SomatoEmotional Release (or SER) is a body-mind technique which allows not just mechanical or body memories to be released, but sometimes significant emotional components as well.
It’s worth mentioning briefly how SER came about. Dr. John Upledger, in his work with autistic children at Michigan State University in the mid-70’s, noticed that many of these children would spontaneously move into positions that would facilitate the release of old patterns, memories and situations with an emotional component. These positions were spontaneous, without plan and would sometimes be facilitated by more than one therapist who was present.
As Dr. John investigated further into SomatoEmotional Release in his private practice, he found that dialogue could also be a key factor in the SER process, with the opportunity, when it arose, to speak with various parts of the body, a memory from the past, or even someone’s ‘inner intelligence’ or ‘inner physician’ who basically knew the whole story of someone’s past. Often times, if questioned in a respectful and appropriate manner, this inner physician would help in resolving old conflicts which might have been ‘holding up’, delaying, or hindering the return to complete or full health. Out of this experience of dialogue arose the concept of therapeutic imagery and dialogue, which is an adjunct to SomatoEmotional release.
The key thing to understand about the SER process is that it only comes about at the ‘invitation’ of the client, and that it is useful in resolving, in a very safe way, issues that may have been holding up the healing process of a client for years. SER is the extra ‘piece’ of the healing puzzle which is sometimes necessary for a client to feel fully complete, resolved and at peace in body and mind.
From many strands of mind and body work, drawing on both conventional science and traditional wisdom, Dr John Upledger developed SomatoEmotional Release®. It is a framework and toolkit for facilitating personal growth, away from illness and lack of potential and towards health and fulfillment.
Many of us are underlying our potential because of the retained effects of early life trauma, whether mental, emotional or physical.
This shows itself most obviously as chronic physical illness which prevents us from freely exercising choices, but more insidiously in sub-clinical dysfunctional patterns such as poor immunity, lack of energy, lack of confidence, anxiety and fearfulness.
Illness, rather than being viewed entirely negatively, can become a creative tool for sorting out our lives and redesigning our futures. To achieve this, we need an approach which enables us to listen to and learn from both mind and body. Most healthcare approaches separate mind and body – either physical therapy or psychotherapy, the body hospital or the mind hospital.
We know however that a radical change in physical health, whether for the better or the worse, is invariably accompanied by profound mental change. We also know from studies of behavior and body language that the reverse is equally true – a major change in mental perspective is always accompanied by a change in body activity, posture and movement.
SomatoEmotional Release® serves the purpose of combining all aspects of human nature, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, into one approach that can facilitate tremendous change and growth in a person’s life.