Is Somatic Psychology worth Studying?

If you are pursuing a career in psychology and you are looking to expand your knowledge and skills with more diverse perspective and approaches, you might want to consider a degree in somatic psychology. Unlike other branches of psychology, Somatics deal directly with the connection between the mind and the body, which are treated as a single entity and the main tool in the healing process. Broadly speaking, this field focusses on analyzing the impact of thoughts and emotions on the physical health, as well as the impact of one’s lifestyle and behaviors on the mental health. A degree in this field can be very rewarding and it can help you deepen your knowledge of the human mind.

Understanding the mind-body connection

One cannot pursue a career in somatic psychology without acknowledging and understanding the connection between the mind and the body. To a certain degree, this connection is already accepted by the medical community, since it is a known fact that stress is a leading cause for numerous illnesses. Moreover, most experimental treatment studies involve placebo medications, which are often very efficient. Furthermore, most people who experience traumatic events are left with physical traumas, that can take the shape of a defensive posture or actual muscular pain. So, the power of the mind over the body is indisputable. What is still controversial is the power of the body over the mind. Technically speaking, a strong and healthy body is likely to provide many rewards which serve as a foundation for a healthy mind. But can the body heal the mind? Well, this is where somatic therapy provides the answers, and the studies provided by numerous psychotherapists, show that this is indeed possible.

Best applications

Somatic treatments have proven to be efficient for numerous mental health problems, from mild problems such as stress, sexual dysfunctions, anxiety and depression, to severe conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic depression, addiction and even personality disorders. This type of therapy can be used in individual therapy, but also in family or group therapy. Somatic treatments work by increasing the awareness of the mind and body connection, to release negative emotions and behaviors caused by past traumatic events. As opposed to conventional therapy, be it talk or cognitive therapy, somatic therapy has a more experiential nature, working directly with a person’s sense of self. The best part about studying this field, is that you will learn to recognize negative bodily expressions, which will help you guide your patients faster towards the deep problems that cause those negative emotions. You can achieve the same effects as with conventional therapy, only you understand the problems and get to see results a lot faster.

Career guide

Before you study somatic psychology, you will need at least a graduate degree in psychology. A healthcare degree can also be very useful, since the body is such an important part of this field of psychology. Body oriented traditional and alternative medicine can be an integrated part of a somatic treatment, so it is best to expand your areas of expertise across multiple fields to be able to properly apply the somatic principles.

Career options

A degree in somatic psychology can offer numerous rewards. Many graduates turn to clinical psychology, exploring the connection between the mind and the body, while helping their clients get healthy.

Another interesting career path for graduates of this field is research. Since this area of psychology is still developing, a research job can give you the opportunity to contribute to the development of this field and to discover innovative treatment options for a wide range of illnesses. Nowadays, there are even cancer and asthma treatment facilities that have started to include counseling and alternative therapies in their treatments.

If you are looking for a less clinical career path, you might want to turn to recreational therapy or even yoga, since both of these fields are focused on the connection between the mind and the body. In fact, yoga is one of the most common alternative treatments used in somatic psychotherapy.


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