Somatic Awareness

Much of contemporary psychology is now beginning to recognize the limits of conversational therapy and discover the powerful role of the body and its somatic awareness held outside of the rational thinking mind. Somatic awareness is an aspect of therapy that integrates the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical aspects that comprise our entire experience. Whenever we have had some painful or traumatic experience, we carry not only the memory and feelings connected with that experience, but we “remember” it physically as well, referred to as “body memory.” It is expressed through a contraction of muscle or of tissue or a loss of freely flowing energy in an area of our body that is connected with that event for us. Sometimes that connection may be very symbolic. It is not  as important to understand what the connection is as it is to simply be aware of what we are experiencing.

Becoming mindful through the bodies of thoughts, feelings, sensations, impulses and images, we take the time to focus, and investigate places where we are tight, sore or uncomfortable. It is natural when sensations are unpleasant to want to move away from them but these sensations have something important to tell us.  Somatic awareness supports the body’s natural movement towards release of blocked energy, a felt shift that integrates meaning and emotion into consciousness. If we allow ourselves to be curious about what is happening,  to honor what comes up for us, we are already involved in our healing.


Debra Seido Martin, MA MFT, LPC Phone: 541-844-4917     Email: Office: Neighborhood Location Near 11th & Chambers, Eugene, OR