Somatic Experiencing Touch
Many therapies utilize touch, including massage, physiotherapy, and bodywork. Each therapeutic approach has a specific orientation and focus. The option to include physical touch in our work together can be a useful tool to support a healthy range of regulation and stability in the nervous system and other body systems.
Incorporating Somatic Experiencing Touch therapy can help bring positive change more rapidly and at deeper levels than can be accomplished through talk therapy alone. SE Touch can also be used together with talk therapy to deepen the process and provide support when needed.
SE Touch is applied with hands and occasionally with forearm contact. SE Touch is done fully clothed, is not used to manipulate the body and is never sexual in nature. Touch can be applied with the client in a seated position or lying face-up on a comfortable massage table.
Some examples of times when touch can be helpful are:
- Identifying an area of the body for focus and tracking internal reactions.
- Supporting an area of the body to relax.
- Containing and processing difficult emotions.
- Engaging a reflexive action or defence.
- Providing an individual with positive sensation or a healthy body function. For example, pressure on the feet can enhance a sense of grounding.
- Calming an anxiety response by supporting the brain stem or the kidney/adrenal area.
- Connecting with tissue memory.
- Increasing blood flow to damaged tissue.
Ideally, our earliest experiences of being soothed, nurtured and held in a bonded relationship happen through touch. However, some of the deepest shock experiences held in the body occur when we are so young that our brains and nervous system are not yet sufficiently developed to process those experiences cognitively. When working through early developmental disturbances, touch can be an essential part of the renegotiation process.
“Several researchers report how touch enhances therapeutic alliance…Therapists’ congruent, invited, and appropriate non-sexual touch is likely to increase a sense of empathy, sympathy, safety, calm, and comfort for clients…It can also significantly enhance clients’ sense of being heard, seen, understood and acknowledged by their therapists.”
Please feel free to ask me more about how SE Touch can support our work together.
Incorporating Somatic Experiencing Touch therapy can help bring positive change more rapidly and at deeper levels than can be accomplished through talk therapy alone.