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What Is Somatic Therapy?

Learn about somatic psychotherapy, how it works, and where to find somatic therapy treatment.

Somatic Therapy

Somatic therapy, also known as somatic psychotherapy, is a technique used by psychologists and counselors to help people overcome the effects of trauma, mental health disorders, and personal crises. Somatic therapies are a relatively new treatment for these issues, based largely on the recent evidence that trauma is stored in the body.

Studies have shown the effectiveness of somatic therapy in reducing symptoms of various mental conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and improving people’s resiliency.1

What Is Somatic Psychotherapy?

Somatic means relating to the body, especially as distinct from the mind. Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, utilizes treatment methods that focus on emotional, behavioral, and mental health. Thus, somatic psychotherapy combines the elements of bodily experience with the cognitive effects of talk therapy.

According to some neuroscientific evidence, resiliency can be improved through the use of somatic therapy by increasing body awareness. These powerful somatic therapy techniques can help resolve various mental difficulties and inspire healing, even with treatment-resistant disorders.2

How Does Somatic Therapy Work?

Somatic therapy focuses on the body as the key focal point of healing. It incorporates:

  • Sight
  • Sound
  • Touch
  • Smell
  • Taste

Research has clarified the link between self-awareness and bodily awareness. So, somatic psychotherapy can help people overcome mental challenges and find psychological relief by using all five senses and improving awareness of the mind and body.3

Types of Somatic Therapy

Several different types of somatic therapy are practiced, each with a specific goal and philosophy that supports it:

Somatic Experiencing

Somatic experiencing focuses specifically on the body’s reactions to trauma and utilizing those mannerisms to help improve mental well-being.

Hakomi Mindfulness-Centered Somatic Psychotherapy

Hakomi psychotherapy focuses on mindfulness and somatic indicators, bringing awareness to people’s core material to enable change.

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Sensorimotor psychotherapy helps treat unresolved trauma by safely and healthily helping people relive physical sensations associated with past traumatic experiences.

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy

Biodynamic psychotherapy is a touch therapy that can help increase people’s connection with their bodies and relax the nervous system to resolve mental health concerns.

Bioenergetic Analysis

Bioenergetics focuses on the connection between the mind and body. Bioenergetic psychotherapists can determine and improve pain and stress by analyzing people’s body structure, movement, and breathing.

People may benefit more from some techniques when seeking somatic-based therapy than others. Thus, different styles of therapy exist to treat particular disorders that respond better to certain techniques.

Somatic Therapy Techniques and Uses

Therapists will use several techniques to help clients get in touch with somatic experiences to treat a variety of mental conditions and problems. Learn more about somatic psychotherapy techniques and this therapy’s uses below.

Somatic Therapy Techniques

These techniques are designed for somatic healing and can help people process difficult emotions and break the physical triggers of mental health symptoms:

Body Awareness

Body awareness helps clients identify where their emotions and stresses are felt within the body. For example, somebody might feel their anger as a clenching in the stomach or anxiety as lightheadedness. Learning to recognize these symptoms is the first step in letting them go.


Grounding techniques help people get out of their minds and into their bodies. These techniques are often used to help people who experience anxiety remain calm.

  • Name five things you can see,
  • Four things you can hear,
  • Three things you can feel,
  • Two things you can smell, and
  • One thing you can taste.

By experiencing these sensations, people can refocus their minds on what’s happening somatically and may find relief from the racing thoughts commonly experienced with anxiety.


Titration is a somatic therapy for trauma. Therapists guide clients through a traumatic memory and ask them to focus on where they feel the effects within their bodies.


Resourcing is a somatic approach used to help clients feel safe. Somatic psychotherapists will ask clients to recall resources available to them that feel good, comfortable, and secure. These could include relationships, friends, a favorite park, or personality strengths. Resourcing is used to anchor people to a sense of security and show that they are capable of peace.


Pendulation refers to the somatic approach of oscillating between titration and resourcing. Somatic therapists will guide clients through a traumatic experience, then ground them with the things that make them feel safe. Essentially, this technique aims to dampen the effects of traumatic experiences by pairing them with the things that make people feel most secure.


Sequencing refers to following the chain of somatic experiences. For example, when you take a deep breath in, you may first feel the sensation in the tip of your nose, then into your throat, then down into your stomach. This technique helps focus the mind on the intricate details in people’s sensory experiences.

Somatic Therapy Uses and Effectiveness

Somatic therapy is used to help with a variety of different disorders, including:

  • Trauma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Grief
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Intimacy avoidance
  • Pain

Many people find somatic therapies to be highly effective. Research has shown that somatic treatment is an effective treatment for PTSD and can improve PTSD and depression symptoms.4

Somatic Psychotherapy

Somatic Psychotherapy at Anew Treatment Center

At Anew Treatment Center, we understand that mental health treatment often needs a holistic approach. We use only the best evidence-based therapies for treating mental health disorders, including somatic-based therapy options.

How to Find Somatic Psychotherapy Near Me

Finding a center for somatic psychotherapy is as simple as calling Anew Treatment Center. Our professional team will connect you with a somatic therapist who has the experience and expertise to help clients overcome their mental health challenges and finally find relief from their symptoms.

About Your First Appointment

The first appointment commonly entails a thorough discussion of the client’s reason for seeking treatment and details about them, such as their upbringing and treatment goals. Determining the problem and getting to know the client is the essential first step in somatic psychotherapy, as it helps therapists design treatment plans catered to each client’s specific needs.

In addition, this is a great opportunity for clients to ask the somatic therapist questions about their treatment and goals. Developing a relationship with the therapist is an excellent way to decide whether they are a good fit. It is crucial to select a therapist the client trusts and feels comfortable with, as it can make a considerable difference in their potential for recovery.

Get Help Today

Everyone deserves to live a positive and healthy life. Contact Anew Treatment Center today to learn more about our safe and effective treatment options and begin the journey to a higher quality of life.

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