In Consultation


Hearing the Body’s Truth: Three Steps to Connecting to Felt Sense


Q: I’m trained as a talk therapist but keep hearing about all these new somatic approaches being used today. What are some simple somatic tools I can integrate into my work?

A: The idea that the mind and body are inextricably intertwined is widely accepted in our field, but many therapists remain so focused on understanding the thoughts and feelings in clients’ minds that they forget about the pivotal information to be gleaned by paying more attention to clients’ bodies. The three-step somatic process below can be used with just about any therapeutic approach, and it will help you directly access the important information that lives within clients’ immediate physical experience.

Step 1: Connect emotions to a felt body sense. The first step in making therapy more embodied is to shift attention from a top-down verbal analysis to a bottom-up focus on physical experience. If clients have already spoken about an emotion or a difficult state of mind they’re struggling with, you can say, “Take a moment and sense into your body where that feeling lives and how it feels at this point. To tune into your body more closely, you may find it helpful to close your eyes. Take as much time as you need. You can even ask into your body, ‘Where does my fear (or whatever emotion your client is presenting) live, and how does it feel within me?’ You don’t even need to find words to describe what…

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