A Somatic Approach to Accessing Emotions
Nothing defeats a therapist more than a client who’s numb or disconnected. When you ask why they’ve come for help, they may say, “I’m depressed” or “I’ve lost all hope,” but they can’t describe how they feel. How can we help clients like this deepen into the work of therapy? This workshop offers a body-centered approach to helping clients access emotion and connect to themselves in a way that can’t be defeated by numbing. You’ll learn to use simple movements and sensations as a therapeutic entry point to help clients appreciate how their bodies prevent them from experiencing the emotions they’re entitled to feel. You’ll discover how to:
- Increase positive affect through techniques that invite playfulness
- Help clients understand the connection between their hopes for treatment and the need to experience emotion
- Approach phobia of emotion, or “avoidance,” as a somatic adaptation to trauma or attachment failure in a way that decreases any shame around it
- Use body-centered interventions, such as tactile stimulation, movement, and gesture, that increase the ability to feel physical sensation
Janina Fisher, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and instructor at the Trauma Center in Boston, a senior faculty member of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and a former instructor at Harvard Medical School.