QUOTES FROM THIS EPISODE
[Therapist] relevance dwindles because we have been so focused on theoretical constructs; thinking as the problem or behavior as the problem and really slow to incorporate somatic pieces.
This information has been out there and therapy has absolutely lagged when it comes to the somatic pieces of change.
When it comes to the somatic pieces of change, there’s really no prescribed norms of behavior.
I can see why psychology has been reluctant to adopt the somatic pieces of change. It’s not about diagnosis. We don’t get to hide behind our diagnoses anymore… and that makes us less special.
Our behavior is largely dictated by what state we are in and what types of behavior that gives us access to.
We don’t do prosocial behavior unless we’re in our safety state and able to do that.
Rather than thoughts and behaviors being the priority, in my opinion it’s the somatic aspects.
[Change is about] mindfully being with the somatic aspects, self-regulating on a very nervous system level and then behaviors and thoughts change.
In my opinion, if you don’t have [somatic knowledge] as a therapist, you are way behind. And in my opinion you are doing a disservice to your clients…
Having more energy before a session is not a bad thing. It’s just about - can you contain it? Can you feel it? Can you use it appropriately? If you lose access to your safety, then it becomes a problem.
From Libby via Instagram
Hello. I wanted to reach out and thankyou for your podcast. I am only 7 episodes in. I am a CBT and ACT therapist and struggle myself. There is something missing from these therapies. The body. I am so interested in polyvagal theory and I'm hoping it will really help me and my clients. I have a question if that's OK. Since listening to your podcast, I have been reflecting on how I am not often in a safe and social state during sessions (I am a bit hyped up and worried about not being helpful). I have been trying to do belly breathing before and during sessions. Anything else you would recommend? Thank you again. I think I've found the missing piece!!!!!
SOMATIC PIECES MISSING FROM THERAPY
Psychology has dominated the thought world.
The world of theory, relationship, behavior
We have owned the world of mental health as a thinking problem, as a behavioral problem
And we have increasingly become more relevant as mental health seems to be declining along with a higher awareness of and encouragement in mental wellness
A need for effective services to help people change, not for therapy
But the internet has made it very very easy for others to provide a similar service
Coaches of all kinds: relationship, business, trauma
Somatic Experiencing isn’t coaching, it’s a modality that focuses on trauma
But we’ve lagged in the somatic world
Now we see we aren’t super special and other people are filling the need for change agents
Because it’s not exclusively ours
Everyone owns a piece of the somatic pie
This is just biology that can be adjusted through mindfulness
No prescribed norms of behavior that we have authority over
Just what behavior and interactions are ideal for biological survival
Psychology has had a hold over what is “normal”
When it comes to biology, it’s about what is ideal on an evolutionary level
Psychology has had a hold over what is “abnormal” or “disordered”
When it comes to biology, bx and thought is about survival always
So why has psychology been slow to incorporate this?
Because we aren’t special anymore
We don’t have control over what is normal or abnormal, just biology, just evolution
THERAPISTS GROUNDING BEFORE SESSION
Common for therapists to feel anxious during the session
We want to help, we want to be relevant, we want to help people meet their goal(s)
So we’re excited about our role and helping
Reframe - We’re excited to help
But excitement requires continued access to our safety state
When we’re enough dysregulated, we tend to fill up time, fill up silence
Story follows state so we worry about if we’re helping
Deep breathing can be great to slow your system down and access more safety
Whatever works for the individual
Don’t worry about the right technical thing, just worry about what your body wants
SOMATIC CLUES IN THERAPY
Also keep in mind that what you’re feeling in session could be empathy
A slight sensation of disconnection might be a hint as to what they are feeling
Discern what is your sensation, from you and what is your sensation from empathy
Picking up the cues of the client’s body
If it’s your own sensation, figure out what grounds you