Somatic therapy is a form of body-centered therapy that looks at the connection of mind and body and uses both psychotherapy and physical therapies for holistic healing. In addition to talk therapy, somatic therapy practitioners use mind-body exercises and other physical techniques to help release the pent-up tension that negatively affects a patient’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
Practitioners of somatic therapy address what they see as a split between the body. Instead, they believe mind and body are intimately connected, though not always in apparent ways. Thought, emotions, and sensations are all believed to be interconnected and influence one another.
If talk therapy has reached its limits for a patient, somatic therapy holds that the body is a largely untapped resource for psychotherapy. These resources include what can be learned from one’s gestures, posture, facial expressions, eye gaze, and movement.
Somatic therapies of different kinds have been practiced for centuries. Fundamentally, yoga and meditation can be considered somatic therapies, and both are often incorporated into guided treatments. Modern somatic therapy can take many forms:
Somatics: A broad term, somatics focuses on body movement as a means to improve mental health. Its history dates back to physical education movements of the 19th century, and included many practices, including yoga, pilates, and judo. Among the most prominent schools of somatics is that created by Thomas Hanna, who, in the 1970s, introduced and named the concept of “Somatics.” He theorizes that for sufferers of chronic pain , a significant amount is a result of “sensory motor amnesia,” in which neurons in the brain have lost their ability to properly control muscle tissue. He believes that through education, mindfulness , and vigorous, intentional movements akin to physical therapy, a patient can reinvigorate their mind-body pathways and relieve chronic pain.
Somatic Experiencing: In the 1970s, Peter Levine developed a version of somatic therapy called “somatic experiencing,” which came, in part, out of
and his observation of animals. He posited that when humans experience trauma, they can become trapped in the “freeze” part of the fight, flight, or freeze response. His idea is that we remain frozen in many parts of life as a reaction to a traumatic experience. These frozen parts of ourselves accumulate energy as they should, but expend it in ways, that are counterproductive to a healthy life, such as through stress and anxiety . The goal of somatic experiencing is to redirect this energy in healthier directions.
Hakomi Method: Also developed in the 1970s, by Ron Kurtz, the Hakomi method emphasizes the physical nature of how we live in our bodies. It relies on deep and sustained mindfulness. The therapy may not involve any bodywork, as the therapist will guide the patient’s attention to their bodies verbally. Non-violence is a guiding principle for the method.
Sensorimotor Therapy: In the 1980s and 90s, Pat Ogden helped create the field of “sensorimotor therapy.” Drawing on the fundamentals of the Hakomi method, sensorimotor therapy incorporates ideas from cognitive behavioral therapy and neuroscience
There are many more types. What underlies all somatic therapies is the belief that the body can manifest mental unease and can also help heal it.
What is Somatic Therapy?
Somatic Therapy uses the body as its starting point for healing. The word “somatic” is derived from the Greek word “soma” which means “living body.” It is a holistic form of counseling that goes beyond traditional talk therapy and is grounded in the relationship between the mind and the body. Learn more about somatic healing and the history of Somatic Therapy here.
Somatic Therapy Training
For over 30 years, Somatic Therapy Master Teachers Joe Weldon and Noël Wight have been training practitioners on how to touch people and transform their lives. At The Somatic Therapy Center, along with an experienced faculty, they offer an advanced body mind training that goes beyond traditional talk therapy and that has passed the test of time. Somatic Therapy is a clinically tested method for treating trauma.
Using all available technologies, the Somatic Therapy program combines the ease of learning from home through webinars and video with the invaluable experience of hands-on practical training in a community of fellow travelers.
Whether you want to use the skills you acquire to start your own Somatic Therapy practice, or to enhance the work you are already doing, the Somatic Therapy Center offers you an opportunity to take the next step in your career.
Could I be a Practitioner?
Transformative Touch Training provides you an opportunity to offer your clients a pathway to Relief, Recovery, and Renewal through somatic healing.
Whether you are…
- seeking a new career and being called to your life’s work through the healing arts
- a talk therapist who is ready to discover how a body-integrated approach can help you move your clients to healing and wholeness
- a bodyworker interested in somatic massage therapy who is looking to increase professional development by learning how emotions, memories, and beliefs are stored in the body
Transformative Touch is more than talk therapy, it is a mindbody technique that teaches you to use the power of combining gentle touch and compassionate dialogue to awaken the inner resources that bring relief and ease to your clients’ lives.
“As a massage therapist I was feeling frustrated..I felt my clients needed something more and I was looking for the missing piece that could help them.”
~ JC, Massage Therapist
“I knew that my decision to say yes to this training was the first step of many in coming home to myself.”
~ JM, Massage Therapist
“The training expanded my skills as a healing practitioner, as well as transformed my healing practice and my life.”
~ AM, Energy Practitioner
“When I found this training I found an approach which integrated touch , presence & awareness to support wholeness.”
~ C H, Physical Therapist
“The focus on the wisdom of the body offered me a simple and fundamental paradigm shift. …(i am) able to utilize my client’s experiences to assist them in employing their body as a resource in their own healing and recovery.”
