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  • Writer's pictureJen Meller

What is somatic therapy?


Did you know that 80% of your body’s signals are sent to the brain from the body, while only 20% travel from the brain to the body?



This means if we’re only paying attention to our thoughts and what is happening in our heads, we miss out on a lot of valuable information!



This is why somatic therapy can be incredibly helpful in processing your life experiences.


somatic therapist


I’m often asked: What’s the difference between somatic therapy and talk therapy?


According to the National Institute of Mental Health, talk therapy refers to various treatments that aim to help a person identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. As the name suggests, this is mostly through conversation and verbally working through emotions. This might include things like traditional counseling, guided self-help, cognitive behavior therapy, and interpersonal therapy.


To be clear, these are all wonderful approaches. I have my own traditional talk therapist who I reach out to when a need arises. My sessions with my therapist are helpful as we think about and talk through the issue at hand.


Somatic therapy, on the other hand, seeks to build a stronger mind-body connection by becoming more aware of the sensations and signals your body is experiencing. Somatic therapy doesn’t exclude thinking or talking, rather it sees those things as just one part of your lived experience.


In talk therapy, a practitioner might ask you, “how do you feel about that?” and the response might be to describe how you feel by thinking about it and using words. In somatic therapy, a practitioner might ask, “What do you notice happening in your body as you share that with me?”


somatic therapy

In somatic therapy, we don’t leave out the talking. Instead, we notice what the body might be trying to reveal through these different sensations, images, and movements alongside the narrative or thoughts being expressed.


Even with all the training and personal experience I have with somatic therapy, it's still so easy for me to stay in my own head. Even for me, incorporating my body into my healing journey takes practice. This is one of the reasons I meet regularly with my own somatic practitioner as I continue to move through life and do my own work.


Again, therapy isn’t one size fits all, and it’s possible to incorporate many different approaches into your healing journey!


For now, the next time your body sends you a message, I encourage you to get curious about it. Ask yourself: “What is my body trying to tell me with this tight stomach, sunken heart, tense shoulders or clenched jaw?”


By asking questions about sensations and feelings, you can honor the signals your body sends and open the door to profound self-discovery.


what is somatic therapy

Your body has so much to share – let’s create space to hear its messages with curiosity and compassion. Want to learn more about somatic therapy and other modalities I work with? Head over to jmeller.com.



I understand access to therapy is a privilege. While I strive to keep my pricing affordable, I know that support for mental and emotional health is still out of reach for many. I offer sliding scale pricing and a few scholarships. If you are in need of emotional or mental support and do not have the financial means available, please reach out.

If you’d like to donate to the support of others, please email me directly. Thank you in advance for making emotional wellness more accessible to everyone.

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