What is somatic coaching?

What is somatic coaching?

 

This week I shared a post about what somatic coaching actually is and how it can really help you to reach your goals more quickly than just using traditional coaching methods like mindset work.

I fully believe that there is room for all approaches and I work on multiple levels with clients depending on where they are at, what they need and what is appropriate.

This includes somatic and mindset work but also working with unconscious programming and beliefs, behavioural change and emotions.  Using ALL of this is where the magic is… but ‘somatics’ is one of those buzz words right now so lets peel back the layers a bit, answer some of your questions and let you know what may actually happen in a session so that it’s not so scary.

 

What is somatics?

It’s been around since the late 18th century and comes from the Greek sōmatikos, from sōma ‘body’. The physical body as perceived from within.

Somatic techniques may be used in coaching, therapy, bodywork, psychotherapy, dance, breath work, spiritual practices and meditation.

 

 

Why take this approach?

Somatic therapy works on the hypothesis that what happens in your life is stored not only in your mind as a memory but also in your body.

By focusing on the mind and body you are taking a more comprehensive approach to healing. If you focus on mindset work alone then events may not be fully integrated and healed and old patterns may resurface.

 

How does that fit into coaching?

Somatic coaching helps people gain insights by tuning into their physical sensations and emotions, tapping into their internal experience.

Involving the body in healing and mindset modalities often leads to much deeper and faster insights and awareness.  The body holds immense wisdom outside of the mind because of its connection to your nervous system.

 

A healthy nervous system

Having trained with a somatic psychotherapist and coach using somatic work is integral to my coaching approach.

Having a healthy and balanced nervous system that can respond well to life’s stressors is at the heart of the work that I do with clients. It is important that clients understand what this means for them but also feel it. This is where somatic work comes in.

Jayne came to me recognising that she was shutting down and withdrawing from people that she cared about. She had a sense that everyone was judging her. Using somatic work we discovered that she had a protective pattern of shutting down when she felt vulnerable that went back to a period in her life when she was grieving. She would retreat to protect herself. The client not only learnt the source of her resistance she could see its innocence. She was able to resource herself now and recognise what she really needs now to feel safe in her relationships.

Building Resilience

Working within the window of tolerance somatic work allows us to really see what is happening. Many of my clients have a maladapted stess response : either stuck in fight, flight or freeze. Tuning in to this with somatic work allows us to take the first step of awareness and to build a feeling of safety to be able to begin to work with widening the window of tolerance and building resilience over time.

 

When I would use somatic

Somatic work really compliments coaching and allows me to support my clients to move stuck energy through, with or without a story.

This is importnat as it means that we don’t have to revisit the past release energy and feelings from past events.

However, It can also be used with conscious awareness using the physical sensations that arise from emotion to extract wisdom, messages or memories that exist.

 

What that might look like in a session

  • Grounding exercises
  • Helping clients explore where they feel most activated
  • Using different exercises to extract wisdom
  • Using breath, movement, or sound to release energy or move stuck energy
  • combining mindset, unconscious or self forgiveness work
  • Inner child work, meditation, visualization, emotional resourcing

 

Kate came to me with chronic health issues unsure if her health would allow her to finish her phd, but desperately wanting to try. Using somatic work alongside traditional coaching techniques helped really gain insights into what was stopping her going after her goal.  By connecting the with the sensations and emotions surrounding her goal. She had a pattern that went back to her childhood and stemmed from achievement and working hard really giving her a sense of worth particularly with one of her primary caregivers.  This pattern served her at many times in her life, in work, during stressful exam periods and to gain acceptance from others.  Now with her health this pattern was no longer serving her she couldn’t give her all in short bursts without crashing. By recognising this she could resource herself now and plan ways to do this differently. To go after her goal with ease rather then resistance.

 

The real life benefits

Clients draw connections and have insights during sessions, and leave empowered with new awareness.

They communicate better, feel freer, and are able to access more play and joy in their lives. Clients with chronic health conditions notice less symptoms.

They are clearer, calmer, less reactive to triggers and stressors and have a greater ability to relax and cope with stress.

Great right?! I often find that it can be the missing piece.

 

My journey

I have gained so much personally from guided somatic work including breathwork, inner child work, meditation and visualisation.

Doing the inner work on my patterns and peeling back the layers so that change in the present is easy has been absolute game changer in my life.  It has impacted everything.

Knowing something cognitively, and then KNOWING something because it’s an all body knowing are two very different things.

Aside from the internal growth, I am no longer easily triggered into a sympathetic nervous system response.  Something I never thought would happen as I have EDS and PoTS.  I am in tune with my emotions and my body sensations so that I give my body what it needs when it needs it without guilt.  I manage pain better because of this too.   All tangible wins.

Interested in how somatic work may support you?! Book a call to have a chat.

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Chronically Empowered is a community of women who have chronic illness.

You may feel like no-one understands what it’s like living with your chronic illness or worrying everyday about your kids. That you are hanging on by a thread or the future may feel a little uncertain. In The Tribe we get that.

You value life and want to be the best version of you. To manage your symptoms effectively so that you can live your best life.

We will be having real, open conversations about how you can do this. With my experience of living with multiple chronic illness’ and raising kids with CMT, EDS, PoTS and ME. I know that the struggle is real. I will be sharing guidance, challenges, my personal tips and real life stories to remind you of how this can become a reality now!

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