Things like perfectionism, stress, and the constant demands of our fast-paced world have left many of us feeling disconnected from our own bodies and weighing us down, keeping us from achieving our true potential. In pursuing “success,” we often neglect the vital connection between our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Somatic coaching is the bridge that connects the body, brain, and heart, offering a powerful path to holistic transformation.
This blog post delves into the world of somatic coaching, exploring its origins, practices, and the art of reconnecting with your own body and heart to create lasting positive changes. Keep reading to learn more about how somatic coaching can support your journey of self-discovery.
What is Somatic Coaching?
Somatic coaching is so much more than just a buzzword; it’s powerful support that helps us tap into our body’s intelligence. In a time when stress and disconnection are all too common, this approach offers a fresh perspective on personal growth. But what is somatic coaching, and how does it work?
At its core, somatic coaching recognizes the profound connection between our mind and body. It embraces the idea that the mind is not a separate entity but rather an integral part of the whole body. The term “somatic” traces its roots to the ancient Greek word “soma,” meaning the living body. It’s a way of tapping into our body’s innate wisdom to acknowledge its role in shaping our physical health, emotional, and overall well-being.
What separates somatic coaching from life coaching or other fields of coaching is the unique integration of somatic practices as a backbone of coaching sessions. Somatic coaching takes into account your entire body- how your body, brain, and heart all work together with your nervous system, while more traditional forms of coaching focus solely on changing your mindset and reframing your thoughts.
The Emergence of Somatic Coaching
Somatic coaching, as an emergent field, has been influenced by contributions from early pioneers of somatic therapy, such as Dr. Peter Levine and Wilhelm Reich. Dr. Peter Levine has been one of my teachers through his program “Somatic Experiencing.” Somatic Experiencing has influenced many principles underpinning somatic coaching practices today.
Richard Strozzi-Heckler was also a contributing visionary in the field of somatic coaching. He founded the Strozzi Institute, a pioneering somatic school that played a pivotal role in the field of somatic coaching.
Somatic coaching acknowledges that we are whole, connected between our mind and spirit. The spirit resides within us and promotes somatic awareness—an innate connection with our body’s wisdom. This is a stark contrast from other coaching methods that may focus solely on the power of the mind.
Awareness of this mind-body-heart connection often serves as the first step towards creating positive transformation in our lives. It provides a powerful way to address the deep-seated sense of disconnection that many people grapple with today, often stemming from childhood wounds and old patterns that no longer serve them.
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The Art of Using Somatic Coaching
The art of somatic coaching is so much more than techniques; it is a holistic approach that combines science, clinical research, and body-based approaches, along with developing a resonance field with the client. As a somatic coach, I bring my embodied presence and deep connection to my client’s experiences into play. This involves creating a safe and empathetic space where clients can explore their physical sensations, emotions, and thought patterns without judgment.
My goal as a somatic coach is to guide clients on a transformative journey involving reconnecting them with their body’s innate wisdom and supporting them to create positive changes in their physical health and emotional well-being. Somatic coaches may use various techniques, depending on their experience and training, including breathing exercises and physical movement, while also reading your body language or how your body is responding throughout the session. Two of my favorite research-based approaches are EFT tapping (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and Somatic Experiencing, which are techniques I utilize to facilitate a client’s transformation.
EFT Tapping: Unlocking Emotional Freedom
Emotional Freedom Techniques, often called EFT Tapping, is a powerful somatic practice that involves gently tapping on specific acupressure points while focusing on emotional issues, bodily sensations, or even chronic pain. This technique can help release emotional blocks, reduce stress, and heal the root cause of emotional distress. Incorporating EFT tapping into coaching sessions has been a transformational tool for my clients that they continue to use beyond our sessions to support a sense of calm and regulation in their body and nervous system.
Somatic Experiencing: Healing Trauma in the Body
Somatic Experiencing is another valuable approach within the realm of somatic coaching. In this method, coaches facilitate a safe and supportive environment for clients to explore and transform sensations, emotions, and thoughts using somatic practices. It focuses on healing trauma and regulating one’s nervous system by gently guiding the client to release stored tension and restore balance in the autonomic nervous system, providing a somatic experience. This process allows clients to regain a sense of safety and resilience in their own bodies.
Somatic Coaching in Today’s Society
In today’s fast-paced world, where time is a precious commodity, somatic coaching offers an exciting new paradigm to build body awareness and a deeper connection with oneself. It centers on the fundamental principle that the intelligence of the body can be harnessed to create positive changes in our daily lives.
Many professionals in the coaching world, psychotherapy, and counseling fields have incorporated somatic approaches, including EFT tapping and Somatic Experiencing, into their practices, recognizing that somatic approaches offer a bridge between the thinking mind and the living body.
When we engage in somatic practices to soothe our stress response or manage emotional dysregulation, we can unlock new insights and clarity previously obscured by an activated stress response. This process can be transformative, facilitating a profound healing journey. As the prefrontal cortex is eased from the immediacy of stress, clients may discover new perspectives and reconsider their thoughts and beliefs within a nurturing and safe environment. This shift allows for the re-engagement of advanced cognitive functions and fosters a greater openness to emotional experiences in their minds and hearts.
My journey with somatic coaching began as a client myself. I had seemingly tried everything, including traditional talk therapy and life coaching, to heal the pain of a dysfunctional childhood and the constant feeling of being on a treadmill of stress, trying to chase success and never finding happiness or healing. It wasn’t until I was introduced to somatic therapy that everything shifted, and I found the inner peace I didn’t even know was possible- or that I had been longing for.
We live in a world where the mind-body connection is often neglected. I had been pretty numb myself before learning to truly connect with my body through somatic work. Somatic coaching is a powerful tool to help us reconnect with our own bodies and bring us into the present moment. It offers a treasure trove of techniques and insights to empower people on their journey to transformative and lasting change. As the field of somatics continues to evolve, somatic coaching helps to provide a path to profound transformation with a more holistic understanding of the self.
In your journey for a more profound connection with your body and the power to create positive change, somatic coaching is the compass that can guide you through the exciting terrain of self-discovery. Incorporating techniques like EFT tapping and Somatic Experiencing further enriches the somatic coaching experience, offering a more comprehensive approach to healing and personal growth. I’d love to connect with you and help you discover if somatic coaching is a good fit for you. If you are interested, you can book a complimentary Discovery Call here.
Karla Kueber is here to support you in overcoming imposter syndrome and perfectionism so you can stop procrastinating, feeling stuck, and holding yourself back from your goals. Karla is here to help you believe in yourself and own your successes. You can book a freee discovery call with her here.