IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Somatic Psychotherapy Today Volume 11, Number 1, 2021

This issue of SPT Magazine offers articles published online this past year for readers who do not follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn, and for those who want all of the articles in one PDF they can download and read at their convenience. I hope 2022 brings a return of contributors willing to share their experiences and clinical knowledge with our readers.

PODCAST WITH MICHAEL OSTROLENK

PODCASTS

Michael Ostrolenk is a licensed psychotherapist who completed his MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at John F. Kennedy University and did post-graduate studies in somatic psychology at the California Institute for Integral Studies .  He is certified in Spiral Dynamics and Wade Mindsets.  Michael is Head Instructor  for SEALFIT’s Unbeatable Mind Academy as well as a personal development coach. Michael is also the host of #ORadio , a podcast which explores individual and social transformation.

Ostrolenk speaks with Dr. Cherionna Menzam-Sills, student and educator of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology/Therapy, Continuum (a mindful movement practice), and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy globally. Dr. Menzam-Sills has authored two books, The Breath of Life: An Introduction Craniosacral Biodynamics and, recently, Spirit into Form: Exploring Embryological Potential and Prenatal Psychology. Dr. Menzam-Sills opens with what led her to explore alternative methods of healing and the role that intuition played in guiding her towards Pre- & Perinatal Psychology.

Dr. Menzam-Sills developed her own education path and was influenced by the work of many, including William Emerson and Ray Castellino, and Continuum founder, Emilie Conrad. Through her work, Dr. Menzam-Sills has guided patients through deconstructing past contractions and rebuilding. She draws on body work to help induce a state that allows them to go back to their pre-and post-birth experiences and details the importance of a field of safety and cellular memory.

Dr. Sills offers courses, mentoring, and workshops, and Experiential Training for Practitioners. She is also offering a monthly course guiding people through her book Spirit into Form. To learn more about Dr. Menzam-Sills and her work, visit her websites: https://www.birthingyourlife.org

https://www.resourcingyourlife.org.

Today’s show is brought to you by Somatic Psychotherapy Today https://www.somaticpsychotherapytoday.com

BODY MIND SPIRIT

Somatic Psychotherapy Today Volume 11, Number 1, 2021

This issue of SPT Magazine offers articles published online this past year for readers who do not follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn, and for those who want all of the articles in one PDF they can download and read at their convenience. I hope 2022 brings a return of contributors willing to share their experiences and clinical knowledge with our readers.

The Sounds Behind Our Voice

What do seasoned actors express that is more than the lines they say? What do the ‘raw/gut’ sounds behind our words actually mean? How aware are we of the underlying causes of our own and of others vocal tensions? How might professionals intentionally access ‘sound’ to more effectively persuade clients? And baby talk. What do we know about this? The bridge between early childhood sound and adult vocal tones is an area that requires better understanding if we are to realize fuller potential and depth in our communication. The sounds behind words often express unconscious aspects of ourselves and our memories. This is one reason they tend to remain unknown or unclear to us.

The Proactive Twelve Steps

The Proactive Twelve Steps offers readers a way to develop a deeper understanding of behavioral change, codependency, stress, and trauma, as well as look at neuroscience and the Polyvagal Theory and their impact on our physiology and behavior. Serge presents a clear roadmap for self-compassion and mindful self-discovery and provides specific step-by-step instructions within a broader context that helps readers make sense of the healing process.

Spirit Into Form: An Author’s Reflection

Spirit into Form led me through a profound and lengthy journey I can only equate to the birth process. I admit that after seventeen years’ gestation, I felt an unavoidable urgency to see it take shape as my clients and students eagerly, albeit patiently, awaited its arrival, too. During the final moments, I felt like a small-bodied woman giving birth to a 10-pound baby. When I began organizing my notes and bits of writing, I discovered I had initiated the writing process in 2005 in preparation to meet Emilie Conrad, the founder of a mindful- movement inquiry process called Continuum. Her writings were so inspirational I struggled to record thoughts speeding through me. Spirit into Form was conceived during those moments. My inspiration intensified as I met and then spent years in close contact with Emilie, who became an important mentor for me. Her visionary ideas and words are infused throughout the book.

Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model: A Bottom-Up Approach

Just at a time when the wider world is waking up to a more compassionate and inclusive way of understanding trauma and addiction, a timely book that addresses these issues in personal, historical, embodied, and practical ways has arrived. In Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model: A Bottom-Up Approach (Routledge, 2021), author and psychotherapist Jan Winhall both demystifies and depathologizes addiction.

My Stuffed Co-Therapists

In my office I have stuffed animals - a rabbit, a dog, and a bear that sit together on one of my sofas. They represent an alternative somatic psychotherapy. Treatment with them involves talk, but it also involves touch and somatic awareness. Clients usually don’t notice them. However, often in therapy, themes emerge that arise from my clients' repressed bodies. These themes deal with both present and past events and how these clients were treated by their parents. This information is presented to me both quickly and as an affectionless series of stories. I stop my clients. I encourage them to take full slow breaths, to place their feet hips' width apart on the floor. Then I ask them if there is a feeling beneath the story that they are telling me. Often, after the breaths, they come back to the story slower but void of feelings. At this point I change the focus and ask them if they are drawn to one of my co-therapists — the bear, the dog, or the rabbit—and let them make their choice. After choosing, their fingers may start to caress or grip the co-therapist of their choice.

RELATIONAL MINDFULNESS

RSS Relational Implicit: Conversations on Psychotherapy

  • Jeffery Smith: How psychotherapy works January 19, 2022
    Jeffery Smith describes a 5-step pathway to go beyond the fragmentation of the different schools of psychotherapy and define how psychotherapy works. He discusses: (1) What psychotherapy treats (at 0′ 13″) (2) Entrenched Maladaptive Patterns (at 5′ 28″) (3) The learned fear paradigm (at 16′ 06″) (4) Requirements for change (at 29′ 12″) (5) How […]
    Relational Implicit
  • Jan Winhall: Treating trauma & addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal model October 1, 2021
    In this conversation, Jan Winhall describes how therapists can respectfully understand addiction and treat trauma responses with deep embodied listening. Jan Winhall M.S.W. F.O.T. is a psychotherapist, teacher, and the author of Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model. She is an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Social Work, University of Toronto. […]
    Relational Implicit

Relational Mindfulness with Serge Prengel

Embodied Spirituality

In my work, I am accustomed to thinking in terms of embodied experience. That is, mind and body are not separate entities. I think of the mind as an emerging property of the human organism. Where does the notion of spirituality fit with this kind of outlook? The word "spirituality" refers to "spirit". Traditionally, spirit is seen as immaterial, the opposite of flesh and blood. It is what animates the body, gives it life. In many traditions, it is something that leaves the body after death, and continues to live on its own once disembodied. So, essentially, the word "spirit" evokes the very opposite of "embodiment." There is such a chasm between these two notions that it makes it hard to conceive that they could be integrated. Indeed, if you only contemplate these two propositions as logical statements, you simply cannot find a way to reconcile them.

SPT BOOKSHELF

Book Reviews

Why You’re Still Stuck : How to Break Through and Awaken to Your True...

“If you’re confused and frustrated despite all you know and achieved, or how much you’ve worked on yourself, this book offers 18 unconventional approaches that reveal how you got stuck, how to finally break through, and awaken to your True Self.”

You Are What You click: How Being Selective, Positive, and Creative Can Transform Your...

I started to write, “I’m the worst person to review a book on social media! I don’t use it.” Then, nearing the end of Dr Primack’s book, I realized, I use it more than I think. I don’t Twitter, nor Instagram. I don’t TicToK or Messenger. I post articles on LinkedIn and use Facebook for the magazine. But a sense of who? me? reached out and grabbed me when Dr Primack discussed Facebook and canned birthday wishes: how people, like me, are reminded of “friends” birthdays so we can offer a greeting, an emoji. What truly tripped me was his discussion on our own take away.

The Proactive Twelve Steps

The Proactive Twelve Steps offers readers a way to develop a deeper understanding of behavioral change, codependency, stress, and trauma, as well as look at neuroscience and the Polyvagal Theory and their impact on our physiology and behavior. Serge presents a clear roadmap for self-compassion and mindful self-discovery and provides specific step-by-step instructions within a broader context that helps readers make sense of the healing process.