Somatic therapy is bringing the body into therapeutic work and stems from the belief that the mind and body are connected.

A simplified way to look at it is being curious about how the body responds to thoughts, feelings, stressors. Similarly, it is noticing how our thoughts, values, beliefs, emotions respond or change when we pay attention to our body.

Somatic based therapy can help add more elements to coping with anxiety, depression, big emotions, and unpleasant body sensations. These all aim to increase internal resources for clients to better self-regulate and tolerate larger emotions, feelings, sensations, stressors without feeling flooded, overwhelmed, or reacting. Typically, somatic-based psychotherapy includes a combination of talk therapy and somatic therapy in addressing client’s goals.

There are countless ways to do this, and, at its core, somatic therapy is acknowledging that the body is responding to and impacted by stress, tension, anxiety, depression, trauma, or other mental challenges. 

Are you ready to give somatic-based therapy a try? 

  • Education of physiology
  • Body work
  • Breath work
  • Dance
  • Yoga

Other types of somatic therapies include:

  • Nervous system education
  • Somatic Experiencing®
  • Safe and Sound Protocol
  • Mindfulness
  • Movement 
  • Self-regulation skills

I am trained in and utilize the following somatic-based therapy techniques:

If you’re interested in learning more about Somatic Experiencing®, explore the Somatic Experiencing® International website — or schedule your free consultation with me to see if it’s a good fit.

Somatic Experiencing® (SE™) is a modality to work with trauma and other stress-related disorders and dysfunction in the body. It is body-oriented and nervous-system oriented. This approach helps clients complete self-protection responses (fight/flight/freeze) and release energy held in the body. It is intended to gently guide clients towards increasing tolerance for uncomfortable feelings, thoughts, and body sensations.

In this way, SE™ can address root causes of trauma symptoms. This can look like learning about the nervous system, its various patterns of self-protection (fight/flight/freeze), the different ways it can regulate, and noticing the ways in which the nervous system is already regulating itself. Some of these avenues of regulation I explore with clients include sensation, meaning making, emotion, imagery, movement, and the five senses. With SE™, I work in the present moment. Often these present nervous system responses are patterns from past experiences which allows clients to work on past trauma without needing to retell the story or even have full memories of what happened.

Additionally, in working in the present, it is much easier to go at a pace that feels “right.” SE™ values going at the pace of the nervous system, which for many is slower than they would like. The benefit of this, is that whatever processing happens typically has more time to integrate for longer change in stress responses and regulation. The slower pace can decrease feelings of overwhelm, rawness, or “too much” in trauma-focused work.

So what is Somatic Experiencing®?

In my work with clients with both burnout and chronic illness, I help identify these cycles and slow them down so they have more time to choose how they want to respond. I support my clients in noticing moments of safety (even if it is relative) and highlighting them to communicate safety to their body and nervous system. I help my clients learn and practice regulation tools that are supportive of their needs and day to day activities. I help clients develop a new relationship with their body, one that does not only include pain, tension, anxiety, or a symptom, but also includes okayness and maybe even pleasantness.

Are you ready to develop a new relationship with your body? 

Dysfunction in the nervous system can arise when it is unable to recognize that it has survived and is no longer in an environment that is threatening. With increasing demands from work, it can be easy to find yourself stuck in “on” mode and difficult to turn that off after work or even after the problem was solved. This tends to happen in those with chronic illness as their nervous system continues to react to various external and internal elements (allergens, toxins, foods, chemicals, pain, and more). This reinforces the nervous system bracing itself for threats, so it continues to go through cycles of self-protection. These cycles reinforce the stress responses in the body, which results in both a physical and mental toll on the body that can manifest in various symptoms connected to burnout or illness flare ups.

You’re likely asking yourself how Somatic Experiencing® can help you navigate your burnout or chronic illness?

To learn more, Integrated Listening offers a good overview on SSP, the research around the Safe and Sound Protocol, and Polyvagal Theory.

If you think Safe and Sound might be a good fit for you, reach out and schedule a time to talk! 

SSP is delivered through over-the-ear headphones (non-noise canceling) and can be facilitated in-person or remotely. There are 5 hours of filtered music with additional playlists of unfiltered music to support relaxation and integration of the filtered music.

I combine SSP with SE™ work to help clients explore different aspects of regulation, safety, and calm that may be challenging to access initially. Music and the auditory sense is sometimes a more easily-accessible starting point for clients, who are developing awareness of their bodies and how it responds to stress. It can be challenging to have a baseline understanding and sense of calm and regulation, when we haven’t experienced it for a long time (or ever). I find that SSP can be helpful intervention to slowly start establishing this baseline.

It is created to be used in tandem with other therapeutic modalities such as talk therapy, Somatic Experiencing®, occupational therapy, etc. It is a listening therapy and uses filtered music to stimulate the vagus nerve for safety. This tool helps clients to connect to themselves, others, and their environment with physiological cues for safety. Overall, SSP supports client’s physiology moving towards more tolerance of stress.

The core of the SSP is based in Dr. Steven Porges’ Polyvagal Theory. This theory is often termed the science of safety. It helps us understand how our nervous system and other systems in our body respond to and prepare to interact with the external environment. The theory helps us learn how what is going on inside our bodies — like the impacts of cues of safety or danger on our body — can impact our behavior.

Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is an evidence-based therapeutic tool, aimed at resetting the nervous system back to safety. 

Actions that move us towards goals and are aligned with our values.

Committed Action

We are more than our thoughts, emotions, and past experiences.

Self as Context

Acknowledging that we are not our thoughts or emotions, rather we have them. All thoughts and emotions are real, not all are true.

Cognitive Defusion

What is important to us.


Connecting to the present moment, being mindful of thoughts, emotions without judgment.

Be Present

Accepting all thoughts and emotions fully without trying to change or avoid them.


ACT is a form of behavioral therapy and very action oriented. It is in the same family as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). ACT focuses on learning to accept and be present with tough thoughts and emotions rather than avoid, minimize, or deny them. ACT helps to normalize experiencing tough emotions and thoughts, especially in response to certain life experiences and situations. ACT focuses on 6 principles that are interconnected:

Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) is another approach I use to help clients navigating complex chronic illness and burnout.

A phrase I find resonates with ACT is that it is “suffering gracefully.” This means that we are not trying to “fix” or avoid uncomfortable or unpleasant feelings and thoughts. Rather, we are able to be with those uncomfortable things in a way that allows us to stay connected to ourselves, others, the present moment, and what is important to us. It acknowledges that we go through ebbs and flows of things throughout our life, and ACT helps us recognize where we are in our ebb or flow and how to navigate the challenges and suffering that still allows for positive change.

Being in your body can be hard.

And therapeutic approaches like Somatic Experiencing®, the Safe and Sound Protocol, and ACT can help. Reach out today to get started — together. 

My practice is accepting and affirming for people of all identities, abilities, body sizes, and backgrounds. You are welcome here.