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About Somatic Counselling

“Vince has been instrumental to my healing. The day I walked into my first therapy session with him I felt understood, and after leaving I felt a deep sense of peace. Prior to Vince, for many months I tried cognitive talk and NPL therapy, but nobody was able to get to the core as Vince did. Vince has a healing gift. He is kind, gentle and respectful yet not afraid to be strong in guiding you to your truth. After seeing Vince you will find yourself not only on a healing path but truly understanding why you feel the way you do.” ~ Natalie

If you missed it, please read the introductory page to my counselling services.

“We are currently in a paradigm shift from cognitive models to psycho-biological (somatic) models of therapy.” ~ Mariah Moser

Somatic counselling supports clients to settle their attention into the body for the sake of increasing their capacity to feel, heal and return to an embodied and balanced state. While verbal communication and cognitive processing are part of the process, the most profound and lasting healing occurs as clients broaden their capacity to be with / feel emotions (joy, sadness, anger and others), sensations and movement impulses. In doing so, they can become more at choice in the world and feel a greater sense of belonging, peace and purpose.

“Be confused, it’s where you begin to learn new things. Be broken, it’s where you begin to heal. Be frustrated, it’s where you start to make more authentic decisions. Be sad, because if we are brave enough we can hear our heart’s wisdom through it. Be whatever you are right now. No more hiding. You are worthy, always.” ~ S.C Lourie
My approach is informed by the following:

Body-centered: The somatic approach to healing acknowledges that the body is, as Mariah Moser states, “the holder of all information – historically as well as current”. Clients are encouraged to slow down, be curious about, witness and ultimately be with the deeper energies and movements in the body. This body-centered approach holds biology not as separate from psychology, but as essential in informing it. This gives rise to an integrated mind-body-spirit approach to working with the client.

Trauma: Trauma is life energy that is trapped in the nervous system. Once free flowing, it became truncated for reasons such as adverse childhood experiences (developmental trauma) and accidents (shock trauma). I work on the level of the nervous system, or what Peter Levine calls “bottom up” processing, which is deeper than emotion or thought, to help resolve energetic blockages and support trauma resolution.

Emotion and shadow aspects: Very few of us got our emotional needs met as children; and some of us didn’t even get our basic physical needs met, either. An unsafe, neglectful upbringing breeds emotional turbulence in the body that can be unbearable for a child. Without a primary attachment figure to offer empathetic words such as, “It’s okay. I’m with you. It’ll all be fine”, the overwhelm gets pushed down or compartmentalized. Aspects of the self, such as anger, joy, fear or imagination, are disowned for the sake of coping and survival. Part of the process of healing is to slowly turn towards and “befriend” those lost shadow aspects and re-integrate them into our psychobiology. 

Attachment theory: Through the growing field of attachment theory, we increasingly understand that our trauma history creates adaptations in our personalities that impact how we perceive and engage in relationships. These adaptations—avoidant and anxious-ambivalent—are not who we are, but rather an unconscious means of diminishing the pain and discomfort from having not had our developmental needs met as children. Attachment-informed counselling considers existing attachment styles and developmental themes to help understand the struggles and healing needs of the client.

Areas of support:
“… unresolved trauma is responsible for the majority of the illness of modern mankind.” ~ Peter Levine’s book, In An Unspoken Voice

If you are experiencing any of these challenges or symptoms, somatic, trauma-informed counselling may work for you. 

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Pain
  • Relationship conflict
  • Negative thinking
  • Isolation
  • Low energy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • General imbalance and stress
In integrating coaching skills, I also support:
  • Values clarification
  • Creative expression
  • Cultivating intuition and trust in oneself
  • Communication skills / self-expression
  • Leadership capacity
  • Sense of purpose
  • General balance and self-care
  • Remembering to play!
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
Related articles I’ve written:

Choosing Heart and Life Amongst the Busyness of Things
Reclaiming Deservedness and Desire ~ Using Relationships to Heal Your Fear of Asking for What You Want
The Courage to Speak Your Truth ~ 5 Steps to Reclaiming Your Voice
Sinking into Truth. Resting in the Body ~ 6 Steps to Moving Beyond the Overwhelming Stories of the Mind and into Self-Compassion