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Somatic psychotherapy in portland oregon

My approach is warm, collaborative, and relational, and I draw from mindfulness-based,


, humanistic, and emotionally focused therapies.

As we move through life, we all develop our own unique collection of wounds based on our experiences on the individual, relational, systemic, cultural, and historical levels. These wounds can shake our sense of safety and fuel disconnection from ourselves, others, and the world around us. They can dampen our capacity for presence and joy, and erode our sense of meaning and hope. Even in the face of great suffering, I believe that every person possesses the inner wisdom, strength, and resilience to heal, grow, and find fulfillment in their lives and their relationships.

Somatic Experiencing®

Dr. Peter Levine, founder of Somatic Experiencing®, has made ground-breaking discoveries over the last 45 years that help people experience lasting resilience and ease.

Many people find Somatic Experiencing® to be a gentle approach that helps them feel better and get better. Learn more about how Somatic Experiencing® works in some of the articles I’ve written on the blog link.

Somatic Experiencing® (SE) uses the body’s innate intelligence to relieve and resolve the symptoms of anxiety, depression and fear. Simple yet powerful tools help your body release physical tension, and accumulated stress, so that you can return to your natural resilient state, feeling grounded, confident and at ease.

Because we work in the here and now, Somatic Experiencing® can be especially helpful if you have experienced long-term challenges in childhood. You might be pleasantly surprised to discover that you are not “broken.” Your body is simply trying to solve a different problem. And with the kind of skill skilled support that you will enjoy with Somatic Experiencing®, you’re able to return to a natural state of balance and health.

Somatic Therapy combines psychotherapy with physical therapy

While traditional talk therapy involves working on thoughts, beliefs, and emotions from how the mind and brain work, Somatic therapy comes from the understanding that our mind, body, and spirit are intricately connected and indivisible. Somatic therapy supports integration of all levels of your core self in order to better access and resolve root causes of distress and illness, rather than merely treat symptoms.

Somatic Therapy Techniques

Somatic therapy can be more active than traditional talk therapy. You may experience a wide range of techniques, adapted to fit your needs, such as:

  • Mindfulness
  • Working with the five senses
  • Body sensations
  • Mental imagery
  • Movement exercises

You will deepen awareness of emotional and physical experiences while moving at a pace that feels nourishing and resourcing. Interventions such as movement exercises will release stuck energy or shock in the body and nervous system. Depending on your needs, body work, such as craniosacral therapy or massage, may also be used to support nervous system regulation, resiliency, and to increase your capacity to manage stress or pain.

What is Somatic Therapy used for

Somatic therapy is useful for treating various psychological stressors including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Relationship and sexuality
  • Grief and loss
  • Addiction
  • Attachment
  • Trauma

Somatic therapy can also be used for physical ailments, such as pain relief, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, headaches, chronic pain, and other somatic symptoms.

Therapeutic modalities that use a somatic approach include: Somatic Experiencing, Hakomi, Craniosacral, Massage 

Somatic Therapy

  • Have you sensed that you were living out of sync with yourself?
  • Wondered if patterns from the past keep you from being more confident, alive and healthy?
  • Do you long to feel more at ease in your life, relationships and work?
  • Have you tried talk therapy and get support and insights, but still wrestle with anxiety and depression ?

traumaresolvedisagreatgiftSomatic therapies, such as Somatic Experiencing®, have helped many people to be more healthy and experience greater ease and resilience.

This gentle approach utilizes the natural wisdom of our bodies to be resilient with life’s ups and downs. Somatic therapy can help you to discover within yourself innate tools for unlocking the power of your Organic Intelligence™. This process awakens your capacity to have fuller, richer, and happier days, and returns you to your birthright: freedom.

Most people feel better at the end of every session. You will feel renewed with this gentle sustainable process of awakening.

What is Somatic Therapy?

Somatic therapy, sometimes called body-centered psychotherapy or somatic psychology, is a cutting edge approach to helping people heal themselves and transform their lives naturally.

In a somatic approach, the information the body conveys is welcomed. Together we pay close attention to the messages your body is sending.

Actually, you may already be working with your body’s wisdom.

  • somatic therapyHave you ever had a “gut feeling,” a wordless sense of something that could be called intuition?
  • Perhaps you’ve experienced “butterflies” in your stomach when you feel anxiety or stress.
  • You may have experienced heartbreak, the physical pain that goes along with emotional suffering and grief.

Or perhaps you’ve used mindfulness to savor the feeling of ease and comfort in your body. You notice a delicious sigh that happens when you shift into a more relaxed state.

Let Something New Happen

All of these physiological experiences are important to support something new to happen. When you learn to notice and savor the healing potential of physical sensations, you can help your body and mind to heal faster, more completely, and potentially, more enjoyably.

Please note: I am currently full and not taking any new clients or supervisees. For more information about working with one of our therapy students, please visit Portland Therapy Project.

I am available to write letters for gender affirming surgeries. To schedule an assessment session, please contact me here.

I am glad you have found your way here. Ever wondered if there is something beyond talk therapy? I offer body-centered, experiential therapy for those looking for something different.  Including the body in the therapeutic process can give you deeper felt sense of your experience. As a result, you may find you are able to make more informed, intentional choices about the life that you want to live. 

Trainings beginning Fall 2022

The Somatic Psychotherapy Training Institute – Pacific NW, located in Portland, Oregon, was formed in 2020 to provide training in the field of somatic psychotherapy for practitioners and students in the fields of counseling and psychology, clinical social work, mental health, and other health professions. Courses offered by the institute strive to provide in depth education into the theories, processes and techniques which underlay what is increasingly current in psychotherapeutic and counseling practice – an understanding that therapy cannot just take place in the realm of verbal language but must include a focus upon the language of the body – the somatic –as a means of addressing each person from a truly bio-psychosocial perspective. The institute’s approach builds upon the character-analytic, biophysical, and bioenergetic (orgonomic) theories and techniques developed by Wilhelm Reich and his students, the experiential and process-oriented approach of Gestalt Therapy, and that which is current in the fields of emotion and attachment theory, affective neuroscience, somatics, and contemporary psychodynamic psychotherapy. Trainings are taught by Daniel Schiff PhD along with other professionals in the field. 

Upcoming Trainings

Contemporary Orgone (Reichian) Therapy Four-Year Training.  September 2022 – June 2023

Somatic Psychotherapy Training and Case Consultation Group.  October 2022 – May 2023

Advanced Somatic Psychotherapy Training and Case Consultation Group.  October 2022 – May 2023

Information on these trainings can be found at: or by contacting Daniel Schiff directly at [email protected].


People look for support for many reasons. Feelings of limitation and disquiet can be part and parcel of being human. If you are: Yearning to be a part of a community, yet feeling alone…Frustrated that past experiences interfere with the present moment…Moving through a life transition and wanting support and guidance…Wondering about life purpose…Wanting stronger and more loving intimate relationships…Holding back instead of speaking freely…Being emotionally exhausted by day-to-day life. These are all experiences that can show up in our living our day to day lives, just a part of being human.

To feel whole and fully alive, take the risk that the world will embrace the real you…what you really think, feel, want, and need. Trust your inner compass. Build relationships… intimacy, community, and connection.

I offer insight, experience, honesty, and compassion as you reclaim your true self

I offer individual therapy, group therapy, and consultation in trauma recovery, grief and loss, relationship issues, and personal empowerment. I specialize in working with adults seeking to heal from trauma. I am a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP,) and a Certified EMDR Therapist trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.

If you’re interested in becoming a client
Please contact me.

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