After we experience a trauma, expressing our thoughts and feelings to a therapist may not be enough. For many people, the effects of trauma, grief, or other negative experiences can lead to dissociation or discomfort with the body. In other words, sometimes there’s a physical side effect in addition to the cognitive and emotional effects of trauma. Patients facing these somatic symptoms of trauma may benefit from sensorimotor psychotherapy.
Developed by Dr. Pat Ogden, sensorimotor psychotherapy is a psychological approach that blends sensorimotor processing with emotional and cognitive processing. The primary focus of sensorimotor psychotherapy is to explore how trauma affects the body, and subsequently examine how a somatic experience may affect our cognitive and emotional processes. If you’re interested in learning more about sensorimotor psychotherapy, contact Gateway Counseling Center in Boynton Beach today at 561-468-6464.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
Sensorimotor psychotherapy is a unique approach to treating trauma and other mental health issues. Because it’s not as commonly used as traditional forms of psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, many patients have questions about how sensorimotor psychotherapy works. Below you’ll find some frequently asked questions and answers about sensorimotor psychotherapy to help you gain a better understanding of what it involves. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our counseling center to speak to a therapist about sensorimotor psychotherapy and if it’s right for you.
What does sensorimotor psychotherapy treat?
Sensorimotor psychotherapy can be used to treat a wide range of mental health issues. While some professionals will specifically recommend sensorimotor therapy to treat trauma, PTSD, grief, abuse, or anxiety disorders, anyone suffering mentally or emotionally is invited to explore sensorimotor psychotherapy.
Sensorimotor therapy can benefit those struggling with depression, panic attacks, anxiety, divorce, or even alcohol or drug abuse. If you believe that treating the physical side of your emotional discomfort can help, talk to a counselor about sensorimotor psychotherapy and if it might be right for you. At Gateway Counseling Center, we provide structured and safe sensorimotor psychotherapy sessions conducted by experienced therapists. Contact us today to learn more.
What’s involved in a typical sensorimotor psychotherapy session?
Sensorimotor therapy sessions will be different for every patient. The way in which sessions are conducted will depend on a variety of factors, such as the specifics of the trauma or mental health disorder, how long the patient has been suffering, the therapist’s techniques, and their physical and emotional state.
Since the focus of sensorimotor psychotherapy is to connect the body with the cognitive and emotional processes, it’s common for a therapist to begin by asking the patient to get into a calm or meditative state. This can help a patient focus on their physical reactions to the therapy. A therapist might ask a patient to close their eyes, breathe deeply, and connect with their body while working through a memory of a trauma or negative thoughts.
If the patient reports feeling anxious or scared, a sensorimotor therapist might ask where they feel this emotion in their body. Does their body feel warm? Does their heart begin to race? Do they feel weak in the knees? Is there a reaction in their stomach or chest? Are their muscles clenched?
By focusing on the physical symptoms of traumatic memories or negative thoughts, the patient can learn more about how triggers, thoughts, or emotions can create a physical reaction, such as stomach pains, muscle aches, or an increased heart rate. This can lead to new approaches to healing and the ability to control the debilitating physical effects that often accompany trauma.
What are the benefits of sensorimotor psychotherapy?
Many benefits come along with sensorimotor psychotherapy. While the benefits of each patient will vary according to their symptoms and therapy goals, some of the common positive effects of sensorimotor psychotherapy include:
- Gaining a better understanding of how mental health, emotional health, or a traumatic experience can affect the body.
- Becoming aware of triggers and how they can spark physical discomfort.
- Learning to control the stress response and calm the mind and body in moments of distress or high anxiety.
- Being able to focus more on thoughts and feelings without being overwhelmed by the somatic experience.
These are just a few ways that our sensorimotor therapy treatments can benefit our patients. Sensorimotor psychotherapy can help those struggling with a variety of mental health issues. To learn more about how sensorimotor psychotherapy can benefit you, contact Gateway Counseling Center in Boynton Beach today.
Is sensorimotor psychotherapy effective?
Yes, research shows that sensorimotor psychotherapy is an effective approach to treating mental and emotional distress, trauma, or other psychological issues. Of course, this type of treatment may not be suitable for every patient, but it has been shown to be effective in patients seeking to overcome a traumatic event and other mental health issues. For sensorimotor psychotherapy to be effective, it’s important for patients to fully commit to the treatment and be able to develop a sense of mindfulness.
How often will I need a sensorimotor therapy session?
The frequency and duration of sensorimotor therapy sessions will depend on the patient and their circumstances. Some patients may need frequent sessions over a longer period of time, while others may benefit from a short term approach. If you’re interested in trying sensorimotor psychotherapy and you’d like to learn more about the timeline of this healing technique, contact our counseling center today to speak with a therapist.
How can I find sensorimotor psychotherapy near me?
If you’re looking for a safe and welcoming environment to try sensorimotor psychotherapy, contact Gateway Counseling Center in Boynton Beach. Our therapists would be happy to explain how this method works and how it can benefit you. Sensorimotor psychotherapy has helped thousands of patients all over the world heal from trauma, overcome negative thinking processes, and control somatic reactions to distressing thoughts and emotions. If you’re looking for a comprehensive approach to healing, contact us today to learn more about sensorimotor psychotherapy.