Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP) is a body-oriented, talking therapy that recognises the importance of the therapist-client relationship, and incorporates the body into clinical practice as an avenue for discovery and healing.
This gentle therapy enables clients to discover and change habitual, automatic physical and psychological patterns that impede optimal functioning and enjoyment of life. SP is helpful in working with dysregulated arousal and other effects of trauma and abuse, as well as the emotional pain and limiting belief systems of developmental issues. The SP therapist helps clients capitalise on their strengths, while providing enough challenge to stimulate growth, encouraging long lasting and holistic change.
In session, instead of focusing only on talking, the client is guided to become mindfully aware of present moment experience that are related to symptoms, life issues, and relational difficulties. By cultivating this awareness opportunities that draw upon the natural wisdom of the body and mind and the innate drive to heal, adapt, and develop new capacities emerge spontaneously.
The multifaceted language of the body depicts a lifetime of joys, sorrows, and challenges, revealed in patterns of tension, movement, gesture, posture, breath, rhythm, prosody, facial expression, sensation, physiological arousal, gait, and other action sequences. These implicit, automatic physical habits developed in a context of trauma and attachment inadequacy.
The effects of both negative and positive experiences of the past are held in the body, and they can continue to affect us in our everyday life. Unlike traditional talking-therapies that often focus on thoughts and re-telling stories, SP explores cues from the body that highlight how both strengths and past hurts can show up today in our habits of posture and movement, our body sensations, as well as what we pay attention to, our emotional bias, and our beliefs. Thus, the language of the body becomes a vehicle for understanding human behaviour and as a target of therapeutic action.
The intelligence of our bodies is not static. It emerges out of our ever-changing experience with others, the world, and ourselves. The psychological quest to discover the emergent intelligence of our bodies requires a leap into the unknown and a welcome attitude toward what we might discover. With curiosity and willingness to explore the body, along with compassion for ways the body adapted in the past, we can better draw upon its wisdom. In SP, this means cultivating a mindful awareness of the body and its relationship to emotions and thoughts, and then experimenting with different movements or postures to support a change in procedural learning.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy seeks to go beyond helping clients become aware of the body. We seek a shift in the physical habits of organization - how information is processed on a bodily level - which requires that the movements, gestures, and postures that reflect and sustain the limiting effects of trauma and developmental injuries are explored in such a way that they start to change spontaneously along with the concomitant beliefs and emotions. In this way movement vocabulary is enriched and expanded.
More info at: https://sensorimotorpsychotherapy.org/about/