Body-mind approaches to psychotherapy fill a critical gap between talk therapy and medication, potentially reducing your reliance on them. Conventional talk therapy focuses on skills for shifting thoughts and emotions to change behavior. However, this requires 20% of internal communication going from brain to body to overpower the 80% going from body to brain. This can leave you desperate for your weekly therapy sessions to just get by. Similarly, medications modify the work of your brain chemicals at the downside of feeling a lot less like you.
Body-mind psychotherapy brings your full nervous system - the circular body and brain communication - into the work. You'll reduce the body energy that hijacks the brain that could use that new skill…if it wasn't getting signals to 'Protect!' from the body. This often shows as a relentless tension between your insatiable desire to connect and your intense drive to protect, even from those you love. It leaves you wondering why do I keep yelling at my wife? Why can't I just say no? Why is it so hard to sit still…or get moving? Why do I eat when I'm not even hungry?
The first step of body-mind therapy is to identify how the behaviors or symptoms you wish away are actually serving a purpose in regulating your nervous system. We create space for self-compassion and curiosity to understand and accept the value. Then we can uncover the source of the trapped trauma energy that makes the behavior an embodied habit. An embodied habit is a movement or action that your body commands without cycling through the rational brain for a check on unintended consequences. Embodied habits may direct energy outward (yelling, stomping, walking away) or inward (worrying, shrinking, disconnecting) – whatever was shaped into your system to regulate effectively in the past.
With body-mind therapies like polyvagal techniques and somatic EDMR, you work at a pace that you set to address the embodiment that makes a thought, an urge; or an action, an impulse. By releasing the trauma energy from the body, you can unlock the grip and restore the healthy functioning of the autonomic nervous system. You then have natural access to your best self and are empowered to make changes that stick.
Body-mind therapies bring an empowering and fresh perspective on your Chronic physical pain and fatigue (that may or may not have a direct medical explanation) Inability to sustain change despite years of talk therapy or completion of an addiction treatment program. Anchors that hold you hostage in narcissistic/codependent relationship cycles. An internal surveillance system that locks you and your partner in high conflict. Child's 'problem' behavior as an artifact of the natural development of their nervous system and the easiest way for you to shift them. Loss of voice when faced with unwanted sexual advances or loss of receptivity to a partner's voice when sexually aroused. DSM diagnosis as a snapshot of the life-long development of your autonomic nervous system that you can bring into a healthier rhythm for living.
Working with Shelly, you can expect:
* Compassionate understanding of how symptoms and problem behaviors serve a purpose – potentially from the past and no longer needed, but a purpose nonetheless.
* Commitment to working with your medication provider to explore the reduction of medications.
* An empowering paradigm for navigating stressors as stimuli for restoration and growth.
* Introduction to personal technology tools that provide an objective measurement of internal regulation.
* Pace and methods that get to the roots of distress and minimize retraumatization.
* Synergistic use of behavior-based talk therapy (CBT, DBT) that reinforce past skill development and support your changes once body holds are released.
* Restoration from the past, clarity on who you are today, and empowerment to live your best rhythm.