What does Somatic mean?
While Google will give you a very different (and very incomplete) answer to this question, the term “Somatic” as a practice refers to your first-person experience of yourself – your physical sensations, your perceptions, your actions, your experiences, and your mental and physical processing of those actions and experiences. We rarely consider it, but we’re usually either going about our day not giving much conscious thought to our experiences as they happen – just sort of operating on habitual autopilot – or we’re thinking about our physical selves in a more third-person, anatomical/theoretical perspective. Somatic work allows us to consciously connect our minds and bodies as we experience them in real time to build greater awareness and control (or what I prefer to call agency) over our actions and behaviors in the present moment.
What is Integrative Coaching?
The term “Integrative Coach” is used in quite a few different fields to describe several different types of coaching practices, but at its core, Integrative Coaching is always about using a variety of perspectives and approaches to help support individuals in discovering, empowering, and optimizing their whole selves. In regard to my practice specifically, I primarily work through the lens of movement theory and repatterning based in the Laban/Bartenieff Movement System (LBMS) while also incorporating elements of Mindfulness, meditation, Ideokinesis, breathwork, experiential anatomy, Authentic Movement, improvisation, dance, Feldenkrais Method, yoga, functional movement and resistance training, Anatomy Trains, Clean Language, nutrition, behavioral coaching, and journaling. I draw from the integration of all of this experience and tailor it to help each of my clients reach their personal and professional goals.
How do I know if Somatic Movement Sessions or Integrative Coaching is right for me?
My (somewhat bias) opinion is that this work is right for everyone! There’s never a downside to developing a deeper understanding and connection to yourself. That being said, I specialize in the following:
- Functional Movement Repatterning for athletes, performance artists, and individuals experiencing chronic pain, physical dysfunction, or injury
- Functional Movement Coaching for athletes, performance artists, and individuals seeking to improve their skills and capacity for success
- Physical Re-education/Re-integration following some sort of trauma
- Self-Care, Stress Relief, and Stress Management for individuals seeking a more balanced lifestyle
- Mind-Body Integration for individuals seeking a deeper connection to and understanding of themselves
- Expressive Movement, Performance, and/or Creative Process Coaching for dancers, actors, and performance artists
- Communication & Embodied Leadership Coaching for individuals seeking to strengthen their interpersonal relationship skills
- Mind-Body Behavioral Repatterning for individuals seeking healthier habits and personal transformation
So if any of those things seem relevant to your personal needs and goals, then this work might serve you well. And if you are still unsure, just reach out! I’m happy to talk it out and answer any questions you might have.
How is Somatic Movement work and Integrative Coaching different from personal fitness training, physical therapy, or cognitive therapy?
While there are some areas of overlap in the nature of the work or the benefits that it can offer, this work is distinctly different from the others.
While I can and do incorporate a variety of methods used in personal fitness training based on a client’s goals, I also understand the way that such physical training ties into the whole of the person – mentally, emotionally, expressively, etc. As a Movement Analyst, I am also keenly aware of slight variations and adjustments that may need to be made in order to best suit the needs of an individual. And so, what I offer in this area is a much more holistic approach to physical training and the effects it has beyond just weight loss, muscular development, or physical functioning.
In regard to physical and cognitive therapies, the biggest distinction is that while Somatic Movement and Integrative Coaching can offer therapeutic effects, it is not therapy. Nor does the work seek to replicate or replace the need for or work of doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, cognitive therapists, counsellors, etc. Additionally, I am not a medical professional. My work is primarily in the role of educator and facilitator, offering the tools for individuals to gain greater choice and control in their own lives. I cannot and do not offer diagnosis, prescription, or treatment for medical conditions, and when necessary, I will advise clients to seek the help/advisement of the appropriate medical professionals.
The potential benefits and applications of Somatic Movement and Integrative Coaching for clients is far reaching, and many find that it serves them in ways far beyond what we are immediately addressing in our sessions. That being said, the work and my expertise is based in the science of the experience of the body and the mind-body connection as a functional whole.
How can this work benefit me as a dancer or performance artist?