~J G, Social Worker
“I wanted to help others experience the body as a resource to deal with the stress & challenges in life.”
~ AW, Psychotherapist
“Something came alive in me during the training; something that had long been neglected and ignored.I felt I had found my true work.”
~ CB Marketing Director
“Making this career change has been food for my soul.”
~ BG, Corporate Manager
Somatic Healing: Touching People, Transforming Lives
At The Somatic Therapy Center we hold the conviction that the BODY is the Keeper of Truth..the Holder of Wisdom and the Wayshower to Wholeness and Health.
TOUCH is the Gateway.
YOU are the Guide.
TRANSFORMATION is the journey.
With this somatic therapy training, you can use the skills you acquire to start your own practice or to enhance work you are already doing. Read a case study here.
Level One Overview
Level One is our “essential” training level for in it we focus on the “essence” of Transformative Touch and it forms the ground for all that follows. The overarching goal is learning how the body is a reliable resource, ally and guide for your life and how to tune into the sensations of the body as the communicators of its knowings.
Level Two Overview
In Level Two our focus is on the body of emotions. Resourcing the Body, you will guide your clients along the path of emotional competence. You will help them befriend their emotions and recognize that emotions are a full-body experience
Level Three Overview
In Level Three the body remains the resource, but the but the focus expands to include an exploration of the relationships, both internal and external.You will recognize and help repair core beliefs, family of origin dynamics, and other relational injuries that are imprinted on the soma and the psyche.
Level 1 Details and Costs
Over the course of 8 months, you will learn:
- The important role of Safety in the healing process
- The physiological basis of safety and how to help clients self-regulate.
- How to help clients tune into the wisdom of their body.
- How to support clients in listening to the sensations of their body and tap their body of knowledge.
- The importance of intention in touch.
- To develop a Touch of Presence.
- The role of touch in human development throughout our lifespan.
- The art of self-care in working with clients
- The essential elements of the collaborative therapeutic relationship.
- The importance and value of bodymind connection and how to impart this to your clients so that they can relieve chronic tension and stress, free themselves from pain, improve self-awareness, transform old patterns and make new choices which allow them to be fully alive to their life.
With our foundational Level One course in Somatic Therapy, you will be given all the essential skills necessary to help your clients heal holistically – heart, mind, body, and soul.Over the course of 8 months, you will learn:
Convenient Affordable and Effective
The good news is that most of the somatic therapy training can be done from the comfort of your own home. You will have:
- 15 webinars and home assignments which support two 6 day and one 3-day onsites. During the onsites you will learn the hands on combined with the verbal dialogue.
- Practice client hours with 5 one-to-one mentoring sessions with our experienced faculty members.
- It is experiential training with lots of individualized attention and care.
- Community is at the heart of the program.
Click here to view our upcoming dates.
Curriculum and Materials
Enrollment in this 250 hour somatic therapy training course includes:
- Instructional videos of the 2 bodymind sequences which will help you learn how to LISTEN to your body through movement and to heighten awareness of the bodymind connection.
- Demonstration videos by the founders Joe Weldon & Noël Wight.
- 17 webinars – These introduce the foundational principles of Transformative Touch, Safety and the role of the polyvagal nerve, the relevance of tone and attuned responses of the therapist, the importance of touch in human development and its part in the healing process. Additional topics include relational skills, bodymind education, ethics as well as business development including marketing and practice-building techniques. These webinars are LIVE and they are all recorded and available .
- Web Access to relevant course articles
- Two 6 day on-site and one 3 day on-site for hands-on learning experiences with an outstanding faculty as well as Co-directors Joe Weldon & Noël Wight
- 25 practice client sessions
- 5 individual mentoring sessions
- 1 curriculum guide
- 7 body wisdom guided meditations
- clinical forms templates
- 27 Massage & Bodyworker CE credits for somatic massage therapy
The Somatic Therapy Center is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider and is also sponsored by NCBTMB to teach New York LMTs continuing education that is accepted by the state of New York for license renewal.
A value of $6995
Offered to you for
(Installment plans are available!). $ 1497.00 x 3
$ 793.00 x 6
For further information on other plans, reach out at [email protected]
(Travel, room & board fee, and private sessions are not included in the cost of tuition)
100% Money back guarantee within the first 30 days of the program if you are not totally satisfied. No questions asked
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Questions? Ask us any question about the Somatic Therapist Training Program and we’ll help you get clear so you know if it’s the right fit for you.
Interested in learning more about somatic massage therapy? Reach out to us at [email protected] to learn more about our programs.
The certification process has several steps:
Complete the application and pay the $250 certification fee.
Complete an online written test covering the understanding of the principles of Somatic Therapy and its application through Transformative Touch.
Send a video of a 50-55 minute session which demonstrates the skill competency of the level for which you are seeking certification.
Do you need a degree in Somatic Therapy to become a Somatic Therapist?
No, you don’t. Certification involves study, research, hours, and practice. Some schools do offer programs in Somatic Therapy, including Antioch University and Washington University. These certifications are part of a larger study of psychotherapy not required for practitioners.
Recommended articles, books, and films for somatic healing practitioners can be found here.
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