Soma & Soul
Somatic Coaching is a form of coaching that works with the mind/body connection to move clients to a natural state of healing and flow. Oftentimes, a somatic coach, because of their training in working with the physiology of the body, specializes in working with anxiety, trauma and high stress physiology. There are also a lot of somatic coaches who specialize in working with high performers and achievers. At Soma & Soul, we help you heal from past trauma and increase nervous system regulation so that you can flourish in your career and personal life.
The body has its own intelligence and somatic coaches use an experiential model to help clients understand the body’s communication. Not only will we hear about a story, we will slow down the process of the story to be curious about what is happening in the physiology of the body. Somatic coaching works with trauma physiology, fear states, emotions, belief systems, physical sensations, and imagery. We work with the body on self regulation and the ability to co regulate after times of distress.
Some people, given their trauma histories or how they are genetically wired, are unaware of how the physiology of the body affects their thoughts, life, relationships, and careers. Physical and mental health symptoms can develop when the body does not operate in its optimal state. Have you ever seen an animal in the wild exhibit PTSD symptoms? The answer is NO (unless they are domesticated). Wild mammals don’t have trauma symptoms because they have an innate ability to shake off nervous system distress…. and so do we as humans! When it comes to career or life purpose work, the more trauma physiology we can heal in the body, the more we can accurately see, hear and live into our life purpose.
In general, somatic coaches are curious about the underlying sensations someone is experiencing while they are talking. In the somatic field, we are not just working with the content of what you are saying but also how you are experiencing what you are talking about. We look for clues of safety or danger in the body and help folks both bring awareness to their experience as well as help them shift patterns that are no longer working for them.
For example, when talking about a distressing event, a client may have shortness of breath, constricted muscles, shift in posture or changes in the pupils of the eyes. The mind/body connection is very interesting in that you need to just think about an event, person or upcoming situation and your body responds as if it is happening.
Experiential: Think of someone who you maybe don’t want to run into in public after a bad experience with them socially. Even when you are not with them, and you think of running into them, your heart rate increases, muscles constrict, eyes may widen, etc. Now think of someone who might be a resource for you. Imagine looking into their loving eyes for a moment. Maybe even close your eyes for 3-5 seconds and imagine their face looking back at you. What do you notice in your body? What shifts for you when holding this image? You may experience some softness in your face, a smile, expansion in your chest, a shift in gravity. Just thinking about someone can change your physiological state.
Our bodies operate with thousands of these underlying scripts called belief systems in which our nervous system is operating based on our thoughts of our reality. Want to know why you are not succeeding at work? It could be your own belief system, your ancestors' thought patterns or society's belief system about you. What happens when you think of starting, scaling or selling your company? How are your limiting beliefs or trauma scripts holding you back? How is your fear contributing to mental or physical health symptoms? In somatic coaching, we uncover unconscious patterns that are running our nervous system and the goal is to bring you into ease and flow both personally and professionally. Our bodies operate with thousands of these underlying scripts called belief systems in which our nervous system is operating based on our thoughts of our reality. Want to know why you are not succeeding at work? It could be your own belief system, your ancestors' thought patterns or society's belief system about you. What happens when you think of starting, scaling or selling your company? How are your limiting beliefs or trauma scripts holding you back? How is your fear contributing to mental or physical health symptoms? In somatic coaching, we uncover unconscious patterns that are running our nervous system and the goal is to bring you into ease and flow both personally and professionally.
3 Forms of Somatic Coaching:
Generally, a somatic coach will fall under 1 of the following 3 categories. You may consider the following when interviewing a Somatic Coach for yourself or business.
Somatically Oriented Coaches are aware of the mind/body connection and are generally aware that there is a body in the room and impacting the coaching session. Most coaches do not address the body as a resource in coaching so having someone aware that the brain is attached to a body is a step in the right direction!
Somatically Informed Coaches understand the mind/body connection. They are aware of physiological changes that a client goes through. They generally give advice on mindfulness and their biggest resource is bringing awareness to shifts in the nervous system during coaching work.
Somatically Integrated Coaches are trained to understand how to manipulate the autonomic nervous system, notice physiological shifts of flight, fight, freeze, fawn and flow states. Somatically integrated coaches know how to assist clients in changing physiological states in the nervous system, especially physiological states that cause distress, pain or chronic illness. A coach with this level of somatic training (usually have attended a certification program) can bring more flow or coherence to their autonomic nervous system by decreasing a client’s trauma physiology using therapeutic protocols that work with the amygdala, organs, diaphragms, muscular systems and adrenals. Often when clients come back into a state of Flow they experience more ease in their body, mind, spirit, and relationship to others, a decrease in symptoms and additionally, have a greater sense of future and purpose in their life and careers.
(Check out the Soma & Soul’s app based courses if you want to be Somatically Integrated!)
I hope this article was helpful to you in understanding what makes Somatic Coaching different from other coaching modalities and in your search for a Somatic Coach! Keep tapping into that innate wisdom of your body and if you get stuck give us a call.
Many blessings, Kim
Kim Jeffs, Founder & Somatic Coach, Soma & Soul