The Uncertainty Principle
People come to therapeutic settings with very specific symptoms and sometimes clear goals of how they want to change but inevitably the process is more important than the outcome. The truth is that we don't know how to heal or how healing works because it is an innate capacity of the body-brain. Allowing ourselves to be in the uncertainty and unknown is a central part of the healing. There are many different therapy modalities and experiences that can support us to be in that uncertainty. I think that those are the most powerful paths to healing. In essence we are bringing our brokenness and our fractured selves, to meet our vulnerability, and make space for it. This space allow the body-brain to rewire because we give cues that we can feel secure enough and compassionate enough to care for that pain.
I'd like to share one modality which is very close to my heart. It is the practice of authentic movement.
Impulses to Move
Authentic Movement is a form developed by a woman named Mary Starks Whitehouse and her student Janet Adler. The practice can happen in an individual session or a group. Each participant pays attention to the innate impulses that are housed within her body in silence with her eyes closed. The mover tracks her internal urges to move and makes choices about how to engage with those. The witness simply observe the mover.
With time a process unfolds within each individual mover which is mysterious and unknown. Here is where the principle of uncertainty comes in and offers an opportunity for true healing. Sometimes people have physical sensations that they're following and sometimes the mind is more active and they can play with active imagination. This is almost like dreaming in a wakeful state. These concepts are linked closely with the Jungian psychology of allowing the unconscious to unfold in the moment.
The reasons to join an authentic movement group are varied. You might be exploring any number of themes in your life. The beauty of this practice is that you can bring the exploration into the body and into the movement. This is especially a potent opportunity to explore your personal boundaries within yourself or in your relationships. It is a perfectly fertile ground for developing skills as a Somatic Psychotherapist or healer of any modality such as holding space, witnessing, reflecting, and mirroring.
Preparing to Join
Preparing to join an authentic movement session is much like preparing for a journey. If you've never been a participant before it might feel a little bit mysterious or daunting. you might wonder what is going to happen and so I want to share with you what it looks like from the outside. This of course is only from the logistical standpoint and your internal experience is going to be a lot more colorful and vibrant than I can put down into words.
1 - Opening and intention sharing
2 - Time for movement, anywhere from 5 - 45 minutes depending on the size of the group
3 - Integration - time for personal reflection in writing, drawing or meditation
4 - Offering circle - each mover shares something from her reflection and witnesses can then reflect as well
Through the steps above the movers experience their movement in multiple ways and from many different angles. The first is having prepared themselves and thinking about their state of mind and body and sharing what they’d like to work on. Next they find themselves following those impulses and experiencing their unconscious process from within. After the movement time they have an integration period where they will spend more time in reflection so that another part of their brain can participate in observing what happened. Using poetry and color is especially helpful here to open up the channels of creativity alongside the movement. Finally in the offering Circle when we share verbally, we're integrating the body experience with the rational, analytical brain. This is where we also find connection with the witness and the other participants and so we return to our human family and draw conclusions and make meaning.
Trusting the Outcome
The outcome of the sessions are best understood through experience. After I leave a group, I have a deep sense of connection and support as well as a deeper awareness of my own needs. A deeper sense of my soul. For me this is the best way to orient to what is unfolding in my psyche and in my life. It feels like I can more deeply trust each moment
Supplements for Anxiety and Sleep
I believe in establishing a strong biological foundation for mental health. When I meet new clients, I always begin our work with an assessment of their psychiatric history and family history and the next step is to ask about the lifestyle, nutrition and sleep. This integrative assessment helps people recognize the importance of the day to day choices they are making that impact their mood and their capacity to experience emotions and relationships. Trauma, emotional wounding, seasonal changes, hormonal changes and work stress are just some of the triggers to the nervous system heading into fight/flight/freeze or distress. Taking steps toward more self awareness leads to innate urges to take action and that action will change not only the way you feel about yourself but also the way you feel inside.
The majority of folks that come in with emotional and relationship challenges report either difficulty sleeping or managing their anxiety or both. Common themes emerge and so here are my TOP 3 recommendations:
I have put together a program of care using nutritional and herbal supplements from Nature's Sunshine to reduce stress and improve sleep for you. As I've shared, there are many biological factors that contribute to a low capacity to handle stress and you can research each of these supplements separately or ask me any questions about the nature of each one.
The other supplements besides those listed above in this program include:
I'm really excited about these supports and hope you will find them useful. Please ask me any questions and I will help you find the perfect fit for your needs. Please use the link below to order under my account. You will also be able to look at my "favorites" list and see other supplements I use and recommend. You will recieve 25% off your first order.
Click to find Supplements to Reduce Anxiety & Improve Sleep
We are sharing the ins and outs of Somatic Psychotherapy and joining the international conversation of the somatics community around the world with our regional hub here in Milwaukee