Like many, I’ve been on a long journey of self-exploration, delving into various forms of therapy for over a decade. Therapy has been a cherished gift, providing insights and valuable tools that I’ve incorporated into my life. Similar to the commitment I make to exercise for physical health – my ongoing therapeutic journey is my dedication to mental wellbeing and personal growth.

Psychoeducation (like talk-based therapies) can enlighten us about how our mind works, but sometimes there may be a sense that it can only get us so far. It’s like peering through a window – we see part of the view but miss the broader landscape.

That’s why, when I began leaning into somatic practices, something else clicked into place. While therapy has been my foundation, somatics offered a deeper understanding, allowing me to address deeply ingrained patterns that no longer served me, and truly embody the changes I sought. It’s the evolution of my commitment to lifelong growth and change – a fusion of therapy’s insights and somatics’ transformative wisdom.

Somatics isn’t solely about comprehending; it’s a journey of experiencing and feeling. It invites us to explore beyond intellectual understanding and delve into the nuanced language of our bodies. Where psychoeducation may get us to a point of ‘ah, I see why I do that!’, somatics invites the follow-up question: ‘what can I do to change these patterns or be more present with my felt experience?’.

This approach uncovers layers of wisdom embedded within our bodies, ones that remain elusive to our cognitive processes. Through somatics, we embrace the sensations, movements and experiences to unlock tensions, emotions and patterns residing within us.

What’s remarkable about somatics is its emphasis on not just comprehending but embodying knowledge. It goes beyond understanding ourselves intellectually; it invites us to translate this knowledge into tangible actions. It’s like learning to swim – knowledge alone won’t help; we need to dive in and feel the water.

While psychoeducation sets the stage, somatics is the dance. Together, they offer a comprehensive framework for self-awareness and personal growth, revealing the beauty of aligning our minds and bodies for a more integrated and enriched life.

Getting Comfortable: A Short Somatic Practice

  • Take a seat in a chair or on a couch, and focus on how you feel.
  • Shift your feet until you feel grounded, firmly connected to the surface below.
  • Feel your back and bottom on the chair – soften and allow it to support you fully.
  • Adjust until you find your most comfortable position.
  • Look around and find something comforting in your surroundings – a tree outside, a piece of art, a beloved pet.
  • Check in with how you feel physically and emotionally now. Notice any changes.

You might be surprised at how much more settled you feel in your body and mind after even a minute or two of this exercise.

Knowledge is only a rumour until it’s in the muscle.

New Guinea proverb