A somatic therapist or a body worker is taking on a lot when they meet the client’s needs for healing. The therapist meets head on physical responses and intense emotions when the client’s body opens to these in the space of a session/s. In short, the therapist can never retire from self-understanding and growth. For, as a therapist grows continually in their own mind and body so can they offer the right mix of letting go and integration in the client’s healing process.
Therapy isn’t yet the first choice for healing, for many people around the world. If maybe due to its unhealthy reputation, of being a treatment modality for ‘mentally ill’ patients. However, increasingly clients these days are appreciative of a trusting and safe place to download their pain-filled stories and repressed feelings of anger, guilt, shame, and other admissions of wrongdoings.
I believe craniosacral therapy sessions are a sacred initiation into such deeper transformations of the human self.
Without doubt the grist for the mill in any somatic healing work is the right timing for intervention, in the space of the session. The practitioner has to incorporate in their very own nature the ability to be spacious, still and slow paced.
In any intervention, whilst honoring the client’s trust in us, we seek the most basic technique rather than a convoluted one. Why? Trauma needs ample space to unravel. Being too quick to intercede on behalf of the client’s systems can lean towards re-traumatization or overwhelm.
Reducing somatic processing to a slow trickle helps hesitant clients as well, surrender to the flow of sensations in the body.
Actively being listened to, and having their frustrations normalized, is one way of bringing clients into parasympathetic (rest and relaxation) expression in their bodies. And the modality can be very basic. Just introducing them to the right breathing techniques, alleviating their posture difficulties, and helping them re-align their self-sabotaging beliefs.
In pain and suffering, it’s easy to fall into a trap of assuming one’s situation as karmic, unique or/and as punishment. And this fallible judgment on self keeps a lot of suffering hidden for fear of being seen as flawed by others. By becoming aware of the commonness of their experiences, clients sigh with relief to know they are not uniquely neurotic as they once believed. The understanding and empathy received from a therapist can untie the knots in this mistaken belief.
Keeping this process slow rather than time-bound allows for deeper integration.
Slow Beginning to End
In therapy the journey is far more significant than the destination. Each session, a rite of passage with a new level of self-understanding, ought to be taken and enjoyed unhurriedly. There are different kinds of clients and thus different experiences had by them. Humans aren’t geared to take on too much too quickly. Some of them even fear glimpsing into their somatic stories. The slower the better for all kinds!
The depth of healing may correlate to the gradualness of the internal processing. So it may be necessary to pace out a session from beginning to end. That calls for acute attunement with a client’s system, to know precisely how and when to begin somatic work and how to end as well.
I do believe that the presence and acknowledgment of Spirit is addressed hugely in craniosacral treatments. For Spirit appears to me to be a slow moving energy force emerging from its quality of pure stillness.