Drumming as Somatic Therapy

The drum is a powerful grounding tool with the resonance activated by the player seeping from the drum, through the body and connecting and aligning to the rhythms of the natural world. Both mindfulness and grounding exercises can be given additional efficacy through the use of the drum, usually played at a tempo that replicates the mothers heart-beat at rest; 60-80 beats per minute. This tempo is associated with the calm and security that accompanies our time in the womb and is also believed to be the primary stimuli under which the areas of the brain responsible for our stress response are formed.


Take a Tool and Run with Dr. Heather Corwin

TR 19: In this September, 2020 “Take a Tool and Run!”, we explore sensory toys for our young people who are engaging in e-learning and could benefit from support. When sensory tools are “correctly used, such items enable students to manage sensory issues, anxiety, and attention challenges by redirecting their physical and emotional energy into an object” (Biel, 2017, p.12). When sixth graders used stress balls in a study by Stalvey and Brasell (2006), positive impacts existed in areas of writing, peer interactions, attitude and attention. In other words, sometimes having something to hold and feel while learning can be helpful. As there are many frustrations for students, teachers, parents, caregivers, and throughout our communities, having some resources that help you and your family manage this temporary and challenging time can be useful. In this TTR, sensory tools are suggested and demonstrated. You can find some of the toys in this video on Amazon. One link with 36 toys in a set can be found on Amazon for $22. For questions or comments, please reach out to Dr. Heather at

-Dr. Heather Corwin More can be found at

Dr. Heather Corwin’s Take a Tool and Run is a monthly vlog that offers quick and effective tools to share somatic centering practices.



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 Jan Winhall, MSW, a psychotherapist in private practice and Director of Focusing on Borden (, a center for teaching focusing and focus-oriented therapy. Jan discusses what brought her to the work that she does, her experience with knowing how to listen, and her use of the Felt Sense, the internal bodily awareness that functions as a connection between the mind and body. She also discusses a Polyvagal informed model for treating addiction (…) she created and the six keys of her clinician model ( addicted, chaos, rigidity, play, integrated, stillness.

Winhall is also the author of Understanding and Treating Addition with a Felt Sense Experience Model and In Emerging Practice In Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy, Innovative Theory and Applications (…). To learn more about Jan Winhall, visit her website (…).

Today’s show is brought to you by Somatic Psychotherapy Today (https://www.somaticpsychotherapytoday…), an online resource for all topics related to body-oriented psychology.


The Shattered Oak: An Author’s Reflection

My mother’s life was not easy. She dealt with and battled domestic violence, child abuse, suicide, and eventually mental illness. She was affected by and surrounded by the nature of mankind’s cruelty. And yet, she gave my siblings and I her gift of strength. In writing The Shattered Oak, I came to terms with her thought process and experienced her level of bravery and reliance. I finally comprehended her intense strength, courage, and determination by acknowledging her survivor skills and her deep love of faith that provided her comfort that she was never alone.

Using the Original Tuning Board in Somatic Experiencing®

The Tuning Board is a somatic tool that addresses this problem of a non-resilient ability to return to a fluid vertical nervous system. It is increasingly known and used for this purpose in the SE community as well as among other somatic therapy practitioners. A unique balance board device, the Tuning Board gives the individual the task of relating to a comforting constant motion while the spine is in a state of vertical orientation.

The Pandemic, Zoom and Polyvagal Theory

I recently saw a pre-publication version of an editorial by Stephen Porges, “The COVID-19 Pandemic is a Paradoxical Challenge to Our Nervous System: A Polyvagal Perspective.” In it he says, “The pandemic impacts on our biological imperative to connect.” Polyvagal theory says that as mammals we need to connect to co-regulate. In fact, we use the minimal cues that come from the face and the tone of voice of each other to co-regulate our nervous systems. These cues let us know we are safe. The problem is that during the pandemic, we are being given the imperative that we need to stay away from each other in order to be safe.

A Polyvagal Approach to Covid 19

We are so pleased to be able to share a recorded version of a conversation Deb Dana had recently with Liam O Mahony, Accredited Psychotherapist and Addiction Counsellor and Co-Founder of PCPSI* on a Polyvagal Approach to COVID-19.

