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Integrative PsychoTrauma Somatics

"There is a voice that does not use words. Listen. " Rumi

"Give me a fulcrum and I will move the world."  Archimedes       

Therapeutic work with traumatized individuals, and those suffering from deeply distressing emotions, can be greatly facilitated by utilizing bottom-up (body awareness) in concert with top-down (“psychological”) processing. We find that a potent fulcrum for long-term change resides in accessing innate body movements and sensations associated with the “true-self.” Then from that potent and enduring platform, individuals can be guided gradually to touch into, and transform, traumatic experiences. Effective therapy helps people move from shutdown (numbness) and hyperarousal (overwhelm) to “healthy aggression,” safety, and the capacity for intimate relationship.”  P. Levine


Neurobiolgical informed, somatic oriented PsychoTrauma therapy is not a “new therapeutic approach”, it is a central field of research and clinical practice where, due to significant scientific development in the last decades, different research and therapeutic systems :

Psychotherapy- and especially Body oriented Psychotherapy, Attachment theory, Relational Neuroscience (Interpersonal Neurobiology and Affective Neuroscience) and Mindfulness practices , meet and interact, having as a common perspective  the treatment of trauma and the fostering of  psychosomatic health and personal development.

In PTYCHES we follow an integrative, organismic approach Integrative PsychoTrauma Somatics, for the treatment of trauma and dissociation disorders.The approach draws on a completed professional training in trauma treatment over the last 15 years and is based on:

    • Relational Neuroscience (Interpersonal Neurobiology and NeuroAffective Developmental Psychology and Psychotherapy, Attachment Based Therapy  A. Schore, D. Siegel  et. al, M. Bentzen, S. Hart  and

    • the neurobiologically founded somatic oriented trauma therapeutic approaches for regulating posttraumatic stress and the treatment of developmental relational trauma :
      Somatic Experiencing ® [SE®] (P. Levine )  and NeuroAffecive Relational Model ™ [NARM ™] (L. Heller )


In its broader integrative theoretical and therapeutic orientation, the approach is also associated with:

    • basic ideas of the trauma therapeutic approaches : Somatic Approaches to Attachment and Trauma ( D. Poole-Heller ), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (P. Ogden )

    • therapeutic models that focus on the multifaceted dimension of personality (Ego State Therapy /M. Phillips, Internal Family System/ R. Schwartz)

    • the Integrative Body Psychotherapy approach ( J.L. Rosenberg, M. Rand, B. Kitaen-Morse)

    • the phenomenological sight in Focusing approach ( E.Gendlin)

    • the  developmental psychodynamic approach ( M. Mahler, J.F. Masterson ) in the treatment of personality disorders and the Jungian school of thought on the path of individuation

    • the systemic understanding of family dynamics (I.Boszormenzi- Nagy

    • the practice of Mindfulness * in the trauma therapeutic context (Mindfulness in Clinical Practice B.v.dKolk, D. Siegel et. al)

    • the approach Zapchen Somatics ** (J. Henderson)


According to modern research in the field of Psychotraumatology ( v.d.Kolk, 2014) the traumatic experience, at any level it may occur – physical, cognitive, psycho-emotional, relational – is manifested in bodily processes and maintained through them.

As a result of trauma, psycho-physiological dysregulation states become fixed in the physical-neuroaffective level, accompanied by defensive patterns of perception and behavior, which, while in the past have been adaptive or protective, in the present they distort the sense of self, limiting thus its coherence and functionality. The somatic experienced sense of self (felt sense), is often disconnected or inaccessible due to traumatic experiences. However, it can be nurtured, contained and strengthened in the therapeutic process and the course of personal growth.

The process of re-connecting with the body self, that is fostered consciously and gradually – through the awareness of breathing patterns, senses, mental images,voice, sensory-motor perception and expression – enhances the sense of security in the present, functions in a supportive way as embodied intuition and  in synergy with the cognitive and psycho-emotional skills. In this way, the organism’s natural ability for psycho-physiological self-regulation and balance is strengthened.


* Mindfulness: awareness resulting from voluntary attention on the present moment, without judgment· conscious focusing of our attention on our existence in the “here and now” with understanding and acceptance· to be present in my life moment by moment without having to do anything but observing: how does it feel to drive today or to discuss with a colleague or to really listen to what my child has to tell me? What exactly do I experience? (J.J. Kabat-Zinn, Mindfulness-based Interventions in Context, 2003).
The practice of mindfulness comes to us from Eastern traditions and is becoming an increasingly popular psychotherapeutic tool. Mindfulness, in the most general of terms, means paying attention to our experience: listening to ourselves, to our thoughts, to our emotions, and to our bodily sensations. Ultimately, we learn to listen in such a way that we don’t push elements of our experience away but come to see that thoughts, emotions, and sensations come and go. The appeal of mindfulness is the freedom that we experience and the sense of flow and fluidity that comes when we are present to but not identified with our thoughts, feelings, and sensations. (L. Heller & A. La Pierre, Healing Developmental Trauma, 2012)

** Zapchen Somatics: body therapy practice which combines Western psychotherapy, psychosomatic and neurobiological knowledge with the traditional energetic healing practices of Tibetan Buddhism (Variayana)

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