I am a level 2 trained Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP) practitioner. I love using SP to help people recover from difficult experiences like sexual assault or abuse.
What is SP?
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy was created by Dr. Pat Ogden. In this technique we utilize knowledge from the neuroscience and developmental attachment fields to intervene with the way trauma impacts us. Many traditional therapies focus solely on thoughts & emotions which leaves out the most major way we interact with our world: our bodies! SP helps us to bring together thoughts, emotions, movement, gestures, posture, urges, etc. to assist in healing what hurts.
I practice SP because it is beautiful. I know that sounds strange, but seriously, it is a beautiful, deep, transformative way of helping people with even the most complicated trauma histories recover and thrive. SP helps people tap into the innate intelligence within their own body to fundamentally change how they are in the world – it’s like seeing the sunrise after months or years of darkness.
What should I expect from SP?
With SP we use the body (movement, posture, gestures, sensations, perception, senses), thoughts (beliefs, meaning-making), and emotions to help guide the healing path. Whereas in a lot of other therapies a therapist may just focus on your thoughts & emotions, in SP we will also focus on all the ways your body tells the story of your childhood or trauma.
Some ideas for how SP might help you:
- increased awareness of the ways your body holds trauma, strength, and resilience
- to learn techniques for helping you become more “present” during periods of dissociation
- gain a deeper understanding of how certain patterns of behavior and strategies within relationships have developed for you; we will also explore alternative patterns or strategies that might help you in the healing journey
- to use all parts of yourself (body, mind, spirit) to help in the healing process
- to put it the most simply: help you to be the person you want to be in your relationships and your world
I do not expect people who are starting SP therapy to be in-tuned with their bodies, yoga gurus, or experts of mindfulness. In fact, most people who have experienced things like sexual assault or other traumas tend to be somewhat phobic of sensations within their body because it helps them deal with trauma to be able to tune out sensation and pain. Most often we start just by becoming ok with noticing sensations, drawing from mindfulness or grounding techniques to help you become aware of ways you can use your own body as a resource. SP is a gentle method and we will go at your own pace!