WHAT IS SOMATIC PSYCHOTHERAPY?

We will be utilising a combination of talk therapy and specific body expressions and movements to help you access emotions that have been trapped and impacting how you feel and function. This modality is especially beneficial to:

  • Soothe your frazzled or shutdown nervous system after PTSD/ trauma
  • Rebuild inner strength and resourcefulness after abuse, neglect or relationship breakdowns / endings
  • Release the real source of tension and aches in your body
  • Strengthen your capacity to handle emotions
  • Building ego strength and body containment to help you cope with overwhelming emotions and situations
  • Correcting deficits in development / poor parenting that negatively impact the way you relate with yourself and others
  • Developing alternative & healthier ways to respond beyond your characteristic defences
  • Feel more secure, confident, present & operate from your center
  • Reunite with your soul & move forward with greater purpose & passion
  • Access and live more of your wholesome, purposeful, integrated, connected self
  • Address pain, inflammation & physiological symptoms via a psychosomatic approach to wellness. Neuroscience confirms that pain is created by the brain’s alarm mechanism, which can be activated by either physical injury or perceived emotional threat. Body psychotherapy can help you unblock the repressed emotion/s contributing to pain and the onset of other physical symptoms. 

Without the bodily release of charge from unprocessed emotions, mindfulness work is short-lived & momentary in benefit.

