Practitioners of somatic therapy know that minds and bodies are deeply interconnected and influence one another, often in unexpected ways. For example, there can be a vast difference between knowing something is not dangerous and feeling safe – our cognitive understanding is not always enough to calm our body’s habitual, protective response to difficult situations. This can explain why people report feeling like something has been missing from their experience of talk therapy, despite its success in generating self-awareness, connectedness, and insight. Somatic therapy seeks to enhance the connection of mind and body to help release negative physiological responses to stimuli that affect your physical and emotional wellbeing.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) is a somatic therapy that uses bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or alternating sounds, to process and release information trapped in the mind and body. It helps bring together what we know to be true (cognition) with our felt experience, so it frees people from disturbing images, body responses, debilitating emotions, and restrictive beliefs. EMDR has been extensively researched as treatment for PTSD and is considered an evidence-based therapy.
EMDR is an accelerated process, so it doesn’t take years to find liberation from sensations that have long felt stuck. It is also used to treat the psychological effects of smaller traumas that manifest in symptoms of depression, anxiety, phobias, low self-satisfaction, creativity blocks, and relationship difficulties. As a result of EMDR’s clearing of emotional and physical blockages, many people experience a new sense of joy, openness, and deep connection with others.