles of talk therapy. Patients that struggle with digestive and sleep disorders are able to use techniques learned to address physical symptoms to combat psychological symptoms effectively.
Final Thoughts on Somatic Therapy
Somatic therapy is a body-centered, physical motion focus therapy that attempts to better the connection between the patients’ body and mind. Usually spanning somewhere between 10 and 16 sessions, clinicians allow patients to become in tune with body awareness by allowing them to safely move through physical motions that may trigger or be triggered by mental health disorders. Clinicians teach patients to combat physical symptoms through the use of things like guided meditation and visualization, breathing exercises, grounding and dance in conjunction with more focused techniques like somatic experiencing, hakomi method, neurosomatic therapy, brainspotting and many others. With its origins coming in the 1970’s by way of researchers like Peter Levine and Ron Kurtz, somatic therapy and its techniques have been found to be effective though still in the earlier stage of its more extensive research. Research has shown significant success in treating those suffering a wide range of ailments with particular effectiveness in treating those with post-traumatic stress disorder or suffering from chronic pain. While some researchers find that there could be potential for ethical violation within this therapy style’s use of touch between patients and clinicians, somatic therapists are always upfront in creating comfortable boundaries and consent with their patients.
Why Somatic Therapy Worksheets?
Somatic therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on the connection between the mind and body, and how emotional experiences are stored in the body. It emphasizes the importance of experiencing and releasing physical sensations as a way of processing and resolving emotional issues.
Somatic therapy worksheets are designed to help individuals explore and understand the connection between their emotions and physical sensations. These worksheets may include exercises, prompts, or questions that encourage individuals to tune into their bodily sensations, and to express their emotions in a physical way.
By engaging in somatic therapy worksheets, individuals may be able to:
- Increase self-awareness: Somatic therapy worksheets can help individuals become more aware of the physical sensations associated with different emotions. This increased awareness can help individuals better understand their emotional experiences, and may lead to greater self-insight.
- Process emotional experiences: Somatic therapy worksheets can provide a structured way for individuals to process emotional experiences that may be difficult to express in words. By engaging with physical sensations, individuals may be able to release emotions that are stuck in the body.
- Develop coping strategies: Somatic therapy worksheets can help individuals develop coping strategies for managing difficult emotions. By practicing physical techniques that help regulate emotions, individuals may be better equipped to manage stress and anxiety in their daily lives.
Overall, somatic therapy worksheets can be a valuable tool for individuals looking to explore the connection between their emotions and physical sensations, and to develop coping strategies for managing difficult emotions.
Why Our Somatic Therapy Worksheets?
Our Somatic Therapy worksheets are designed to help practitioners deliver Somatic Therapy to their clients more effectively.
Key Features of Our Somatic Therapy Worksheets:
- US letter size (8.5″ x 11″)
- Fillable / Printable
- Editable (If you need to make changes, we can provide you with a free editing website that will allow you to make changes to questions/statements)
- Longform responses
- Short form responses
Benefits of our Somatic Therapy Worksheets:
- Take in responses from clients on a digital device like a computer
- Organize client documents in an easy to find folder on your computer or in the cloud
- Search for specific questions and/or answers by using “CTRL + f” function on your keyboard when viewing your PDF
- Legibly read your client’s answers
- Print copies that are high in quality – (we made this form grey on purpose! Much easier on your printer)
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