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Depression is a common condition which manifests in many different ways for different people. Whether your challenge is mainly with:
• feeling low, irritable, anxious, or
• not sleeping well, or
• lacking energy,
it is important to realise that with the right treatment you can feel better and most forms of depression are treatable.
Modern medicine and psychology tend to approach depression with a focus on medication and cognitive (i.e. thinking) treatments. Whilst these have an important place in symptom management they are often not ‘curative’ or permanent solutions. For many people, a lasting solution needs to go deeper.
- VIDEO: How does somatic (body-oriented) psychotherapy create lasting change? (5:10)
How the mind-body approach works
I offer an integrated ‘mind-body’ approach drawing from a range of therapeutic traditions. My passion is to help people to transform their depression, working from a deeper place than cognitive or medication treatments are able to access.
You might be wondering what the ‘somatic’ bit in ‘somatic psychotherapy’ means. Somatic just means ‘of the body’. Whilst western sciences are just beginning to understand the depth of interconnection between the body and the mind, eastern approaches have always recognised a fundamental interrelatedness and connection between the two.
If you really want to create lasting change, the best way to do it is by working with both body and mind together. This is particularly so with depression which has profound physical symptoms.
Take a moment to reflect on how depression feels to you. Often there is a feeling of stuckness, of stagnation, of heaviness. Trouble getting out of bed. Feeling unmotivated. Life lacking a sense of flow and pleasure. Anxiety hanging around in the background. Somatic (that just means ‘of or related to the body’) psychotherapy can work directly with this ‘felt sense’ of depression using a range of highly effective techniques.
Building a caring therapeutic relationship is in my opinion the number one priority for a successful treatment. Thats where we begin. On top of this, the mindbody approach puts you and your bodymind’s own innate wisdom in the drivers seat of healing.
Its important for real change to occur to listen to the voice of the body as well as the mind. We listen to the voice of the body and we also use the innate expressive power of the body to move whatever energy is blocked and is contributing to the depression. You don’t need to know how to do this consciously, once you are guided in the right way your body will literally show you what needs to happen. The release could take the form of a gentle sensation of energy moving, a physical movement, expressing feelings, saying what you need to say to someone or more commonly a spontaneous and organic combination of all of these things.
This therapeutic approach is effective because it works deeply with whatever the truth is in each moment. Often throughout our lives we have been brought up in or we work in situations where being ‘how we really are’ is not acceptable. This creates a denial of the true self and it becomes covered over by the self we need to be for other people.
As the therapy progresses you deepen naturally into a deeper sense of who you are and what you care about. As you release the old blocks which are about how you needed to be earlier in life (which may be in adulthood or childhood) the ways you want to be now are naturally energised and relearnt by your ‘body-mind’.
You experience more energy and a deeper sense of authenticity (the ability to be true to who you are and how you feel). Old ways of being which no longer serve can then be replaced with a more authentic, potent and rewarding expression of who you are.
Benefits you can expect
Working in a this transformative, mind-body style helps to create:
• deep peace and wellbeing in body and mind
• ability to engage deeply in relationships and to love more
• more connection to who you are and what you want to create in your work
• vitality and physical stamina
• assertiveness, experiences of healthy power / empowerment
• emotional authenticity, ability to have healthy anger when needed, manage fear and other difficult feelings
Finding out more
If you would like to ask a question or book a session please see my contact details here. You may also be interested in the short video above where you can see me talking about how a mind-body or somatic psychotherapy approach can create lasting change.
"Since I've started seeing Hal, I've quit drinking and smoking, gone off my antidepressants, stopped feeling shy, dramatically improved my relationships with my partner and with my mother, and largely gotten over my RSI issues.
Its been a transformational few months. I have to give credit to myself and to a course that I'm doing at the moment as well, but seeing Hal has really helped me get in touch with my emotions and given me the capacity to deal with life, rather than avoiding ... >>read more >>
"Seeing Hal changed my life. After 4 years of strong chronic pain I now experience minimal pain and have no restrictions in doing all the activities I love in life. Here is my story.
I initially developed RSI type pain in my wrists from typing and computer use while writing up my PhD. It manifested as strong pain right through both my wrists whenever I typed or used my wrists for normal activities. It eventually got so bad ... >>read more >>