Somatics

Somatics is a field of practice that has been expanding and gaining in popularity in recent years. Maybe you’ve heard someone talk about somatics in terms of movement, or trauma work, but don’t really know what it means. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying “the body keeps the score” and found yourself exclaiming, Could it please not?!

Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing is a therapeutic model, originally developed by Peter Levine, for understanding and working with the nervous system. In Somatic Experiencing (SE for short), trauma is recognised as something that originates in the response the nervous system has to an event (or series of events), and not inherent to the event itself. We see this evidenced by studies of intense events, and see that multiple people can live through the same event and have vastly different experiences of trauma related to the event.

Trauma can be the consequence of a disruption of connection: either between individuals, or between the Self and what some might term Spirit. Trauma results in a struggle to be present to the ‘here and now’, as our nervous systems can feel ‘stuck’ in a response from the past.

Somatic Experiencing aims to support your nervous system to have more access to the here and now, through nourishing nervous system capacity. There are a variety of ways we might do this, but at the foundation is an honoring that each individual has a natural draw towards ease. Through cultivating a space of warmth, openness, creativity, empathy, safety, curiosity, and playfullness, an SE practitioner can help an SE client move closer towards that ease, and feel more capacity to be present to the ‘here and now’.

SE isn’t about never being activated or feeling like our metaphorical feathers are being ruffled; rather, it’s about working towards understanding our own selves at a deeper level, and experiencing the ability to navigate through states of grounding, activation, and overwhelm, without getting stuck in any single one of them. 

Using sensory stimuli, such as things you might see, hear, smell, touch, or taste in your space, we will support your nervous system to ‘orient’ to an experience of ease, which both grounds and prepares your nervous system for more exploration. Where our session goes after that will depend on any intention you have, or anything that comes up in the moment. SE sessions may focus on exploring sensations of affirmation and support, and they may touch on memories of pain and hurt that have left an impact in your nervous system. I may ask you about the sensations of an experience, or about the images that a feeling evokes. I might offer you reflections about what I notice shifting in you as you describe your experience, and we may talk about your emotions or the stories you hold about these sensations too. 

At all times, you retain the right to decline any invitations to exploration that you are offered.

SE work can feel gentle, yet profound. Plan to give yourself some rest time after our session, as working with the nervous system can take a lot of energy!”

 

Somatics and Non Monogamy

I hold in my heart a belief that Somatics are the “missing ingredient” in the practice of health non-monogamy.

Somatics offers us tools thru which to explore the trauma we have experienced through the loss of relationship, and to move towards healing in our relationships.

In non-monogamy, where we experience the stimulation of multiple relationships (through having multiple partners and their partners), there can be a tendency to push or rush through to be able to maintain our engagement with everyone in our anarcule — and slowing down can feel scary, because in slowing down we feel more. More of the good things, and more of the uncomfortable things too.

I am finding that Somatic Experiencing can be a wonderful way to explore things like: jealousy/catastrophising reactions and responses to a partner going on dates with others; patterns of people-pleasing/ignoring one’s own capacity/limits; and the ways you orient to safety, security, and stability in your non-monogamous relationships.

And so, I’m excited to let you know that I am starting to offer Somatic Experiencing as part of the work we can do together!

Somatic Experiencing (SE) isn’t the same as coaching, nor is it the same as traditional talk therapy: in an SE session we begin by supporting your nervous system to be nourished and resourced, and you’re invited to notice the sensations, images, emotions, and internal changes you experience as we talk about something that may have been challenging.

Somatic Experiencing can sometimes feel like we’re doing very little, but working with the nervous system we can actually do a LOT.

In October 2023 I completed my Beginning Year of training as a practitioner of Somatic Experiencing, through Somatic Experiencing International, building on my existing training in Bodywork, Somatic Movement, and Trauma Informed Practices.
I am currently offering Somatic Experiencing only as part of my coaching work with existing clients. Please click here to learn more about my coaching work.

 

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Thank you for the space in which you held during the workshop, the skills that were taught, the emotions opened and above all the clarity it allowed in how I present myself to the world and areas in which I was holding back. Thank you! So much thank you and gratitude for this. This workshop was the beginning of a month of so much opening and healing and realizing potential, I am beyond grateful.
 
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Victoria, Canada
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Ireland

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Atlanta, Georgia

Mel is an incredible listener and her attention to detail was crucial. I walked away with much more than I had anticipated: I came away with a lot of tools to work with, and also a comfortable understanding of who I am and how I present myself to others. Mel is nothing short of awesome at what she does, and I will continue to use her as a resource and recommend her.

Thank you so much Mel, you rock!!!
 
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James
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Edmonton, AB, Canada

Thank you Mel for such an enlightening and helpful workshop! I thoroughly enjoyed all of it and look forward to continued learning from you. So grateful for all these extra resources. 
The work you are doing is changing the world in such positive ways, and helping people change their own worlds, both inner and outer. 

 
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BC, Canada

"It was so good for me to open up and a relief to see that things don't have to be so black and white but within this there is still the possibility of clarity and a more personal, creative and radical approach to relationships... Love what you are offering Mel. You are awesome at what you are doing! It was great for me to be out of my comfort zone and to hear from folks who appeared to be very much in theirs. Thank you!"

 
Anon Course Student
 
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Gabriel
BC, Canada
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Anon
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Colorado

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Sunday's class was a deeply nourishing in ways I didn't know I missed / needed. THANK YOU!
I look forward to your next session!"
 
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Vancouver, BC, Canada
Mel is an exceptional communicator and listener. Having known her personally and attended several of her workshops I can attest that she has the rare combination of perspective and presentation that many more experienced facilitators lack. I highly recommend her offerings.
 
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BC, Canada
Mel has been a tremendous source of inspiration for my relationships and my community at large. She presents with a combination of professionalism, knowledge and open-minded curiosity that makes her safe and approachable. My profound journey through love and relationships has definitely been helped through the time I have spent with Mel.
 
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Rotterdam, Netherlands

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Australia
I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for your coaching yesterday. It really helped me to focus in on what mattered and what I want and to know where I stand in my relationship and with these shiny new polyboots!
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Vancouver, Canada
Mel maintains a calm demeanor with low pressure conversation. She's approachable and accessible. She cares. It shows. Her passion for intimacy and relationship actualization shines through. Sex positive, poly aware, and kink aware, Mel is a very versatile specialist and adviser - the perfect counselling choice no matter how simple or complicated your concern or situation is.
 
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Alberta, Canada
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Australia
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Anon Workshop Participant
Portland, Oregon
Just wanted to send my deep gratitude and appreciation for your workshop. I let go of some self-indictments around believing something "different" about love, and was able to move towards being more in integrity with myself (and those with whom I relate). I was also able to become really clear about my core "essentials" in relationships (whether monogamous or non-monogamous; romantic/sexual, emotional, social/community or other), and am certain these breakthroughs will only serve my own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those I have relationships with now and in the future more than I can even comprehend.
Anon
Victoria, BC, Canada

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~ Anon,
BC Canada

The Monogamy Detox

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