Somatics comes from the Greek word "soma" meaning the body in its wholeness; not just skin and bone, but the body in its aliveness.
Somatic coaching involves seeing the client as a whole person, more than their intellect, more than their capabilities ... working with who they are as a whole, vital, interactive, living being; acknowledging we have been shaped over time, from birth (maybe before) onwards. Our neurology, psychology and biology are intertwined like the weave of a fabric and cannot be separated out.
Somatic coaching takes into account these factors which have, literally, shaped you. We’re not talking about body language, we’re talking about the habituated patterns which define things like: capacity to move forward or retreat; competence to engage and include or resist and reject; ability to influence and impact or stay in the shadows and wait for direction; stamina in the face of prolonged pressure; care and concern for self and others. Perhaps you recognise yourself? You know you’d like to be better at picking up the phone and networking to expand your business; you recognise a deep-seated inability to state eloquently what you care about and in the process inspire others to follow you in that cause; you really want your relationship to be fulfilling yet part of you holds back, protecting a fragile self that doesn’t want to get hurt. Resolving such challenges involve working with all of you, not just the intellect. You probably already know what to do, it’s the “how” that somatic coaching addresses so well. Paying attention to the whole self enables greater possibility - moving from wanting to work-out consistently to fulfilling that goal, even having fun in the process!
Whatever concern you bring to work on, a somatic approach will be beneficial. To resolve depression you will need to learn how to be happy, involving your emotional self and your physical body; to communicate more effectively you will not only need to cognitively learn the skills and techniques but also train your body to deliver the words in a more commanding way; to improve relationships you will need to communicate more effectively and have a vision of how you want the relationship to evolve over time. Every aspect involves your intellectual self, emotional self and physical self. In this way we focus on what you want to embody , how you want to show up in the world, impacting others by design rather than by accident.
By bringing attention to the body, being aware of your breathing, posture, and internal experience, the body becomes a resource rather than simply a vehicle for the head. As such, it becomes a powerful and invaluable resource as the leader of our own lives, families or the leader of others in organizations.
Is your curiousity piqued? Does this sound like something you would like to explore? Already have a sense that previous work you've done had something missing? Give me a call on +44 (0) 7894 714 853 or contact me to see how a somatic approach can help you create and sustain change in your life.
Photo: Demonstrating centering practice with Rev. Francis Briers at a workshop (with thanks).