Stones balancing with "mind" and "body" written on them

Somatic therapy is a holistic approach to mental health that focuses on the connection between the mind and body. It combines traditional talk therapy with physical therapies to address the impacts of trauma, stress, and anxiety. The core idea behind somatic therapy is that the body holds onto past trauma, which can manifest as physical symptoms or emotional distress. Through various techniques, somatic therapy helps you to release these stored tensions and promotes healing.

It also incorporates mindfulness,  body awareness, and physical exercises to promote your well-being and ability to have a deeper emotional healing. Somatic therapy is recommended to treat conditions like PTSD, chronic pain, and anxiety disorders. 

3 Key Components of Somatic Therapy

Learning

In the initial phase of somatic therapy, your therapy will educate you about the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and its role in trauma. They’ll also talk about what  somatic experiencing (SE) therapy is, how it works, and why understanding the ANS is important for addressing trauma.  

Resourcing

Resourcing is a technique used to help clients access positive memories and experiences that bring them comfort and joy. It could be a cherished place, a loved one, or a memorable event. These positive resources act as a counterbalance to the distressing sensations experienced during therapy and calm your nerves.

Titration

Titration involves revisiting traumatic memories in a controlled and gradual manner. It is a slow and careful process that helps clients address the physical sensations tied to their trauma without becoming overwhelmed. Your therapist will observe your movements and physical reactions, such as changes in heart rate or sensations of numbness, and guide you through the process.  

Pendulation

Pendulation refers to the natural rhythm of moving between states of tension and relaxation during therapy. As you revisit traumatic memories and experience the associated physical sensations, your therapist helps you transition to a more relaxed state using calming exercises and techniques.

a person sitting at a desk with headphones on while talking to a therapist on a computer screen.

How Does Somatic Therapy Work Online?

Online somatic therapy works just like traditional somatic therapy but in a virtual format. Therapy is conducted through a video call and makes it accessible to people who might not have local therapists available or who prefer the convenience of home sessions.

Therapists use secure video conferencing platforms to create a safe and confidential space for therapy sessions. They may start by discussing the client’s current state and identifying specific areas of tension or discomfort. Then, they guide the client through body awareness exercises, encouraging them to notice sensations and emotions as they arise.

For example, a therapist might ask a client to close their eyes and focus on their breathing, noticing any areas of tightness or discomfort. Your therapist can then provide real-time feedback and suggestions, which helps in releasing some tension instantly. It is just as effective online as in person, provided there is good communication and a strong therapeutic relationship.

What to Look for in an Online Somatic Therapist?

When seeking an online somatic therapist, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure a positive and effective therapeutic experience.

  1. Credentials and Experience: Look for a therapist with proper certifications, extensive experience in somatic therapy, and can legally practise in your province. Therapists should have specialised training in somatic practices and a solid understanding of how to adapt these techniques to an online format.
  2. Comfort with Technology: Since the therapy sessions will be conducted online, it’s important that the therapist is comfortable using video conferencing tools. They should be able to handle any technical issues and make sure therapy is conducted in a secure, confidential environment.  
  3. Personal Connection: During an initial consultation, assess whether you feel comfortable and understood by the therapist. A good somatic therapist will listen actively, show empathy, and adapt their approach to your specific needs.
  4. Flexibility and Adaptability: Every client’s needs are different, and a skilled somatic therapist in Ontario will tailor their techniques to suit each person. Look for a therapist who is flexible in their approach and willing to adjust their methods as necessary. 
  5. Client Testimonials and Reviews: Read reviews or testimonials from other clients to learn more about the therapist’s approach. You can also ask for references from past clients.

Somatic therapy is a holistic approach to mental health and focuses on mind-body connection. Jennifer Pinto offers virtual therapy to clients across Ontario and is experienced in trauma and grief. Please reach out to book a free consultation with her today.

Jennifer Pinto

Somatic therapy is a holistic approach to mental health that focuses on the connection between the mind and body. It combines traditional talk therapy with physical therapies to address the impacts of trauma, stress, and anxiety. The core idea behind somatic therapy is that the body holds onto past trauma, which can manifest as physical…

Hi, I am Jennifer Pinto. I am a registered Social Worker and obtained my Masters' Degree from University of Toronto in 2010 with a specialization in Children and Families. I also completed an Honors BA in Psychology and Women's Studies from York University in 2003.

For more than 20 years I've worked with various populations and different settings ranging from pediatric healthcare, mental health community agencies and education systems.

https://jenniferpintopsychotherapy.ca/