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 NLP 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

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

Somatic counselling supports you to settle your attention into the body for the sake of increasing your 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 you broaden your capacity to be with / feel emotions (joy, sadness, anger and others), sensations and movement impulses. In doing so, you become more at choice in the world and feel a greater sense of belonging, peace and purpose.

Areas of support:
“Healing happens when you’re heard.” ~ Unknown

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

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Pain
  • Low energy
  • Sleep issues
  • Negative thinking
  • Isolation
  • Relationship conflict
  • Over-sensitivity
  • Overwhelm and imbalance
  • Creative blocks
  • General confusion 
My approach is informed by the following:
“The most effective way to work with developmental trauma is through a relationally-based, body- and emotionally-focused therapy with an empathic, psycho-biologically attuned therapist who is willing to be an active participant.” ~ Allan Schore

Safety and connection: Beyond skills, it’s been said that 80% of the success of the therapeutic relationship lies in the client safely connecting with the counsellor. It is my energy, or overall way of being, that invites the client to safely open and honestly explore and express. With the help of my ongoing personal healing work and professional development, establishing this therapeutic “container” continues to be my first priority.

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.

“… unresolved trauma is responsible for the majority of the illness of modern mankind.” ~ Peter Levine, In An Unspoken Voice

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, ambivalent and disorganized—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.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” ~ Carl Jung

Self-expression: Communication is an art form; yet few of us have been taught or have been privy to its competencies and skillful nuance. Knowing, and asking for, what we need; empathy; curiosity; deep listening; assumption clarification; holding the agenda of others; appreciation—these are a few of the skills that build connection and trust between individuals. Building upon the groundwork of healing, I offer practical tools and written resources that help people express themselves more authentically, confidently, respectfully and kindly.

Purpose, play and creative expression: When people commit to healing, their values, dreams, childlike instincts, and hidden gifts naturally begin to emerge. They wonder more about who they are and why they are here. The “still small voice” within becomes a more powerful compass and creative urges whisper more loudly. Drawing upon years of life coaching and leading play and intuition playshops, clients are supported to feel their heart wisdom and playful spirit and let each lead them to a more meaningful vocation and life.

“The patient needs an experience, not an explanation” ~ Freida Fromm-Reichmann
Structure and fees:

“Somehow, miraculously, my journeys into my shadow self with Vince’s loving guidance have been both profound and deeply healing. The shift in me has been tangible. Energy is flowing, relationships are deepening, anxiety, depression and insomnia are disappearing. Appetite is back. Natural great peace is happening. Rarely in life do we meet such a gifted healer and teacher like Vince. Eternally grateful.” ~ Sarah

Counselling sessions take place in-person, via Skype or on the phone. I charge $130 for a 60-minute session and $180 for a 90-minute session.

The first session is an intake lasting 90 minutes. The purpose is to design working parameters and conduct an overview of the your life themes, goals, challenges, values and resources. The price of the intake is $180. A week or so after the intake you participate in your first counselling session that involves processing or deeper somatic work.

For those requiring one, I offer a complimentary 20 minute phone consultation to help determine if we are a fit. I do my best to schedule this in, but cannot always accommodate due to my busy schedule.

If you wish to pay through your insurance company, the following providers have a relationship with the Association of Cooperative Counsellors Therapists of Canada I am a member of:

  • Sun Life
  • Pacific Blue Cross
  • Green Shield Canada
  • Equitable Life of Canada
  • ClaimSecure
  • ComPsych
  • Manulife

To book your intake, please email me at events@vincegowmon.com

For complete information on all my prices and the payment options I accept, please visit my Fees & Structure page.

Related articles I’ve written:

Awakening to Darkness ~ Feeling Below the Threshold of Pseudo Spirituality and Light Chasing
When Children Believe “I Am Wrong”: The Impact Developmental Trauma Has on Belief Systems and Identity
“It’s okay.” “I’m with you.” “It’ll all be fine.” ~ Why Children Need to Hear These Words More Than You May Know
When You Re-Parent Yourself, You Re-Pattern Yourself ~ Holding Yourself in Times of Distress
6 Empowering Gifts of Anger ~ Reclaiming Voice and Choice through Red-Hot Primal Energy
The Courage to Speak Your Truth ~ 5 Steps to Reclaiming Your Voice