Emotional Attunement & Limbic Resonance

A Somatic Psychotherapy Journey of Therapist with Client

When you be together with another in physical presence and open heart you feel the tension they feel, but you know it’s not yours. And you stay.

When you be with another in physical presence and open heart you are together in their pain but you know it’s not yours. And you stay.

And when you breathe together synchronised with their body you enter the essence of their story of trauma with its interwoven imprints and scars left upon them. And you love them.

You love them whole.

You know them. You are getting to know them. This incredible, unique, perfect being with perfect anger, perfect grief, perfect fear, perfect tears and perfect joy.

In their own paradigm. You understand them.

Remind them of all the pieces of themselves that they trustingly dare to reveal to you.

Help each part know and reclaim its god-given purpose.

And let the parts that have a voice express what they need to say. Say it exactly as it is. Repeat it until it is said with the tone and timbre that rings of truth, knowing nothing is now held back, here together with you. Not directed at you, but in the presence of you. Said as it lives, or has lived, inside their body. Sometimes trapped for decades. Only witnessed now. Holding a safe space for it all.

Letting the pushback with their hands express and transform into the inexplicable sense of their true need, laid bare before their eyes. A smile of surprise. They didn’t know what was hiding underneath the defence.

Feet running firm on the ground, voices and sound, breath. Images coming back and finally being able to escape and no longer be trapped, in the past. Bigger than the small. Integrating it all.

And the arms that need to swing above and hit down on the padding in front are accompanied by the thrust that gives birth to the person’s true power. This is not the nice hour. The power takes on a life of its own. Primal grunt pours out from the dark recesses long forgotten. Encouragement of them is my co-created expression. And a chunk of their unconsciousness is transformed.

I’ve got your back. Hands of support. The energy taken in.

A head nod, gestures of rapport.

Letting the ‘NO’ out and the scream. Letting the shattered dream fall.

Hearing their plea, their desire, their yearning heart’s call.

The grief.

Then the laughter arises, complete release takes hold.

Facing these feelings through the whole body wasn’t so scary after all.

This is their face off with embodied freedom, now.

The time has come.

And we sit back in our chairs delightfully exhausted with the journey, but completed relieved.

And together oh so alive.

A checklist for Women to determine if a Man is Safe

  • When he does something to hurt you is he willing to have a full discussion or does he avoid showing up and abandon accountability?
  • Does he treat all women with respect regardless of whether he is having sex with her or not?
  • Does he stand up and speak up and / or protect a woman who is being mistreated in front of him?
  • Does he tell his mates it’s not ok to put women down or does he participate in laughing at or making private jokes at women’s expense with his male friends?
  • Does he introduce you respectfully and treat you like you matter around his male friends or do you get the sense that you’re just another number on the list of women he’s seeing?
  • Do his friends treat you with respect or does he keep company with sleazy men?
  • Does he display attunement to your mood and what might be going on for you and communicate empathically or does he ignore, avoid or shame and silence your emotions and/ or experience?
  • Does he have genuine remorse and is willing to learn from how you feel when he has hurt you or does he think it’s only about you and an issue you have that has nothing to do with him and his behaviours? Does he defer responsibility?
  • When you have a grievance does he listen and hold full space for you to unpack what you feel or does he cut in and talk about himself and make excuses for his behaviour?
  • Does he ask you questions about yourself and show genuine interest in your life or is he more interested in sexual activity or pushing his own agendas without really seeing you, hearing you and truly respecting you?
  • Does he back you when you share something vulnerable or does he invalidate your reality and side with others?
  • Is he comfortable with all parts of you or does his conversation push to stay on the surface only with what’s pleasant, positive and comfortable?
  • Does he have character and substance as an authentic human being or is he more interested in dissasociated spiritual, ungrounded pursuits and lifestyles?
  • Has he / is he directly working on his triggers / traumas / issues with a credible professional or psychotherapist or does he believe he doesn’t need to?
  • Does he honour the agreements he’s made or said yes to?
  • Do his words match his actions? Does he have integrity?
  • Is he courageous and honest and comes to you to communicate difficult material or does he wait for you to ask or bring something up and avoid unless you do?
  • Does he communicate with you if something changes for him or does he disconnect and cut off harshly and unexpectantly with no regard for the impact upon you?
  • Is he trauma-informed or interested in becoming more trauma-sensitive or does he sit purely in logic and retraumatise you through lack of embodied emotional intelligence?
  • Does he repair relationship ruptures maturely and directly or does he leave and abandon the connection whenever he is triggered and turn to other women/ sources of soothing?
  • Does he expect you to automatically trust him or does he know he needs to earn your trust by showing consistently trust-worthy behaviours?
  • When you let him know you don’t feel safe with him does he show interest in why and want to work towards creating safety?
  • Does he respect your boundaries or does he push beyond them with no regard for your requests?
WHAT TO DO IF A MAN IS NOT SAFE? You deserve to feel safe as a woman. You have the right to honour yourself by adjusting your distance and boundary to appropriately reflect the degree of non-safety you feel with a man. Trust your gut if you sense that something is off or that he is not being honest or transparent. Only loosen your boundary if he consistently shows behaviours that make you feel safer. Get support from men or women that you trust and feel safe with to process your feelings or any shock or trauma that arises for you.