Australian Somatic Psychotherapy Association
The Australian Somatic Psychotherapy Association (ASPA) was created in July 2011 when two pre-existing Australian Somatic Psychotherapy Associations (AASP and ASIA) joined together to form one larger association. The Association provides support, guidance, professional standards, development and credibility for those who practice as Somatic Psychotherapists in Australia. ASPA acknowledges and draws on the wisdom of its members, while honouring and holding to the heritage of Somatic Psychotherapy within a community of skilled and dedicated practitioners. ASPA endeavours to raise the overall status and profile, and increase awareness of the benefits, of Somatic Psychotherapy to both the medical community and the public.
Somatic Psychotherapy is a unique discipline, which adds a further dimension to verbal psychotherapy in that it is grounded in the belief that thought, emotion and bodily experience are inextricably linked. Emphasis is on the uniqueness of the individual and the innate capacity of the human body/mind to move towards healing and growth. Inclusive of verbal psychotherapy, the work can also be informed by bodily experience and somatic techniques including the recognition of non-verbal signals and with permission of the client, negotiated, appropriate, therapeutic touch. Working in this holistic way, within the safe holding of the developing therapeutic relationship, clients are empowered to gain a deeper understanding of their experience, both present and past. It is through this process that change is facilitated and skills for living developed.
All members are thoroughly trained and experienced in contemporary psychodynamic psychotherapy as well as in somatic, or body-oriented, principles of practice. A broad range of client issues are addressed: anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, low self esteem, emotional instability, grief and loss, childhood abuse, sexual assault, despair, spiritual issues, overcoming addictions, eating disorders, personal development, recovery from trauma, curiosity and meaninglessness as well as physical symptoms which may have underlying emotional or stress related elements. It is within the therapeutic relationship, guided by the body’s innate capacity to heal itself and facilitated by the awareness, presence, holding and expertise of the therapist, that perception and experience of life can be transformed.
All Somatic Psychotherapists have undertaken an appropriate training program and have engaged in their own long-term psychotherapy. They work with empathy and acceptance of the essential humanity, worth and dignity of all people, recognizing and respecting their diversity, privacy and preserving confidentiality. They are also required to maintain ongoing personal and professional development, including supervision of their clinical work. Somatic Psychotherapists are bound by a Code of Ethical Conduct, which embraces the strictest standards of professional ethical practice.
PACFA Section: Body Oriented Psychotherapy and Integrative Psychodynmaic Psychotherapy
Website link: www.somaticpsychotherapy.asn.au/