Updated June 2022

The old thinking was that mental health challenges are all in our heads. However, we now know that there is a link between our mind and body and that our body holds onto memories of trauma too.

Somatic therapy is a body-centered approach to treating mental health challenges that are associated with experiences of stress, anxiety, panic, depression, and trauma related conditions (such as post-traumatic stress disorder). Rather than focusing only on thoughts and feelings associated with these experiences this type of therapy includes the sensations that occur in our bodies. This type of therapy aims to help release how our physical body holds on to stress, tension, and trauma rather than only resolving problems verbally. Some of the techniques used in somatic therapy include breathing exercises, mindful noticing, and other forms of body movement.

Before we have our first session you will need to fill in some forms. If we meet online I will send you these via email prior, if we meet in person I will leave these in my waiting room for you to complete on arrival.

Our first session focuses on getting to know one another and having as many of your questions about the process answered as possible. We may also discuss what you would like to get our of our work together. This typically involves thinking about how you might like things to be different as a result of our work together. This is an opportunity for you to check me out and see if you feel comfortable and connected in our meeting space. In my experience, all good therapy outcomes come from feeling safe enough and connected in the space.

Appointments are scheduled for 50 minutes. At the start, it is usually helpful to have regular sessions so we can maintain the momentum of any new tools/practices you are trialling. I typically recommend weekly or fortnightly. We will reflect on progress towards your goals for our work together regularly, however, as each individual is different it is difficult to set out a one size fits all number of sessions. Some clients meet their goals within just a few sessions and others may take longer. If the things you are working on are more long-standing you will, typically notice if things are improving within the first 4-6 sessions. We will regularly check in to see how you are feeling with respect to your progress. My aim is to be redundant, as this will mean that you have made the changes that you have set out to through our work together.

Working with somatic therapy, providing me with an historical account of the difficult things that have happened in your life is not necessary for you to move forward. Doing this often triggers the feelings from the past and can make things seem worse. From this perspective, change occurs in the noticing of something in our system in the present and having the space to be able to create a pause to notice the pattern (e.g., of thinking, feeling, reacting) and being able to try something different. This means that reliving those difficult things that may have happened to you is not necessary for change to occur.

Yes, every session is private and confidential, however, there are some limits to confidentiality. Our discussions are confidential unless you give me permission to speak with someone on your behalf, except in special circumstances. If you have a referral from a doctor to access Medicare sessions before we meet you will need to consent to me providing your doctor with a brief report of your progress. There also may be other times, where I am bound by the law, when information is provided to other professionals in order to protect you or others from harm. These situations occur when a) a client is likely to harm themselves or others, b) if there is a child at risk of harm, c) if the courts subpoena information.

No, you are able to book appointments without a referral. In Australia if you have private health insurance that covers you for psychology sessions this is done without a referral from a doctor. To access this you will need to check your coverage with your insurer.

Additionally, Australian citizens may be eligible for a Medicare rebate with a valid doctor’s referral. If you want to explore this possibility, please make an appointment with your doctor prior to our first appointment. They will let you know how many sessions the referral is for and when you need to return to them for them to review your progress and potentially access more rebated sessions.