Somatic Coaching – What to expect

Body-Oriented Coaching can often look and feel quite different to traditional coaching. With this approach, we honour the authority of the body. We trust and listen to the body’s impulses, engage with them and bring them to the fore.

I will encourage you to sit, stand, lie, shake and move freely whenever you feel the impulse. If you need to drink, eat, have a toilet break…go ahead! This is not an interruption to the process.

Here we are together cultivating a new relationship with the body: one in which we are saying: “I hear you. I am listening and I am responding.”

The Body at the Centre
During our sessions we will take time for you to come into mindfulness. This means entering into short periods of time where you are calm and centred enough to observe your own reactions, as if you were observing the behaviour of another person.

This can be one of the most powerful things we do in coaching, as we connect with more of ourselves and the deep wisdom that is already there. In order to support this, part of your role is to continue reporting back to keep me informed on how things are unfolding in your experience.

By trusting the process, tracking what’s happening in the here and now, and following your experience as it unfolds, new insights, new possibilities and new choices will become available.

You are in the Lead

“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
William Blake

Although I am the one holding the space, you are in the lead. At any point, if you feel uncomfortable and want to stop, we can do that. While we will aim to bring attention to all of your bodily experience, we won’t go anywhere you don’t want to go. In the process, you will be practising tuning into your inner guidance system.

Bringing an Experimental Attitude
Much of our work will include trying different experiments. I will suggest some ideas based on what is happening in the session. We can follow the ones you are drawn to and see where they lead. There is no expectation or attachment to outcome: all results are useful, even if nothing happens at all. This can be very creative, effective…and fun!
Working with what is Not Already Known
Often, by working with the body, we are working with the unconscious: what is not already known.  As we do this, you may become aware of things that may come as a surprise to you, including some deeper feelings that may feel uncomfortable. This is completely OK. Our coaching is a safe space.
In our work together, we will practise bringing attention to the whole of your bodily experience. This may include sensations, emotions, images or thoughts. At times, part of you may resist this and this is completely OK too. In these moments, we can befriend this resistance. In this approach, resistance is regarded as having a deep intelligence and it is absolutely welcome too. The same might be true of inner tensions. Where possible, allow these – and if they continue to come to the surface, we might explore them.
Unlike a traditional coaching process, interruption is a normal part of Body-Oriented coaching. This is because I will be listening to the whole of you. I am interested in both your story (your words) and what your body is expressing as the storyteller (your non-verbal communication). Therefore there are times when I may interrupt to see what your body is communicating as this may be interesting for us to follow.
You are the expert on what you are experiencing and it’s important we use the right language – so if I say something that feels inaccurate, please correct me!  Offering this sort of feedback helps us to strengthen our coaching alliance and build trust in our relationship. What’s more, finding the right words helps you to connect deeper somatically with what is emerging.