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Somatic/Trauma Therapy

No matter the Challenge

The Sun will rise.

What is Somatic, Trauma Informed Therapy?

Somatic, trauma informed therapy is a holistic approach that focuses on the connection between mind and body to understand and address the impacts of trauma. Trauma, whether from a single event, or ongoing experience can become stored in the body, leading to physical tension, emotional distress and cognitive challenges. At Solace Therapeutic Services, we use various methods of understanding and working with trauma such as somatic therapy, mindfulness techniques and Polyvagal theory.

Key Principles of Somatic Therapy

1. Embodiment

Somatic therapy emphasizes the importance of being present and aware of one’s body. Through somatic therapy, we work to cultivate awareness of bodily sensations, movements and reactions. By reconnecting with our bodies, individuals can gain insights into the ways that trauma has/is affecting them both physically and emotionally. You and your clinician may explore how past experiences are impacting or resurfacing in present day areas and challenges.

2. Resourcing

One of the most important pieces of trauma therapy is helping clients develop a sense of safety and stability. This may look like building self-regulation skills, identifying internal or external resources to manage distress, or focusing on positive sensory and nervous system experiences.

3. Release and Regulation

Somatic therapy focuses on the release of physical tension and emotional energy associated with traumatic experiences. Clients may be guided through exercises that encourage the body to let go of stored stress and trauma through movement or increased tolerance of sensations in order to promote a sense of relief and relaxation. The goal is to slowly increase your capacity to experience difficult emotions, while providing you the tools and resources to regulate throughout.

4. Integration

The ultimate goal of somatic therapy is to integrate fragmented aspects of the self that may have been dissociated or repressed by the effects of trauma. Through the integration of mind, body and emotions, clients can expect to regain a more cohesive sense of self, increased ability to turn off their over or under active alarm systems and lean into post-traumatic growth and recovery.

"All emotions, even those that are suppressed and unexpressed, have physical effects."- M. Derbur

Polyvagal Theory

Polyvagal theory is a therapeutic modality by Steven Porges which focuses on understanding the depth of the nervous system and its response system. It operates with the concept of the “window of tolerance” where an individual’s nervous system is in a balanced state. Polyvagal theory helps to expand this window, to allow for effective emotion regulation. This is a fan favorite here at Solace, as we work with clients to understand the vagus nerve’s role in activating nervous system responses that can lead to overactive fight-or-flight responses, or dissociative disengagement in order to access a more calm and regulated state of operating within that window.

Polyvagal theory involves tracking bodily sensations through body scans and mapping exercises, in order to help identify triggers and bodily responses that are associated with trauma. Throughout this approach, clients will learn to identify and establish safety anchors- which are internal or external cues that signal safety and calmness. These anchors help counteract hyper and hypoarousal to support the nervous systems shift towards a more relaxed state. Social Engagement is another core concept of Polyvagal therapy as it emphasizes the impact the social interactions have in regulating the nervous system. Sessions may work to explore ways to enhance social engagement and connection in order to foster a greater sense of safety and belonging.


Mindfulness is incorporated into most, if not all the trauma-informed work that our practice offers. Mindfulness encourages observation of thoughts, emotions and sensations as they arise without trying to change or judge them. This non-judgemental observation allows insight into your experiences and feelings without the label of “good” or “bad.” It cultivates an intentional shift towards curiosity and acceptance of our thoughts and emotions. Through practicing mindfulness you increase your ability to focus and remain present, while enhancing self-compassion and acceptance.

Whether you are seeking personal healing or you’re a practitioner aiming to support others, Somatic, Trauma-Informed Care offers understanding and compassion of the ways in which trauma impacts the body and mind in order to promote growth and empowerment over symptom management and overall well-being.

Contact us today to learn more about how Somatic Trauma informed care can be a revolutionary part of your healing journey, or how you can integrate it into your professional practice.