Somatics is a field of study and practice that has emerged in the last century from movement and bodywork with a focus on the internal experience and perception. I describe it as the art of relating between mind and body.

From its origins with Somatic Yoga and Movement, to it’s influence in Dance, to Peter Levine’s work in Somatic Therapy, to the work on Somatic Sex Education and the newer field of Cultural Somatics, I see this practice as having diverse applications and offering so much to enrich the lives of people who engage with it. 

I feel fortunate that Somatics has touched my life in so many ways, and dedicate my further education and studies to enhancing my experience and knowledge of Somatics so that I might better support the people who engage with my work.

I began exploring the mind-body relationship as a teenager, through my studies in the Siddha Yoga tradition, a lineage-based yogic path that focuses on ‘self realization’— or to put it more simply, harmony between actions, thoughts, and words. It was this same tradition that influenced Eleanor Criswell, author of Somatic Yoga. 
As a young adult studying theatre, I was introduced to somatic-influenced movement practices in the forms of Laban Dance and Alexander Technique, which gave me more experience of how improving the the mind-body relationship could support both my body and mind to feel present in a space with ease. Years later at massage school, I began to learn how to guide others into a new relationship to their body, with techniques from and influenced by Trager, Rolfing, and Structural Integration. As a bodyworker, I began to observe that releasing tension and holding within the physical body had a direct relationship to the release of tension and holding within the emotional body, and began to grow more curious about the potential that working somaticaly might have.
As a survivor of complex PTSD I was drawn to Somatic Experiencing, an application of somatic principles within a talk therapy setting, and found this incredibly valuable in my journey to integrate the impact adverse life experiences had on me. While I am not a somatic experiencing therapist, I believe that there are tools within somatic experiencing for understanding and healing the nervous system that are accessible to everyone, and I seek to bring this more into my work. 

Today, I am exploring with curiosity how to integrate my experience and studies with Somatics into my life, both personal and professional. I study Somatic Yoga with Applied Somatics in Duncan, BC, and am a student with the Institute For The Study of Somatic Sex Education, pursuing my certification as a Somatic Sex Educator. I also explore somatics through my visual art and poetry, and in addition I am a facilitator and DJ with Dance Temple in my home community of the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, where I offer somatic-inspired facilitation and mindfully chosen music to invite dancers into a space of exploration of their own mind-body relationships. 

On this page you will find a selection of resources to support moving towards pleasure in your own mind-body relationship.

Movement

*under construction*

Somatic Sex Education

*under construction*

Somatic Experiencing Resources

*Under Construction*

Intentional Dance Mixes

Multi-genre musical movement journeys.

The Monogamy Detox

6-week online, life-time access workshop, runs every spring & fall.

Workshops

Online and In Person Workshops

For Helping Professionals

Resources for professionals working with clients practicing Consensual Non Monogamy

Relationship Coaching

Start Your Radical Relationship Journey Today

Somatics

Art and inspiration

Radical Renew

21 day e-course for nourishing your Self Relationship

The Blog

Articles on Radical Relating

The MasculiniTea Podcast

Conversations about Men, Masculinity, and our relationships with them. 

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~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

"This was one of the best workshops I have taken regarding polyamory and trauma informed agreements in twenty-five plus years of seeking to develop skills within myself and relationships."
 
Anon Workshop Participant
Seattle, Washington
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you SO MUCH for the absolutely illuminating, grounding and mind blowing session last night. I can't wait to integrate the awareness that emerged yesterday.
Your work is profound! Thank you so much! 
 
Anon
Vancouver, Canada
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.
 
Hilary
Victoria, 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. 

 
Anon Workshop Participant
BC, Canada
The Monogamy Detox course has been such a landmark in my life. You rock!
I've been able to articulate and communicate much better within my relationships and to create safe spaces.
 
Course Participant
Ireland

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!!!
 
Anon
Colorado, USA
"Thank you so much for a wonderful workshop! Thank you for the space you held and your guidance. So enriching to spend time with good people on a path of evolution."
 
James
Victoria, BC, Canada
"My session with Mel went beyond value for money. She created an immediate sense of being seen and heard in non-judgmental space. Mel reflected accurate insights to me, and held space for me to explore things that were beneath the surface. I was moved by the integrity she worked from in our sharing. I felt great compassion and wisdom with her, and my thoughts and emotions  shifted to we worked. Mel is sharing a gift with her energy. "
 
Anon
Edmonton, AB, Canada
"I receive so much incredible value from your work — I LOVE how you organize your rich information. You also have a knack for setting up a really safe, thoughtful, reflective container for learning. I really appreciate and admire your brain! Hoorah! In addition, your teaching brings together an amazing community of courageous humans that gather to learn and practice trauma-informed relating with ourselves and others!

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!"
 
Joan Trinh Pham
Vancouver, 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
 
Mel has been an incredibly valuable asset to me in helping to evolve my relationship skills and helping me to empathize with my partners. Her workshops and her coaching have drastically improved the communication level and quality of my relationships.
 
Gabriel
BC, Canada

"I desperately knew in my bones there was another script out there for me but when I struggled to find a healthy version of one, I haphazardly began writing it myself. And now?! To come into an entire community of people actively peeling back the veil to reveal their own trauma and vulnerability?? I am over the moon and feel so enthusiastic all the time. It's the first time in the last several years where I have had such sustained joy and direction."

~ Anon Course Student
Colorado

"Your work has reminded me that perhaps there isn’t anything wrong with me at all. I am amazed at the deep levels of shame we carry as human beings because we don’t fit into the construct that is given to us as a model for our life. It feels exciting because I can now explore what I want for my life rather than be gifted something that just doesn’t feel right for me." 

Craig P

Australia
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.
 
Anon
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.
 
Erin
Rotterdam, Netherlands
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!
The conversation with my partner went amazingly well. Like really really well. We found much common ground and even discovered our common kinks. I am feeling so loved and supported and ready for this next adventure. Thank you for being a part of that!
Anon
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.
 
Victor
BC, Canada
"You've already made a VERY positive impact on me. It feels so much better to feel you in my corner. Thank you again and again and again..."
Anon
Alberta, Canada
Mel's skill and comfort with questioning and reformulating beliefs regarding relationships is contagious. If you want to open up to new possibilities, she can be a resource for you.
Nick
BC, Canada
"Thank you for your kind help and wisdom at such a fragile time - I appreciate it so much and it helped a lot."
 
Anon
Australia
"Your workshop was SO helpful and amazing. THANK YOU! Magnificent and earth-moving! Like moving things that have felt stuuuuuck!"
 
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

"After the workshop I felt like I could breathe again. I felt like my version of non-monogamy wasn't "wrong" and, even more helpful, my former partners wasn't either. I connected with people thinking of the same things as I was, struggling with the same things, and asking questions like me. I cried. I breathed. And for the first time in my life I didn't feel like a love alien dropped onto this planet."

~ Anon,
BC Canada

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