Pic credit. Rudi and Julia of the Humanhood dance company.
Two years ago I trained as a Somatic Coach with The Somatic School on their six months ICF accredited course.
Not only did I learn about the practical processes and the many modalities involved in the somatic approach, I also met lots of wonderful people and we built a strong peer group support network between us.
I first trained as a coach with the Coaching Academy UK and trained as a community facilitator with Ernesto Sirolli and his team 2007/2008.
All my practices and offers of support take a somatic direction, working with feelings, how we access, process, accomodate and express them. From there we can often get to what we really want and need and find safe ways to pursue that.
People ask what is the somatic approach about, this is a relatively formal description, get in touch if it interests you and you would like to find out more, I am always happy to sit and share how tapping back into our bodies brings us towards easier ways to relate to self and others.
Our bodies are continuously seeking information from the environment around us, storing this information and then using it to respond to what ever situation we may find ourselves in.
The word somatic relates to our bodies.
Learning to become aware of what is going in our bodies creates what I call embodied somatic self awareness.
People with a sense of their own embodied somatic self awareness manage to stay grounded in difficult situations, can self regulate strong emotions... becoming emotionally available... for themselves... and others.
As a somatic coach my role is to support you to notice your feelings, sensations, acknowledge them, and then allow them space to offer you information.
Feelings are so often repressed in our modern cultures and many of us are scared of
noticing and expressing how we feel, to the extent that we can ignore what is going on inside us... becoming stressed and emotionally numb.
As a young rationalist I believed that I could think my way through any problem, technical or emotional.
From my lived experience and my training I understand that working with my body and my feelings contained there, I can become fully self aware and realise my potential to live well.
"Feeling is a deep biological inheritance that tells us what we care about and how to generate care.
Feeling informs us of what we are willing to fight for, whom we can trust, and when we must protect ourselves.
Feeling manifests love into a felt, lived experience.
To move from the thinking self to the feeling self is a fundamental principle in somatic coaching." R. Strozzi-Heckler. The Art of Somatic Coaching
For many of us... including me sometimes... our bodies can be places of difficulty,
shame and fear... our feelings can be experienced as unpredictable and painful.
Increasing our embodied self awareness can seem like a hard and long journey.
The way I work aims to make this journey as easy as possible.
My role and my skills involve creating a space where you can spend some time gently working through what it is that troubles you and what prevents you from living well.
From there we stay focussed on what shows up and how being present with what is... rather than what was... may lead us towards new, creative ways of relating to self and others.
My somatic coaching does not involve strenuous exercise... getting undressed... or physical discomfort.
If you would like to find out more for yourself this has been my own go to reading list over the last few years.
Somatic Internal Family Systems Therapy. Susan McConnell. 2020
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk. 2015
Polyvagal Theory; The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe by Stephen Porges.2017
What Happens to You by Oprah Winfrey and Bruce Perry. 2021
The Art of Somatic Coaching by Richard Strozzi- Heckler. 2014
Anchored (polyvagal practice) by Deb Dana. 2021
Eastern Body Western Mind by Anodea Judith. 2004
The Hakomi Way by Ron Kurtz. 2018
The Elusive Obvious by Moshe Feldenkrais. 2019
Focusing by Eugene Gendlin. 2007
The Wisdom of Trauma documentary. 2021
When the Body Says No by Gabor Mate. 2019