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  • Monique Nash

What is Somatic EMDR?




As Sage Owl Therapy Services Owner and primary psychotherapist embarks on a new adventure of becoming a Certified Somatic EMDR Practitioner, it seemed like a good time to explain what Somatic EMDR is.


In the realm of therapy and trauma treatment, innovative approaches continuously emerge to address the intricate connections between mind and body. Somatic Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is one such modality gaining attention for its holistic approach to healing. In this blog post, we'll delve into what somatic EMDR is, how it works, and its potential benefits in the therapeutic journey.


What is Somatic EMDR? Somatic EMDR blends two powerful therapeutic modalities: somatic experiencing and EMDR therapy. Somatic experiencing focuses on releasing trauma stored in the body, while EMDR therapy targets traumatic memories through bilateral stimulation, typically through eye movements. Somatic EMDR integrates these techniques to address both the physical and emotional aspects of trauma.


How Does Somatic EMDR Work? Central to somatic EMDR is the recognition that trauma manifests not only in the mind but also in the body. Traditional EMDR therapy primarily focuses on processing traumatic memories through cognitive and emotional channels. However, somatic EMDR expands this approach by incorporating body-based interventions to access and release stored trauma.


During a somatic EMDR session, the therapist guides the client through bilateral stimulation while simultaneously encouraging them to tune into bodily sensations and experiences. This might involve focusing on areas of tension, discomfort, or physical manifestations of trauma. By combining bilateral stimulation with somatic awareness, clients can access and process trauma from a holistic perspective.


Benefits of Somatic EMDR:

  1. Holistic Healing: Somatic EMDR acknowledges the interconnectedness of mind and body, providing a comprehensive approach to trauma resolution.

  2. Increased Awareness: Clients develop a deeper understanding of how trauma is stored and expressed in the body, fostering greater self-awareness and empowerment.

  3. Enhanced Regulation: By addressing physiological responses to trauma, somatic EMDR helps clients regulate their nervous system and manage emotional distress more effectively.

  4. Targeted Treatment: Somatic EMDR allows therapists to target trauma on multiple levels, addressing both cognitive and somatic components simultaneously.

  5. Lasting Results: By targeting trauma at its source and integrating body-based techniques, somatic EMDR can lead to profound and enduring healing.

Conclusion: Somatic EMDR represents a significant advancement in trauma therapy, offering a holistic approach to healing that honors the interconnectedness of mind and body. By integrating somatic awareness with bilateral stimulation, this innovative modality empowers clients to access and process trauma on multiple levels, leading to profound transformation and lasting recovery. Whether used in conjunction with traditional EMDR therapy or as a standalone approach, somatic EMDR holds immense promise for those seeking healing from trauma.

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