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I work with the addictions as an Attachment Disorder model, whereby substances provide the soothing to your nervous system that relationships fail or failed to provide. Forming a healthy, safe and secure therapeutic relationship with your therapist rewires the nervous system and reduces or eliminates the need for substance use. This imprinting paves the way for healthier relating in all your dynamics.
Somatic (Body) Psychotherapy provides a safe way to release anger that if suppressed can leak out destructively into other parts of your life and harm relationships. Anger is one of four primal emotions that needs to be expressed but is often shunned and marginalised. Together we’ll create a strong container to explore and express the emotion of anger, what it signals to you, address violations that took place, ways of releasing the built up charge in a safe and contained way so that you no longer need to suppress this emotion but rather work with it in a healthier manner.
Somatic Psychotherapy utilises a variety of highly effective body movements to biologically process and complete the over-arousal that comes with trauma or emotional overwhelm leading to anxiety. Fight, flight and freeze mechanisms are completed physiologically to reduce the degree of activation in your nervous system so you feel calmer, balanced and more centered. We will explore and process your fears so that they allow more freedom in your life and true self expression.
Working with Bipolar Disorder calls for enhancing your window of tolerance so that you spend less time in hyper-arousal (anxiety/ mania) and hypo-arousal (depression/ withdrawal/ numbness). Utilising a variety of body movements and vocal expressions that are atuned to you can regulate your nervous system to stay within your window of tolerance and therefore experience a more smooth emotional reality.
We will explore your relationship with your body and the origins of the distorted messages you have internalised regarding your body and body image and work with correcting the relationship.
We will utilise Somatic Psychotherapy to integrate trauma related to abandonment, lack of safety and trust in relationships. We will also work towards creating Secure Attachment.
Chronic Pain and Illness is most typically an extension of more progressive blocks in the body resulting from blocked energy flow. The blocked energy results from holding in emotions in a particular way that negatively impacts certain body segments. Addressing the specific physical symptoms in your body that stem from the unresolved experiences and stored emotion via a psychosomatic approach to wellness can significantly reduce the physical symptoms and pain.
We will work together to develop ego strength within your body and psyche so that your sense of self is strengthened, capacity to enact boundaries is fortified and you are able to experience a healthy degree of individuation that allows you to leave the codependency pattern behind.
Depression is a symptom of trauma and a tendency towards the freeze/ withdrawal response. It can result from internalising critical messages from caretakers which lead to a chronic defence mechanism that is one of collapse. Utilising somatic psychotherapy exercises and expressions we will build a stronger capacity of energy and vitality to be present in your body and spirit.
Dissociative Disorders have an element of lack of safety for you to remain present and grounded in your body, resulting in splitting or fragmentation. We will work with creating safety in your body, processing the typical freeze response that you may be stuck in and allowing warmth and energy to return to your body. The original trauma, often at very early stages of development, or even in utero is also explored. The emphasis with somatic psychotherapy will be to create a safe therapeutic relationship that allows the trauma to integrate and the possibility of belonging and being here to become evident.
The ending of a significant relationship has strong implications. We will work with Attachment Theory to establish the challenges that may be inherent to you during this transition and also develop support networks and appropriate resources in place of the important role your intimate relationship provided. Grieving and processing your emotions so that you are more at peace with your relationship ending, will also be an important step in therapy. It’s important not to be alone in this process and the role of the therapist can be a very supportive one in helping you bridge from marriage to seperate and then single status.
Domestic Abuse or Violence is often something that is kept hidden and wrapped in a shroud of shame. Trauma bonding / Stockholme Syndrome also makes it much harder to leave a situation where your life is in danger. Family members may not understand the gravity of the situation as abusers often present very well to others and a victim can experience a sense of doubt and confusion and easily make excuses for the perpetrator. This situation can create a strong sense of isolation and being alone and helpless to take action to leave the relationship. Having therapy sessions will give you some space and reflection from a professional therapist regarding your situation as well as the ability to put in place new plans and measures.
When working with the symptoms of eating disorders we explore what the crisis signifies to you and focus on healing trauma, attachment bonds and how you were nourished and mothered.
As a victim of emotional or psychological abuse you will benefit from the safety and emotionally corrective experiences we create together via therapy. This will involve traditional talk therapy plus body psychotherapy to release and express anything that hasn’t been safe for you to express towards the perpetrator in the moments when your body impulse was to take flight, fight or you froze in paralysis or shock. By completing this biological expression, your body can deactivate the stress / trauma response and your system can start to relax. We’ll also delve into the patterns in your upbringing that may have formed the foundation of feeling attracted to someone who is abusive and invalidating of your needs and reality so that you can recognise the red flags and make different choices in the future.
Whether you choose to repair the relationship rupture that infidelity creates as a couple or it is something you process in an individual session on your own, a somatic psychotherapy session will help you process the grief, loss, anger and fear that arises with this kind of betrayal. I will support you to integrate the shock and disbelief that initially arises and help you move forward with integrity once we have explored what this type of crisis reveals to you. For couples whom want to restore the relationship we will explore individual needs, create a safe space for emotional vulnerability and honest expression and negotiate a new holding space and stage of your relationship post infidelity or affair.
Be assisted to make better decisions for your life. Learn new ways to approach the relationship with yourself and with others.
Loss and Grief are an inevitable part of life. Having a therapist with you in the process can reduce the pain and make it an easier process. I create a safe space for you to shed the tears that want to be shed so that you feel relief and so you feel held and understood. The loss of a loved one, a dear pet, a job or a meaningful belonging like your home is a big deal and the sudden emptiness can be devastating and incredibly overwhelming. You do not have to be alone in your loss.
The use of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSSM) holds a contentious position within the psychotherapy field. Although we see clients as far more than any of the personality disorder diagnostic labels like Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) it is also true that characteristic patterns of behaviour and symptoms pertaining to personality disorders are predicted by certain types of trauma, earlier events and developmental deficits. Somatic psychotherapy sessions will focus on healing the underlying trauma and building healthy relational experiences.
A couples therapy session will support you to gain skills to successfully navigate conflict, understand and gently dismantle your protective defences and deepen your capacity for compassion and the intimacy it fosters. You’ll be guided to heal core wounds, communicate with honesty and build trust and enhance passion whilst improving the sense of security within your relationship. Transforming the lower self, or negative energy will allow you more access to love, joy and clarity whilst the safe space of a third party therapist guides you through the process and witnesses and supports your relating dynamics.
We will work on creating Secure self Attachment, resiliency and a deeper understanding of and connection to your true self. Making fuller contact with your real self will allow you to to operate more comfortably in the world as you are and draw on a safe feeling of belonging, where you are an integral part of life and are able to give and receive the true expression of yourself. In our sessions together we will transform the lower self aspects into your unique higher self expression.
Trauma is held and stored in the body until it is integrated and the nervous system returns to a regulated, normal state. Sexual abuse is a serious violation that leaves an imprint of overwhelming emotions that require a safe space to process, otherwise the likely suppression of emotion in response to this event results in distorted impulses and typically either an acting out sexually or a total shutdown of one’s sexuality, both which can have damaging impacts. A variety of maladaptive behaviours can result as a way of coping including weight gain in order to reduce the risk of another sexual abuse experience occurring. A Somatic (body) psychotherapy approach works with the body to process and complete the emotions and beliefs that result in the face of sexual abuse. We work at your pace, you are always in charge of your healing process and have total permission to say no to any body movements and exercises if you are not comfortable doing them.
Relating to others, whether one on one or in a larger group can bring up anxiety. Our sessions together will explore the origins of your anxiety, release the fear through the body that has been trapped in association with this and help you experience a sense of centeredness and grounding that permits greater calmness in these social situations.
Human beings are wired for connection and attachment, to be interconnected. One of the most common signs of trauma, including developmental trauma, is a tendency to isolate and withdraw from people. This actually perpetuates the trauma even though on one level it is designed to minimise relational trauma. When you are in survival mode, or fight/ flight, your social engagement system is disengaged. However, it is important to re-enter the experience of interconnectivity. Our sessions will explore both the causes of isolation and support a foundational resolution as well as practical ways of ensuring you get support and are not alone. Social isolation can cause a breakdown in mental faculties and is a known risk factor for suicide and suicidal ideation. Seeking out and attending therapy sessions in a consistent way rewires your nervous system to be accepting of support, a sense that you matter as validating your needs. When you are socially isolated, the deepening therapeutic relationship with myself as your therapist can have a profound, positive impact upon your health and wellbeing.
When you own and integrate your survival patterns, traumas and triggers you have the opportunity to connect to your expansive, creative life force. The way you express this spiritual part of yourself in your everyday life is unique to you and our sessions together can help you experience this embodiment of magic. Flow, synchronicity and a greater sense of ease and effortlessness accompany these heightened spiritual states. I can help you harness this in a way that empowers your life, enlivens your body and fulfils your soul.
Trauma is held and stored in the body until it is integrated and the nervous system returns to a regulated, normal state. It is essentially overwhelming emotion in response to an event or ongoing developmental trauma, that requires resolution to return to a normal physiological state. Unresolved trauma eats away at our life force and eventually causes disturbances in sleep, digestion immune system and then various diseases and disorders. Since trauma is stored in the body it needs to be released by engaging the body. Somatic (body) psychotherapy works with the body to complete this process. The underlying physiological implications are similar regardless of whether the trauma is sexual abuse, physical abuse, developmental trauma, relational trauma or an event trauma.

