"My belief is in the blood and flesh as being wiser than the intellect. The body-unconscious is where life bubbles up in us. It is how we know that we are alive, alive to the depths of our souls and in touch somewhere with the vivid reaches of the cosmos."

D. H. Lawrence

 

What is Somatic Therapy?

Somatic (or body oriented) Therapy is a form of therapy that encourages awareness of the relationship between body and mind.

 

The main goal of Somatic Therapy is to support clients in attuning to the self-healing within their own bodies.

 

Through developing this body mind awareness, clients begin to experience more aliveness and creativity within themselves, enhancing the ability to self-regulate and be in nourishing relationship with others.

Therapy sessions typically involve the client tracking her or his experience of sensations throughout the body, and where appropriate include working with breath, movement, sound, and healing touch.

An awareness of the client as a whole interconnected being is held by the therapist so whatever arises is met with a sense of ‘warm hearted curiosity’ as the basis of enquiry into the nature of suffering and well-being.

 

Skills that Somatic practitioners have trained in and can offer:

 

  • Talking therapy, anchored in sensation and embodied presence

  • Tracking body sensations and facilitating movement

  • Mindfulness and deep listening

  • Authentic movement as an embodied awareness practice

  • A neuro-biological approach to resolving trauma

  • Art: Guided creative process and expression

  • Touch and hands-on techniques drawn from BodyMind Centering and Biodynamic Cranio-Sacral Therapy

 

Somatic Movement Therapist and Educators may offer any or all of the following: individual therapy, group therapy, classes, courses and workshops. Practitioners work with adults, adolescents and/or younger children and babies.

Every practitioner brings their own skills, experiences and interests into their work, thus influencing a particular and unique way of working in the somatic therapy and education field.

 

 

Therapists

Michelle Callaghan

Cork

Michelle is an accredited Origins Somatic Movement Therapist and Educator based in Cork.

She is particularly interested in our inner and outer landscapes, combining a background of study in Biology, Geography and Geology , love of nature , combined with over 25 years of practising various embodiment forms and self-exploration leading to teaching dance and creative expression classes for women.

As a Somatic therapist, Michelle holds a safe and compassionate space with the intention to support the cultivation of each client’s awareness and resiliency as they navigate their unique journey.

Michelle’s work is informed by her study of and explorations in Biological Embodiment, Attachment Therapy, Trauma Resolution, Nervous system and Emotional Regulation, Authentic Movement and Creative Expression.

Michelle is fascinated by relationship, how we relate to ourselves and our bodies, our inner experiences, the ground of our being, how we relate to others and how we relate to our environment.

Michelle lives with her partner, three daughters and various animals in Blarney, Co. Cork

Contact Details: Mobile: 0035387 7716629 or send e-mail

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Deirdre Cotter

Cork

Dee Cotter ISTD, Dip, PGDip, SMET is an Integrative Somatic Therapist and Movement Educator, in practice in the West Cork area.

 

With an early background in Community Development, Counselling and Group facilitation, Dee has also worked for over thirty years in the fields of, Somatic Education, Dance, Embodied Performance and Body-Mindfulness practices. She was assistant to Joan Davis www.gorsehill.net/about/ and associate tutors on the Origins training programme 2012-2015 www.gorsehill.net/origins/ and assisted Joan Davis on the Foundation Course in Somatic Studies 2007-2009.

Dee offers one to one therapy, integrating nervous system regulation, developmental/attachment trauma repair (including embryological and birth developmental stages) and life tools for resourcing inner and outer relationships, emotional resilience and mindful mental health.

 

She also offers somatic psychology workshops, courses and classes in embodied integration, engaging the experiential fields of cellular awareness, embryology, body systems, developmental movement patterns, reflexes, guided somatic inquiry and art & creative processing, to develop full bodied awareness of our relational processes.

 

She is in continuous professional development, engaging with the evolving fields of Trauma Therapy, Interpersonal Neurobiology,  Somatic attachment and Somatic Psychology approaches.

She is committed to the apprenticeship programme of ‘Original Nature’ www.gorsehill.net/original-nature/ , a mentorship in deepening witness practice under Julia Gombos http://disciplineofauthenticmovement.com/circles-of-four/circles-of-four-faculty/julia-gombos and Joan Davis, that runs in conjuction with the three year course.

