Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, created by Pat Ogden, is a method that integrates sensorimotor processing with cognitive and emotional processing in the treatment of trauma. By using the body (rather than cognition or emotion) as a primary entry point in processing trauma, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy directly treats the results of trauma on the body, which in turn facilitates emotional and cognitive processing.
Dr. Ogden formed the foundation of sensorimotor therapy by combining somatic therapy and psychotherapy to heal a trauma-induced disconnection between the body and mind.1 The sensorimotor approach has grown to include neuroscience research, cognitive methods, and attachment theory. This broad-spectrum treatment approach matches the complex and interconnected effects of trauma.
When Is Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Beneficial?
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy interventions for both trauma and attachment challenges can help transform the traumatic memory into a resource of self-awareness and strength. This gentle, integrated approach provides a powerful therapeutic tool for:2
- PTSD, panic disorders, or anxiety counseling
- Maternal lack of attunement (or attachment)
- Alcohol or drug counseling
- Relationship or family counseling
- Anger management therapy
- Couples counseling
- Abuse or trauma counseling
- Relationship therapy
- Therapy for depression
The Three Phases of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
Sensorimotor psychology follows a three-phase process:2
- Symptom reduction and stabilization, where the therapist identifies the physical and mental connections which are blocked or frozen.
- Processing traumatic memories, where the incomplete defensive responses are brought to resolution.
- Reintegration, where the newly restored connections are strengthened through mental practice, physical exercises, and mindful self-awareness to provide an ongoing triumph over the experience.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy at Serenity Trauma Healing Center
The compassionate therapists and staff at Serenity Trauma Healing Center in Malibu, CA are experienced in using Sensorimotor Psychotherapy techniques to restore the mind-body connections that can be severed by trauma. If you or a loved one need support and guidance to fully heal from the past, reach out to us today to find help.