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Danielle Alexandria

Izabella changed my life-long pattern of staying stuck in the story and how the other person was at fault. She encouraged me to drop beneath what was happening, and feel my deeper, primal feelings. At first I was resistant, but with practice I was able to see HOW I’d created what was happening in my life as a recreation of childhood dynamics and how I’d been avoiding taking true responsibility! Really how I had been delaying my true healing. Now when something triggers me, I can relatively quickly drop down to feel the root feelings and get to my truth. I know I have the power to change things.

I felt completely seen and supported in all of my messy, confusing, overwhelming emotions. This was new for me. Izabella wanted my vulnerable truth. She was right there with me the whole time I was processing and working through my stuff, without trying to change me or tell me I was wrong. Just to receive this acceptance and validation from another is HUGE when you’ve never had it. I totally trusted her. Going forward, I feel much more empowered knowing that all my emotions are all OK, and my work is to be with them the way she was. I can heal the past so it doesn’t have to keep repeating, and it’s not something outside of myself.

Izabella is a brilliant therapist. You can tell she is doing this work from her soul. She’s so empathetic and attuned to what’s happening inside of the client. Yet I feel a healthy balance between caring and holding you accountable where you need to make changes. She’s also knowledgeable about many things – not just therapy and there’s so much depth to her as a soul and human being. She can relate to a person on psychological, emotional, and spiritual levels as THEY need. She also has an intuitive gift to feel into the deep subconscious energy dynamics of situations and share prompts that lead to profound insights. Thank you Izabella, for truly helping me change my life. I’m forever grateful!

Danielle AlexandriaFinancial Empowerment Coach & Certified Trauma Integration Practitioner