The body remembers: Saying #MeToo

It was reassuring hearing the title of Babette Rothschild’s book (Rothschild, 2000) all those years ago, recommended to me by my core process psychotherapist. ‘The body remembers’. Yes, it does, my body, turning towards me, nodding - suddenly engaging - a door opening inside. The body remembers. This body remembers, and what a journey it’s been – so far – in my body stepping through that door and in deepening my understanding of trauma and working with trauma in myself, with clients, with supervisees, and with trainees.

Cognitive complexity, COVID-19, and embodied cognition on #ORadio

Michael Ostrolenk speaks with Dr. Dee Joy Coulter, a nationally recognized neuroscience educator known for her unique ability to present complex ideas in clear and humorous ways that are useful for her audiences. Dr. Coulter discusses COVID-19 and the cognitive complexity that would be necessary to adequately deal with the pandemic.


RSS Relational Implicit: Conversations on Psychotherapy

  • Francesca Maximé: Embodied anti-racism November 1, 2020
    Francesca Maximé talks about how to find mindful, embodied responses to racialization and racism. Francesca Marguerite Maximé is a Haitian-Dominican Italian-American embodied antiracism educator, somatic psychotherapist, award-winning poet/author, certified mindfulness meditation teacher. She also hosts the ReRooted podcast on Ram Dass’s Be Here Now Network focusing on neuroscience, trauma healing, social justice, and the creative arts. […]
    Relational Implicit
  • David Allen: The implicit pressures that shape our clients October 1, 2020
    To be effective, therapy has to address the implicit pressures that shaped our clients and continue to shape them. This includes the implicit messages people derived from their upbringing (e.g. parent implicitly encouraging child to act out while explicitly not doing so). This also includes the social milieu which exerts implicit pressure for them to […]
    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.


Book Reviews

Humanual: A manual for being human: An Epic Journey to your expanded self

There are numerous themes woven in the three parts of this text that bring readers into and through a journey that if taken with intention and reflection, has the potential to result in significant changes. I appreciated Betsy's inclusion of joy, laughter, and play and how swaying, rocking, rolling, and bouncing all invite aliveness into our body. A question she offered, stays with me: “Is this contributing to my health and well-being, and a fuller version of myself or not?” (pg. 215). I take a moment to reflect before making a choice. Being in the moment, conscious.

Therapy in the Age of Neuroscience: A Guide for Counsellors and Therapists

“In Therapy in the Age of Neuroscience, psychotherapist Peter Afford boldly integrates the voices of contemporary neuroscientists into a therapist-relevant narrative that interlaces psychological constructs including diagnostic features with a knowledge of the relevant role that specific neural structures play in movements, thoughts and feelings. Through the lens of a therapist, the reader is informed how a knowledge of neuroscience can inform, support and at times transform treatment models relevant to mental health.” Stephen W. Porges knows quality writing regarding neuroscience and polyvagal theory. I do not think readers will be disappointed.

Want: A Novel

In Want, Lynn Steger Strong writes for the times we’re living in. Saddled with plenty of responsibilities, and jobs that simply don’t pay enough, Elizabeth is very much a 21st century woman. Her dissatisfaction with her life, and her desire for everything she does not have is what feeds the novel's core conflicts. Steger Strong asks us: Why must a woman with so much still want more?

Praxis Daily 180 with Lina Mookerjee





Lina Mookerjee has a degree in Engineering, a postgraduate degree in Management Studies and a MA in Jungian Psychotherapy and Healing. For the past 20 years, she has been a yoga teacher/trainer, educator, psycho-spiritual group facilitator and an integrative psychotherapist working with women in mid-life based. She works from her Nottingham base and via Skype. Her expertise of the unconscious, feminine personal power and spiritual archetypes enriches her client-work including with anger, shame and trauma. She particularly enjoys working with the Kali archetype, by challenging inaccurate interpretations and instead offering a more realistic and healthier paradigm to help women. She is a published author, international speaker/lecturer and regular contributor on BBC Radio.

Hi everyone and welcome to Meditation 43.

During times of change, and particularly during uncertainty, we can often feel disconnected from the ground and our own bodies. Staying as present as is possible is key to help you effectively manage the fluctuations as they occur. I like to think of it as a bit like becoming a good surfer as you learn to ride and go with the waves of unpredictability.

This practice is to help you get safely back into your own body and be in the present once more. Enjoy x