All You Need to Know About Somatic Therapy

Somatic therapy, also called somatic experiencing therapy, is a type of therapy that aims to treat PTSD and other mental and emotional health issues by focusing on the connection between the mind and body. This approach puts the body at the center of the treatment, helping to release stress, tension, and trauma from the body.

Somatic therapy differs from standard therapies like CBT because it focuses not only on the mind but also on the body. It uses body-oriented techniques such as dance, breathwork, and meditation to promote mental healing. A somatic therapy session also includes talk therapy and mind-body exercises.

Types of Somatic Therapy

Somatic therapy is an approach to therapy that focuses on the connection between mind and body to promote emotional healing and well-being. 

There are several types of somatic therapies, including:

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

This therapy combines somatic and cognitive techniques to address emotional distress and trauma. It emphasizes the awareness of bodily sensations, movements, and postures to facilitate the processing and integration of traumatic experiences stored in the body. 

The Hakomi Method

This is a body-centered psychotherapy that combines mindfulness, somatics, and non-violent communication. It explores how unconscious beliefs and experiences manifest in the body and aims to create mindfulness-based experiences that promote healing and transformation. 

Bioenergetic Analysis

This therapy focuses on the relationship between the mind and body, particularly the energetic patterns and emotional expressions stored in the body. Through exercises, breathwork, and body awareness techniques, it aims to release tension and promote emotional release and self-awareness. 

Biodynamic Psychotherapy

This therapy integrates psychoanalytic principles with body-oriented techniques. It emphasizes the body's innate capacity for self-regulation and healing, working with the body's rhythms, impulses, and energetic processes to support psychological growth and well-being. 


This is a therapeutic approach that targets and processes traumatic experiences and deep emotional issues by accessing the brain's natural healing mechanisms. Therapists use eye positions to locate and process unresolved trauma and activate the client's innate capacity for healing.


Somatic therapy is based on the concept that our experiences and emotions are not just stored in our minds but also our bodies. It is a holistic approach to therapy that involves both discussing your problems and paying attention to the physical sensations in your body. Somatic therapy techniques include:

  • Developing a greater awareness of your body and its sensations
  • Calling upon emotional resources
  • Grounding
  • Encouraging detailed descriptions
  • Movement, including acting out of physical feelings
  • Learning tools to calm oneself
  • Strengthening boundaries
  • Alternating focus between something stressful and something not stressful to help release tension
  • Replaying past situations with new physical tools
  • Emotional release

What Somatic Therapy Can Help With

Anyone can benefit from somatic therapy, which is an alternative to traditional talk therapy. This therapeutic technique is used to treat a variety of physical and mental health conditions.

Mental health issues that somatic therapy is used for include:

  • PTSD
  • Addiction
  • Grief
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

Physically, somatic therapy may assist with:

  • Chronic pain
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Digestive disorders

Important Things to Consider

When it comes to therapy, it is important to make sure that you are in the right emotional and mental state to handle complex emotions. If you are doing somatic therapy in person, touch may be involved. Therefore, it is important to be comfortable with being touched by another person.

Boundaries and consent are crucial in touch, and you will never be touched without your consent. Somatic therapy is generally considered safe and does not have any unique risks associated with it.

How to Get Started

If you're interested in trying somatic therapy, follow these tips to get started.

Find a Therapist

To begin somatic therapy, the first step is to find a therapist located in your area. You should decide whether you prefer an in-person or virtual session, and if you prefer in-person, you can include your location in your search. If you are looking for touch-oriented treatments, an in-person experience would be highly recommended. You can search online for therapists who offer telehealth sessions if you prefer virtual therapy.