Dee engages in clinical supervision and regular personal therapy and abides by the code of ethics of the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association. www.ismeta.org

Contact her at 00353 863544389 or send e-mail

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Signe Dempelsone

West Wicklow & Kildare

Signe Dempelsone, originally from Latvia, has lived in Ireland for over fifteen years. She completed ORIGINS Somatic Movement Therapy and Education training directed by Joan Davis (accredited by ISMETA) in June 2016. Signe’s background degree and work area is in nursing for developmental disabilities. She works as a somatic therapist and educator one on one with adults and small groups. Her specific areas of interest are in utero development, birth and how they impact the entire path of human life as well as attachment and trauma work.

 

A therapeutic approach (with its foundations in embodied awareness; talking-listening and movement) is uniquely created by Signe based on each individual client’s needs and can even vary from session to session. Signe also has some experience and a strong interest in performing arts. Currently she lives and works in the West Wicklow/Kildare area.

Contact Details  Mobile: 086 1596141  or send e-mail

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Patricia Grey Amante

East Wicklow

Patricia Grey Amante is a Somatic Movement Psychotherapist, with over fourteen years professional experience.

With a background in Psychology and Counselling Psychology, Patricia accredited as a Transpersonal Psychotherapist in 2004, through the Centre for Transpersonal Psychology in London. Over the last 10 years, Patricia has completed further Leadership Training in Jungian Embodied process, through the Marion Woodman Foundation for BodySoul.

Patricia has also completed a 4 year training in Somatic Movement Education and Therapy, through ORIGINS, with Joan Davis. ORIGINS offers a way of tuning into our somatic experience from conception, ( and before),  though to our early childhood. By bringing in somatic support and ease, we can allow these developmental patterns to enhance and strengthen our present day life experiences.

Patricia is passionate about Somatic Embryology, and through movement and stillness, brings a deep listening to Body and the original wisdom that is so alive there.

Patricia is also passionate about our connection to the vast Body of Nature, which we are an intrinsic part of.  Her work with clients encourages connecting to the soothing regulation and the uplifting invigoration of Nature.

She attends regular professional supervision as well as ongoing continuing professional development. Patricia abides by UKCP and ISMETA codes of ethics.

Note: Patricia is not currently taking on new clients at this time.

Contact Details  Mobile:    or send e-mail

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Tina Hannon

Galway

Tina Hannon (PhD, BSc) is an integrative somatic therapist and movement educator with a practice based in Galway city.  She currently works with adult clients in individual and group sessions. As a therapist Tina offers a gentle and supportive holding space for people to safely explore issues and concerns.  Her approach integrates embodiment awareness with psychodynamic and relational therapeutical models as based on her training in the course ORIGINS somatic therapy and movement eduction for which she holds a diploma (2015) accredited by ISMETA.

 

Tina's particular interests are in our lifelong developmental patterns, psychological and physical, how early experiences like our embryological ones shape our ways of being in the world, our attachment/ relationship patterns, and also finding relief from past trauma and reestablishing resiliency.  She has experience working with depression, anxiety, and trauma and its defenses, dissociation and freeze responses.

 

Tina's background is in Science and academia and she brings her intellect and curiosity to her body oriented work.  Tina's passion for healing and therapeutic movement is ongoing for over 15 years and in mindfulness practices. Dance and movement trainings, and aikido has been personally transformative for her.  She completed a foundation in counseling and psychotherapy before specialising in somatic movement therapy.  She has been facilitating a community dance space for 13 years.  In recent years she has work experience with elderly people and end-of-life care, and also with young children.

 

Since graduating she takes part in continuing professional development with Joan Davis and Julia Gombos.  She is currently an apprentice of the Authentic Movement Original Nature program.   Tina works as an assistant to Joan Davis with ongoing ORIGINS somatic processing groups.   She commits to ongoing clinical supervision, personal therapy, and continuing professional development.  She values her relationships with her peers in SOMETI.  Tina follows the code of ethics of ISMETA and keeps up to date with best practices and recommendations of Irish professional bodies in the mental health field.

 

Contact Details: Mobile: 0877791035, email tina.hannon@gmail.com

Margaret Link

Cork

Margaret is an experienced and fully accredited ‘ORIGINS’ Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist with over 25 years professional practice in the healing arts.

Margaret provides a down to earth, warm, open hearted, relaxed, non-judgemental and confidential environment in which the client can safely settle into their body-mind exploration.

