Sensorimotor Psychotherapy


Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach that integrates somatic (body) and cognitive (mind) processes to address and heal trauma. It considers the body and its sensations, movement, and postures as valuable sources of information and resources for healing.

Key Principles

  1. Trauma resides in the body: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy recognizes that traumatic experiences are not only stored in the mind but also in the body. The body carries the imprint of past traumas, and by accessing and engaging the body, healing can take place.
  2. Non-verbal communication: This therapeutic approach emphasizes the importance of non-verbal communication. It acknowledges that the body communicates through sensations, gestures, and movements, which can provide insight into one’s past experiences and aid in the recovery process.
  3. Safe exploration of bodily sensations: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy encourages clients to explore their bodily sensations in a safe and supportive environment. By becoming aware of and staying present with bodily sensations, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their experiences and work towards resolving trauma.
  4. Integration of body and mind: The goal of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is to facilitate the integration of body and mind. By recognizing the interconnections between bodily experiences, thoughts, and emotions, clients can achieve a more cohesive and balanced sense of self.
  5. Emphasis on the present moment: This therapeutic approach emphasizes the importance of grounding and staying present in the here-and-now. By focusing on the present moment, individuals can better regulate their emotions, manage overwhelming sensations, and foster self-awareness.

Techniques and Interventions

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy incorporates various techniques and interventions to help individuals heal from trauma:

  • Somatic Tracking: Clients are guided in tracking their bodily sensations, noticing areas of tension, discomfort, or ease. By bringing awareness to these sensations, individuals can gain insight into their emotional experiences and facilitate healing.
  • Gestalt Practices: This approach may utilize gestalt techniques, such as two-chair work, to explore conflicting emotions or unresolved experiences. By embodying different aspects of oneself, clients can gain a deeper understanding of their internal dynamics and work towards integration.
  • Grounding and Resourcing: Grounding techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization, are used to help individuals regulate their nervous system and establish a sense of safety and stability.
  • Titration: This technique involves breaking down overwhelming experiences into smaller, more manageable components. By gradually exploring and processing traumatic material, individuals can prevent retraumatization and facilitate gradual healing.
  • Attachment and Relational Skills: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy recognizes the importance of addressing early attachment wounds and developing healthy relational skills. Therapists may employ techniques aimed at fostering secure attachment and improving interpersonal interactions.