The symptoms of addiction are often both physical and psychological. Any kind of trauma affects your mind and body on a cellular level. Somatic therapy brings your entire being back into balance after you’ve undergone distressing events in your life.
The Idea Behind Somatic Therapy
Somatic Experiencing Theory was developed after one doctor observed that animals of prey recover by expelling energy that builds up during taxing events. Humans, on the other hand, tend to block the feelings that arise from stress, and they can get stuck in a cycle of trauma without fully processing it.
The autonomic nervous system, or ANS, is at the heart of this theory. The ANS is involved in delivering a fight-or-flight response when you’re threatened. This process should regulate itself, coming back into equilibrium when the stressful event has passed. However, if the ANS becomes impaired, which can happen when you repress trauma, the body relives the distress repeatedly.
Somatic therapy reconditions the ANS and helps you self-regulate when you have intense emotions.
How Does Somatic Therapy Work?
This holistic therapy involves bringing up triggers while observing an individual’s response to the event. When you become aware of the sensations that come about when you’re triggered, you shed light on a healthier physical and psychological response.
Simply retraining your thoughts isn’t always enough to transform your reaction to an event. Sometimes, altering the way that you move your body can help you dispel negative energy.
The first step in this technique is recognizing the tension symptoms that you link to the traumatic event. The next step is learning methods of returning to balance.
This may involve dancing, breathing exercises, vocalization, exercise or healing touch. As you switch between these stressed and comforted states, you dispel the energy that has built up from your traumatic experience.
Benefits Of Somatic Therapy
After undergoing this type of therapy, many patients report that they feel calm and centered. They may have greater mental clarity and better ability to concentrate.
This experiential therapy helps you reframe disturbing experiences that happened to you in the past. It also allows you to redirect negative and overwhelming experiences as they happen.
Many people who undergo this type of therapy say that their physical symptoms disappear. If pain, digestive distress, sexual dysfunction or neurological problems accompany a substance abuse disorder, this type of therapy can help ease those symptoms. It may also help to alleviate psychological conditions, such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Often, therapists us somatic therapy. The client focuses on an external stimulus, such as shifting the gaze, audio stimulation or tapping, as the therapist introduces potentially distressing material. Experts have found that the way that a person processes a particular memory changes while he or she focuses on the external stimulus.
Using Somatic Therapy In A Rehab Setting
People can release the emotions that they associate with addiction, like horror, shame, and self-disgust during this type of therapy. They may be able to replace them with a confident, clear mindset. The insights that individuals have during therapy don’t depend on their interpretation by a psychologist. Instead, they come from the person’s enhanced ability to process the feelings.
At Crestview Recovery, we use this method as part of our well-rounded approach to helping individuals recover from substance abuse disorders. We offer a variety of evidence-based and holistic therapies to help clients address all facets of their addiction. We help you explore yourself more deeply through:
A customized blend of conventional and alternative therapy has been shown to help clients launch and sustain sobriety. Call us at 866.262.0531 to find out how we can help you heal your body, mind, and spirit.