Experiencing the felt sensations of gentle touch, movement and stillness, together with dialogue and deep listening not only helps to reveal where and how we hold tension, stresses and developmental patterns in our bodies, often caused by traumatic life experiences, but also how the body expresses vibrancy, joy and resilience.  The body and its sensations can be a direct source in helping us connect more compassionately and intimately to the truth of our being and the human condition. 

Each session is uniquely tailored to meet the client’s requirements providing a secure and protective space for the individual’s journey.  Margaret offers one to one sessions, weekly groups and workshops holding sacred space to integrate and embody newfound somatic awareness, while deeply regulating and resourcing every client’s innate self-healing potential.

In addition to qualifying with Joan Davis ISMETA (www.ismeta.org) approved ‘ORIGINS’ training in 2015, Margaret embodies over 20 years professional experience as an accomplished Shiatsu Therapist, facilitator of Mindful Yoga, Do-In and Makka Ho, together with 30 years exploration into food and healing through macrobiotic principles. She integrates the body map of the meridian system and philosophy of Oriental Medicine with her somatic enquiry into Embryology, Developmental Movement Patterns and Reflexes, Experiential Anatomy, Authentic Movement and Attachment Theory. 

Margaret holds an MA in Women Studies, a BA in Community Education and Development and has extensive work experience in both fields.  She is a registered tutor with the SHEP (Social and Health Education Project) in the areas of Personal Development, Effective Communication, Stress Management as well as Grief, Loss and Change.

Currently Margaret is an apprentice participant of the ‘Original Nature’ Authentic Movement programme facilitated by Joan Davies and Julia Gambos.  She regularly attends supervision and continued professional development and is ISMETA (International Somatic Movement Education& Therapy Association) and SSI (Shiatsu Society Ireland) codes of ethics compliant.

Living according to permaculture principles, Margaret is surrounded by stunning views, organic gardens, herbs, trees and the many flowers of wild West Cork.

Contact Details:  Mobile: +353 86 0897844 or Email: mdmlink@hotmail.com

 

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Colette Lynch

Dublin City and East Wicklow

Colette Lynch (P.G. Dip) is a Gestalt Psychotherapist and Somatic Movement Therapist.  

Over the past 15 years, she has also trained in other fields such as Jungian Psychology with Art Therapy, the Naked Voice with Chloe Goodchild and is a qualified DTR (Dancing the Rainbow) trainer.

Colette is passionate about combining Gestalt psychotherapy and somatic experiencing to bring about real psychological and physiological transformation.  She works with low self-esteem, depression, trauma, anxiety, panic attacks and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  She interweaves developmental movement patterning into her work to assist clients who are coping with physical pain.  Colette has a keen interest in working with dreams through art to explore the wisdom of the unconscious.

She attends regular supervision and continued professional development.

She also works as a consultant in the corporate sector helping large businesses manage and implement change.

Note: Colette is not currently taking on new clients at this time.

Contact Details  Mobile: 086 8505188  or send e-mail or go to website www.somaticawareness.ie

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Gwen McHale

Clare, Galway

Gwen Mc Hale is as a somatic therapist and educator with more than 15 years experience in the field. She holds private practice in Clare and Galway. Gwen works with individuals in one to one therapy and also facilitates couples and group therapy.

Gwen is particularly interested in trauma recovery, attachment/relationships, dissociative disorders and the search for a truer sense of self. In all her work she offers a calm and mindful presence, deep respect and empathy with her clients.

Gwen has a rich background. She holds an MA in Community Development, a H.Dip in Guidance Counselling, Diplomas in Origins Somatic Therapy & Education, Yoga and Dancing the Rainbow and a BA in Psychology & Philosophy.

Before Gwen found therapeutic work she had careers as a school guidance counsellor, life coach and a community development worker. Gwen also is a performance artist working with eco-somatic improvisation and site specific ritual performance. She lectures in University of Limerick on somatics, ritual and performance.

Gwen keeps an online blog where she shares her writing about her work (see web-site link below) and is a regular contributor to journals and magazines.

Gwen is taking continued professional development with Joan Davis and Julia Gambos in Authentic Movement and with Diane Poole Heller in the area of attachment and trauma resolution. Gwen also assists Joan Davis with ongoing Origins Somatic process groups. She is a member of ISMETA, the international association for Somatic Therapists and Educators and is committed to ongoing supervision and training.

