Whether it’s the death of a loved one, abuse, dysfunctional relationships, tragedy, emotional hardship, or neglect – any significant life event can leave lasting effects. But one thing that is often overlooked is that they can have equally lasting effects on our physical well-being as well.
A powerful connection exists between the mind and the body. For every feeling or thought, there is a corresponding reaction from the body. So when an individual experiences trauma in any form, it can create physical symptoms that also require treatment. While traditional therapy is about treating the mind – somatic therapy explores healing both the mind and body together.
What is Somatic Therapy?
Somatic therapy is an approach that centres on recognizing and releasing physical tension in the body. Often, individuals find themselves “stuck” in the aftermath of a traumatic event, unable to fully process what has happened both on a conscious and subconscious level. When this happens, it’s common to turn to addiction as a coping method instead of working through the events and restoring full health.
This type of therapy helps complete that process of negotiating all of the stages of trauma. Through a variety of techniques like breathing, meditation, yoga and mindfulness exercises, participants are guided through the slow release of energy, developing awareness of the trauma sensations. In this process of developing self-awareness, many experience deeper connections to oneself and to others, as well as restore confidence, resilience and vitality.
Somatic therapy is a very effective form of treatment for those who have experienced trauma, but also can be used to relieve issues connected to anxiety, stress, chronic pain, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse disorder. At Cedars, we offer somatic therapy sessions as part of our holistic addictions treatment approach for a full recovery, facilitated by experienced practitioner Geri Laurence. This additional healing modality is utilized by our patients by referral from their clinician. Our team of therapists and medical professionals determine who may be a fit for somatic therapy.
Together, we will help you uncover behavioural patterns and sensations that lie underneath your feelings so you can move forward in your complete recovery of mind, body and soul.
With over 27 years of experience working in addictions and disabilities, Geri has made it her life’s work to contribute to the health and welfare of others when they need it most. Training with world-renowned industry experts, she has both founded and worked with many different organizations that support some of society’s most vulnerable population. She is also a senior yoga instructor with 20+ years of experience. Currently, Geri is completing her degree as a Trauma Therapist at the University of British Columbia.
A member of our team for over 5 years, Geri facilitates somatic therapy sessions as part of our drug and alcohol treatment therapy. Her extensive knowledge of the body anatomy and physiology, deep empathy with each person she works with, and the thorough understanding of body-emotion connection makes Geri’s work so precious. Through a gentle and uplifting approach, Geri aims to help individuals let go of who they think they are supposed to be and embrace who they are in the moment, here and now.