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What “Somatic” Means and Why You’d Want to Know

Years ago, when I was a newly enrolled massage therapy student, I noticed the word somatic in a class titled “Psycho-Somatic Principles.” Like most people, I’d heard that psychosomatic meant an illness that was “all in your head.” But beyond that, I didn’t know much. And I had no idea then that my passion for bodywork would eventually lead me to a degree in somatic psychology. This post begins a...
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Does Somatic Experiencing Really Work?

In this TED Talk, speaker and trainer Monica LeSage shares her experience with Somatic Experiencing. It was instrumental in the long road of her recovery from a major automobile accident over ten years ago. It's true there is no "one size fits all" approach to trauma healing. At the same time, Monica's story illustrates how well-positioned Somatic Experiencing is to treat the resulting symptoms of shock trauma. Her story may...
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What Is Somatic Experiencing?

“What is Somatic Experiencing?” You’ve probably asked yourself this question if you’ve been reading up on somatic ways to heal trauma. Most of us are familiar with traditional approaches to trauma healing like talk therapy or pharmaceuticals. Somatic approaches to mental health care like Somatic Experiencing (SE) are not as well known but on the rise. In this post I’ll explain how SE works, for what kinds of trauma it’s...
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Creating Lasting Change: Part Two

4 Ways to Create and Examine Lasting Change, Continued. Certain types of change cannot be efforted As New Year’s Day draws closer, I’m sitting down again to consider more aspects of creating personal change. In the post Creating Lasting Change: Part One, I explored how lasting change happens incrementally. It's also more likely to occur when motivated by authentic desire as opposed to an external agenda.  Part Two looks more...
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Creating Lasting Change: Part One

4 Ways to Create and Examine Lasting Change Dietary supplements, self-help books promising lasting change, gym memberships, storage containers… the list could go on and on. These products grab for our attention each January and with good reason. If it isn’t the excess of the holidays that creates a momentum toward change, then it’s the turn of the calendar to a new year that prompts you to consider areas of...
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Defining Trauma: What is Trauma?

Defining Trauma: What is Trauma? As a trauma specialist, I’m often asked, “How do you define trauma?” Trauma is a word we hear and use often, but what does it really mean? Before defining trauma, it’s important to acknowledge that while tidy definitions are helpful, the essence of trauma is anything but.  Trauma is often explained through many lenses. My own understanding is influenced by the leading voices in the...
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