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Hand Massage

Somatic Experiencing

This is Not Therapy

Sam is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and this is the primary modality used in all sessions, whether touch-based or talk-based.  Somatic Experiencing is a gentle yet powerful way of releasing stress and injury patterns by identifying where it is stuck in the body and increasing client awareness of their own nervous system, while supporting new patterns of functioning to emerge.  Somatic Experiencing does not treat challenging and uncomfortable feelings and responses as illness, rather as a powerful and persistent attempt by our own bodies to self-heal.  Watch an introductory video by the creator of this modality, Nature's Lessons in Healing Trauma.

Drawing New Maps

In Somatic Experiencing, the practitioner lends their own regulation and skillful observation of the body’s experience, while teaching you how to track your own nervous system and make room for a new narrative to emerge.  Sam believes, fundamentally, in the inherent wholeness and wellness of each client, and gently yet persistently stays with them until they find it in themselves. Sam offers the trust and familiarity of the terrain as an experienced guide and traveler, offering skills and tools that help each client write their own maps of their internal and external worlds. 

Mapping a Session: What to Expect

While each client will have their own path to growth, Sam’s approach starts out similarly for each.  In our first session, whether virtual or in person, Sam will assess your current resources and strengths, including the internal assets and skills you already have as well as the resources you have in your relationships, community, and cultural background.  We’ll work to understand and shape your vision of wellness, and get a sense of how much availability and capacity your nervous system already has.  

Any session, will involve some conversation and invitations to engage in observation of self or environment in ways that may feel new.  Somatic Experiencing starts as a practice of self-observation in comfort. Touch may be offered but is not necessary for the work. If touch is indicated, Sam can teach self-support as well as coach partners/friends/aides in use of touch for regulation.  

After connection and trust is established, and when indicated and available, touch-centric sessions are available in person.  This is based on Sam’s travel schedule. Touch sessions are done sitting or laying down in a place most comfortable for client and practitioner comfort.

Other Tools

Along with Somatic Experiencing, Sam incorporates traditional counseling skills learned from her social work education, crisis response and disaster management skills from their background in disaster mental health, Jungian-influenced narrative archetypal patterns and subpersonality (or 'parts') work.  An avid gamer and unrepentent nerd, these elements are modernized to incorporate themes from games (role play, LARP, video games) and media/pop culture.  Sam is a student of Mimesis, a psychodynamic approach to exploring myth, fairy tale, and other story narratives and how they reflect and support our navigating our own stories.  Fundamentally, Sam believes that growth and healing is a path to other goals, and if those goals include joy, play, delight, and connection, you will find them modeled in sessions.

Ready for the Adventure?

Virtual sessions can be booked directly through the Contact Page. 

Please note that in-person sessions are currently available, but safety precautions will follow the MOST restrictive guidance available from the federal, state, or local level, as well as client and practitioner negotiation about comfort.  

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