Friday, December 20, 2013

Hand on my Heart - Somatic Experiencing Session®

I had a lovely 'last' Somatic Experiencing® SE® session of the year. It was really positive to be able to tell Therapist (T) about how much more 'in' my body I now feel and how I was no longer dissociating anywhere near as much as I had prior to starting my SE® work. I was able to report how I had been continuing the 'bath' exercise and that I was now applying different pressures and sensations to my body, whilst giving the body time to respond, but that it was becoming easier, safer and more enjoyable all the time. I also explained how I was continuing with the use of body lotion after the bath, and that again, this was feeling 'more real' in my skin than in the past. I spoke today of feeling rather sore and stiff around my body's whole perimeters as if they had been thoroughly awakened, but that I did not see this as a negative experience, just a new awareness. I said I could even feel the front of my face and that now the most de-sensitised part of my body was my spine, which I will pay more attention to in the future. I said I had woken up feeling rather tired, so that this could also explain feeling more achy. However, the most important thing was that I felt safe and happy within my whole being, and reported to how I had enjoyed the child-likeness of sleeping in my 'onesie' suite!

I explained to T how I had averted crisis when I felt very 'dangerous' earlier in the week, that I had moved and walked outside of my flat, (had a smoke) and then pushed the air away with my arms, saying 'no' and how this empowered me and released the charged energy I might previously have self-directed in self-harm. We both saw this as huge progress, also in line with my Dialectic Behavioural Therapy (DBT). I said I had also noticed that I was taking more slow and deeper breaths which T reinforced would re-balance my sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system.

T asked me to put my hand on my heart. I did this with my left hand and after a few moments, asked me what I could feel. I said that I felt that my ears were bilaterally warmed and felt 'pulled.' I then said that I had some 'pain/tension' in my left neck. T thought it might be because I was using my left hand over my heart, so I swapped hands, the feeling remained, but I felt very happy and said I could feel this in my whole face and in my heart and diaphragm. My breathing further relaxed and I felt very peaceful, happy and safe.

T asked me what next year would look like. I said that I now felt I was in the 'yellow' of my bucket and that the blue would mean I was feeling well much more of the time, rather than just for days here and there. I spoke of my plans, and that once my surgery would be out of the way that I could start to visualise a much healthier and happier future and perhaps allow for someone personal in my life. I spoke about future writing work and other projects. It felt really good and positive. T asked me to put my finger tips together, this made me feel even stronger as I continued to talk about my aspirations for the future.

T described me to be like a 'race-horse' who always needed to be busy, and that is a part of who I am, but that it was also important to be able to apply the brakes. Balance. This is what I am working on and working towards both with T and in my DBT work. The session closed with some new learned tools - the heart tool, and fingers in a triangle. T said that I was responding extremely well to the work and making very good progress. I agreed. We wished each other a Happy Christmas and New Year 2014. 

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