As a dancer and performance artist myself, I believe that our primary work is to know ourselves – physically, mentally, and emotionally – as deeply as we possibly can. To practice being present and aware through every shift and change, while also taking ownership and agency over our choices and actions. I believe that this way of operating not only creates technical proficiency and mastery, but also allows us to find and consciously explore our unique personal voices as artists and in the work that we create. Somatic work allows us to do exactly these things – to move and create with intention. Whether you are trying to optimize your physical abilities, develop your personal artistry and performance skills, or are in the midst of creating a new work, we can apply Somatic Practice and Integrative Coaching to help you reach your goals with ease and beautiful satisfaction.
What kinds of classes do you offer?
Depending upon the season and demand, Momentum offers a variety of classes and workshops at a number of locations, both in person and online. There are classes specifically for dancers, actors, and performance artists, as well for athletes and the general public. For a full list of what is offered and what is currently open for registration CLICK HERE.
Do you ever go into other businesses or institutions and create classes or programs specifically for their employees, teachers, or students?
YES! I have created all sorts of classes and programs, in person and online, for dance and performing arts schools, colleges and universities, hospital systems, businesses and corporations based on their needs and how I can help them reach their goals. If you think I might be of use to you and yours, reach out!
Would I benefit more from private sessions or classes?
This completely depends on your individual needs, preferences, and interests. While I offer a variety of classes and workshops, one of your interests might not be running when you are seeking it, and in that case we can always create a private class just for you. And while class settings offer the support of a learning community and the benefits of group energy and dynamic, you may prefer the privacy and focus of a one-on-one session. Both classes and private sessions have their advantages and drawbacks, and we can even create custom packages inclusive of both, so please reach out and together we can find (or create!) what’s right for you.
What do I need to wear to my session or class?
Generally speaking, it’s best to wear clothing in which you are comfortable and can move freely and easily. As we are dealing with the body primarily, it can also be helpful to wear something that makes it easier to see the general shape and contours of the body as well – though this does not necessarily mean form-fitting. Loose, but not excessive is always a good option. Minimal to no jewelry and the ability to pull back long hair is also best. And finally, depending upon the work that we are doing, secure shoes with a sole that can grip and offer at least moderate support will be helpful (though we may go barefoot quite regularly or for the majority of time with some work).
What is a consultation for private sessions like?
Consultations always start with a review of your information (from your client form), answering additional questions that I might have, and clarifying your goals for our work together. Then I will most likely ask you to go through a variety of positions and movements while I take some notes and offer you some feedback and information. Finally, I will typically do a few exercises with you to see how you respond before we talk about what I can offer you and what our next steps might be. I, of course, am also there the whole time to answer any questions that might come up for you. Consultations usually take 60 to 90 minutes depending upon the individual.
What are the sessions like?
Sessions vary greatly from person to person. While the primary guide for our work together will be based on what you are seeking to address and your personal goals, I will also check in with you at the beginning of each session to see how you are currently feeling and what your needs might be that particular day. We will always start from where you are, and together will move toward where you want to be.
How often and for how long do I need to continue my sessions?
During your initial consultation we will determine the best session length and frequency for you based on your needs and goals. However, while many clients also hope to know how many sessions they will need, that is unfortunately impossible to predict. Each individual is different and so each client’s path toward their goals is unique. While some clients may need only a few sessions to find what they are seeking, others may benefit from more sessions over a longer period of time. Together we will be assessing the process of our work and will be in communication about this aspect of our time together. However, you are in complete control and may end the sessions at any point.
How long before I see/feel results?
Most clients feel a shift immediately – though it may be fleeting at first and then become more consistent over time. This is simply because, like anything, acquiring new understanding and ability takes time and practice. This applies to Integrative Coaching in the areas of communication and embodied leadership just as much a functional repatterning or stress relief and management. That being said, particularly in clients seeking relief from some degree of pain, discomfort, or dysfunction through repatterning, it is also not unusual for these sensations to worsen, spread, or shift to another area of the body before easing and resolving. If and when this happens, it is not typically a sign that our sessions are ineffective or detrimental, but rather the opposite. These changes in sensation are most commonly a sign that the repatterning is beginning to create shifts in the body and awareness, disrupting previous patterns and creating room for new, healthier patterns to be established. If at any time this happens and you become concerned about what you are feeling or responses you are having, I encourage you to please contact me immediately so that we can discuss your experiences and how to best move forward.