site title, Brooklyn Feldenkrais

Somatic Trauma Healing + an Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain

Dan Rindler, Somatic Experiencing and Feldenkrais Practitioner

The first session

Knowing what to expect makes a big difference in your ability to feel comfortable in your first session

After I welcome you in, we will usually begin sitting and talking through your goals for working together. I’ll explain more about the way I approach somatic trauma-work so that you have some clearer understanding of the process. The first session usually includes some somatic experiencing work, but it’s akin to dipping one’s toes in the shallow end of the pool, rather than diving in head first. We don’t try to get to the bottom of anything in the first session, and we don’t dig deep into past events. 

My interest in the first session is to begin to understand not just your story, but for us both to understand your nervous system a little better. I’m interested in getting a sense of how you operate: how getting revved up, or “activated” shows up for you in your body, and the ways you know to settle down. 

If reducing chronic pain is your main goal in working together, we might also spend some time for me to better understand what you’re dealing with and to begin to form a picture of patterns of movement that may be contributing to that pain. I may invite you to do some gentle, slow movements drawn from the Feldenkrais Method to begin to find the first steps towards learning new patterns that work better for you.  

Our work in sessions going forward can be simplified to three basic areas of focus:

1. Coming home to the body 
Working somatically is the key towards sending signals of safety to your nervous system. Not everyone has easy access to the sensations of their body, but when you do find your way “back home,” it allows you to feel more present with yourself and others, while finding easier movement, improving breathing, muscular tension, digestion and many other benefits.  

2. Building capacity 
Through somatic work, you can discover more capacity for being with difficult sensations or emotions when they arise. This allows us to ride the waves as they come and come more quickly back to equilibrium, rather than feeling swept away.

3. Knowing yourself
If we don’t know what we’re doing, we cannot change it. Gaining more clarity about our patterns of movement, thought and emotion, gives us a key to choose a different possibility when challenging moments of life arise.