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Body psychotherapy is about all of you... your mind and your body.


Perhaps you have noticed physical symptoms when you are feeling under the weather?

Perhaps you have felt an uncomfortable sense of disconnect between mind and body for a while?


If your answer is “yes” to both or either of the above, then body psychotherapy could help you.

Sitting on a Bench

How Can Body Psychotherapy Actually Help?

This holistic approach to treatment works to address concerns of the mind and body as one. Advocates of body psychotherapy believe that many issues impacting emotional well-being result from continuous repression of traumatic or harmful memories, which are held within the body. These effects may then be experienced through as physical concerns, such as headaches, insomnia, fatigue, and chronic pain—through what is known as somatisation. The extent of the somatisation might also impact a person’s daily functioning, affecting their relationships, intimacy and mood.

People who have experienced trauma or abuse may find that body psychotherapy helps them find an alternative, gentler, approach to working through the negative impact and lingering effects of these occurrences. This therapy may also be beneficial to people who are attempting to recover from addiction.  The harmful effects of loss may also be mitigated through body psychotherapy.

Body psychotherapy is also an effective method of treating anxiety.  Body psychotherapy works well for anxiety-related issues because anxiety is experienced both physically and emotionally; the therapeutic work that is body psychotherapy can help people relieve the tension they experience as a result of their anxiety. 

Lotus Pose

What is Somatisation?

Somatisation occurs when psychological concerns are converted into physical symptoms. For example, a person who has just lost a loved one may somatise their grief through severe fatigue. The prefix “soma” stems from the Greek word for body.
Somatic symptoms can range from joint pain to temporary loss of vision. Though they have no underlying physical cause, somatic symptoms are very real. 

Most people experience somatisation at some point in their lives. Throwing up from anxiety, having a headache due to stress, or feeling physically weak after trauma are all examples of somatisation. But these instances are typically situational and temporary. 

Somatisation becomes an issue when it causes prolonged and severe distress.
An individual may interpret their symptoms as a bodily illness and see a clinician, but the doctor will rarely find a physical explanation for the person’s symptoms. If they do find a physical problem, the symptoms will likely be unrelated to or out of proportion with the person’s condition (for example, someone who broke their ankle in a football game may report breathing issues.)

Somatic symptoms are not fake or imaginary. People experiencing somatisation are not pretending to be sick for personal gain either, the distress is real. Body psychotherapists believe that individuals with these issues deserve as much compassion as those with a physical diagnoses.

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