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Busting Myths about Somatic Therapy & Healing Journeys

Today's myth is: "Somatic therapy (and healing in general) is that it is all about big cathartic releases"

The truth is that healing is an ever evolving process of nuance and unique experiences and it takes on the shape of the individual and can vary at any given moment in one's personal growth path. Sometimes, we need to release emotional content but other times, somatic therapy can give someone an experience of peace, safety, quietude, calm, or ease. A quiet and restful embodied experience can be equally as profound and healing as a session that includes a more animated release.

Now a little bit more about cathartic releases... If we are going into any kind of trauma, memory, emotion, etc and are not present in the body, anchored in safety, and struggle to come out of it, then you are reactivating a stress response pattern in the body that is not healthful and can even be retraumatizing and harmful. However, the confusing part is that on the outside that can look really similar to a release that is a more healthful unwinding of held emotion. The difference is in the experiencer's presence and awareness. Being supported by a skilled practitioner who can differentiate these experiences can make that process more easeful. Before you are able to move into release work, you need to be able to be present and feel safe in your own body. Building those skills is the first step in healing and is part of the work of somatic therapy. Building these skills takes time, patience, and practice. So if you have been avoiding getting help because you don't want to go into feeling some aspect of your story that is challenging, please know that you don't have to do that work until that feels safe and right to you. And if you have been experiencing big releases that leave you feeling upset or overwhelmed or even just a bit disconnected, then I encourage you to reach out to get help in a new way. The very first step in healing is creating safety. Physiologically and emotionally. A truly healing emotionally release feels nourishing to the system because there is a returning of energy as presence supports the unwinding process. There is a goodness that is woven within the process. A release that is still connected to old patterning of dissociation or overwhelm, will not carry that same feeling. Instead, it would be better to be supported with tools to build resilence into the the nervous sytem response and practices for embodied awareness and groundedness.


Jessica Garay is creator of Somatic Intuitive Healing™ and Moon Vibe Sanctuary in Portland, Oregon. Jessica offers professional training and certification programs in somatic therapy and craniosacral therapy in Portland, Oregon and around the world online. She is also passionate about helping other healers create sustainable and easeful businesses through holistic business coaching services. Learn more about Somatic Intuitive Healing and how to become a somatic therapist at & get support finding your bliss zone at

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