Contact Details  Mobile: 087 9958028  send e-mail  or go to Gwen's website

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Sally Ann O'Reilly

Kildare/Dublin (South)

Sally Ann O’Reilly (BA, Dip. SMET) is an accredited ORIGINS Somatic Therapist and Movement Educator practicing from south County Dublin and Kildare. She offers a supportive and resourcing space for clients to access the wisdom of their own bodies in order to meet and integrate their life experiences from pre-conception to present time.  Sally Ann subscribes to the belief that, by offering presence through heartfelt listening and deep inner witnessing, the possibility of body, mind, spirit and soul returning to a state of integrity and balance opens up for the client.  In this empathic holding field, meeting the client’s fundamental need for recognition, acknowledgement and unconditional acceptance becomes central to the establishment of the respect, trust and safety that lie at the heart of the therapeutic relationship.   

 

Since the late 1990s Sally Ann has explored Body Mind Centering and Authentic Movement with Joan Davis, the founder/director of ORIGINS, a four year training which offers a somatically based approach to our developmental and evolutionary process, from pre-conception to standing. In 2018 she began a three year post graduate programme in the Discipline of Authentic Movement with Joan and Julia Gambos (USA).  Sally Ann is also a graduate of the BodySoul Leadership Programme (Marion Woodman Foundation), an embodied approach to self healing through movement, voice, writing, art and dreams, deeply rooted in the work of C.J.Jung. She is committed to on-going supervision and continuing professional development trainings in both her Origins and BodySoul practice.

 

Apart from her one on one somatic therapy practice, Sally Ann, along with her colleague, Abigail Whyte, offers a series of annual retreats called Four Fires,  a BodySoul Journey through the Celtic Wheel of Time - from Samhain to Imbolc, Bealtaine to Lughnasadh - through movement, ritual, embodied story and dreamtime. Since 2003 she has facilitated four successive three year cycles of Women’s Indigenous Wisdom Teachings, using traditional Medicine Wheels from native North American and Ireland. Through this lens Sally Ann has explored the deep connection between the cycles of life in the natural world and the psychological, spiritual, and biological rhythms inherent in the human experience.

 

Sally Ann has a BA in Media Studies from DIT. She worked for many years as a producer and scriptwriter in film and television in the US and Ireland and served as programme director for the internationally renowed Galway Film Fleadh from 2001 – 2005. Her work in film has given her first hand experience of the creative process and of the human impulse to understand ourselves through artistic expression.

 

Sally Ann lives and gardens by the River Barrow in County Kildare alongside her partner.

Contact Details  Mobile: 086 8035399  or send e-mail

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Leanne Szklarzewicz

East Wicklow

Leanne is an accredited ORIGINS Somatic Movement Therapist and Educator who has studied and practiced body-based therapy for almost 10 years. She offers group and one-to-one somatic sessions to support a deeper trust in one’s own body wisdom for effective inquiry and the unfolding of unresolved issues. Leanne works with a clear understanding of the potential for repair and transformation of body-held traumas that impact along the way.

Leanne has a varied background with a degree in Psychology; a Post Graduate Certificate in Education; Diplomas in ORIGINS Somatic Therapy & Education and Dancing the Rainbow; and CPD trainings in Transformational Leadership and Nature Connection. She worked as a Primary School Teacher in Wales before taking up studies in Somatic Movement, Transformational Leadership and Nature Connection in Ireland in 2008.

Leanne’s areas of interest, within the Somatic Therapeutic approach to healing, includes conscious transitioning; healing from loss; embodied miscarriage; preparation for birth; coordination difficulties; mindfulness; stress management; attachment in relationships; digestive issues; and general well-being.

Leanne is known for her empathic, patient and deep listening qualities and presence. She weaves together her unique combination of trainings and work experiences to offer a strong holding field for client-led sessions. A session with Leanne might include dialogue and reflection techniques, somatic/developmental movement inquiry, art/creative expression and tracking sensations in the body.

 

Leanne attends regular supervision and is currently an apprentice on an in-depth continued professional development training, ‘ORIGINAL NATURE’, with Joan Davis and Julia Gambos.

Leanne also works part-time as a Social Care Worker alongside her Wicklow-based Somatic Therapy practice. One-to-one Somatic Movement and Education sessions may also be arranged via skype for those further afield.

Leanne is currently on maternity leave, due to return in the Summer 2019.

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