A somatic therapist is someone who treats a client with body pain through somatic movement therapy. This therapy is based on the idea that the postures and movements that cause pain are directly related to the emotional and mental health of the client. The somatic therapy is applied by reeducating the muscles through hands-on interaction, active participation, and body awareness. The somatic therapist focuses on physical treatments to help ease emotional strains.
In somatic therapy, the patient must realize which are the mental or emotional aspects of their life that might be affecting their physical condition. Stress or anxiety can lead to different reactions from the body, often holding postures and unnatural muscle positions, which the somatic therapist attempts to find through collaboration with the patient. The stomach, neck, or shoulders will often get tight through a series of mental or emotional distractions, and the somatic therapist helps to bring these issues out of a patient, who may not have realized them.
In other forms of therapy, the body is seen as a mechanical structure to be worked on. In somatic therapy, a holistically oriented therapy, the body is viewed as a tool to be worked with to ease the pain. The therapist shows the patient why the problem exists and how to eliminate the cause of the pain through proper postures, stretching techniques, and other methods. The therapist will try to fix the cause of the mental or emotional trigger, as well as the physical discomfort.
In this therapy, the somatic therapist coaches the client to a healthy body. There is collaboration between the therapist and patient until the problem is identified and the solution is produced. Feedback from the patient is needed to establish the muscles that are causing the pain, and the reasons these muscles are operating in the faulty or inefficient manner that they are. Often we are not aware of our body memory, the way our body reacts to certain events in life, and the goal of the somatic therapist is to bring out these reactions and their solutions.
The somatic therapist usually plays a very empathetic and caring role with the patient. They are responsible for relating the reasons of body pain through difficult life experiences, and help the patient remember these and remember the corresponding physical ailments. The somatic therapist helps to produce awareness within the patient, not only for a healthy physical experience, but for an increased, mental, emotional, or spiritual well-being.