Raja Selvam, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist, is the developer of Integral Somatic Psychology™ (ISP™), an effective somatic therapy that helps clients achieve optimal mental health by fully embodying their emotions.
His book The Practice of Embodying Emotions: A Guide for Improving Cognitive, Emotional, and Behavioral Outcomes is currently being translated into several languages. Click here to learn more about his book.
Integral Somatic Psychology™ (ISP™) is a therapeutic approach based on emerging scientific paradigms of embodied cognition, emotion, and behavior in cognitive psychology and affective neuroscience. It is also based on multiple Western and Eastern psychological, somatic, energetic, and spiritual approaches.
Integral Somatic Psychology has been shown to shorten therapy treatment times internationally. It can be used as a complementary approach by therapists in all modalities who may be looking for innovative research-backed ways to help patients self-regulate and enjoy a wider range of emotional experiences. Click here to learn more about the ISP Professional Training.
Dr. Selvam is also a senior trainer at Dr. Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing® International. He has taught for twenty-five years in over twenty countries in North and South Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the Far East.
Dr. Selvam’s work is informed by older body psychotherapy systems of Reichian Therapy and Bioenergetic Analysis, newer body psychotherapy systems of Bodynamic Analysis and Somatic Experiencing, and bodywork systems of Postural Integration and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.
His work is also inspired by Jungian and archetypal psychologies, Kleinian and intersubjective schools of psychoanalysis, affective neuroscience, quantum physics, yoga, Polarity Therapy, and Advaita Vedanta (a spiritual psychology from India).
Dr. Selvam’s work also draws upon his clinical psychology PhD dissertation on Advaita Vedanta and Jungian psychology, based on which he has published an article titled “Jung and Consciousness,” in the international analytical psychology journal Spring in 2013.
He did trauma outreach work in India in 2005–2006 with survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, based on which he has published an outcome study titled “Somatic Therapy Treatment Effects with Tsunami Survivors,” in the journal Traumatology in 2008. Dr. Selvam’s work is also inspired by the work he did in Sri Lanka in 2012–2014 with survivors of war, violence, loss, and displacement, and with mental health professionals engaged in treating them, after Sri Lanka’s thirty-year civil war ended in 2009.
How Dr. Selvam’s Work Will Benefit You
Integral Somatic Psychology is an effective somatic therapy that can be used as a complementary approach by therapists in all modalities:
- Learn to identify and work with a wider range of emotions from the very first session
- Help your clients undo body and energy defenses against emotion
- Build tolerance for all feelings—especially the uncomfortable ones
- Improve cognitive and behavioral outcomes in your work through embodying emotions
- Improve your results in working with psychophysiological or psychosomatic symptoms
- Help clients heal from traumas efficiently
- Help clients heal their attachment wounds effectively
- Shorten treatment times
Selvam, R. (2022). The Practice of Embodying Emotions: A Guide for Improving Cognitive, Emotional, and Behavioral Outcomes. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
Selvam, R. (2013). Jung and Consciousness. Spring, Vol. 90, Fall 2013, pp. 155-177.
Selvam, R. (2008). Embodiment Exercises: How to Sense the Body to Increase Its Powers of Self Regulation, Audio CD set, 5 CDs. Buy
Selvam, R. (2008). Advaita Vedanta and Jungian Psychology: Explorations Towards Further Reconciliation in East-West Dialogues on the Psyche (Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, California). Unpublished doctoral dissertation.
Parker, C., Doctor, R. M., and Selvam, R. (2008). Somatic Therapy Treatment Effects with Tsunami Survivors. Traumatology, Vol. 14, No. 3, September.
Selvam, R. (2005). Treating tsunami survivors for trauma: The effectiveness of a short-term psycho-physiological trauma treatment approach among South Asian tsunami survivors. Journal of Holistic Healthcare, Vol. 2, Issue 4, November.
Selvam, R. (2004). Trauma, Body, Energy, and Spirituality. Positive Health, May, pp. 15-18.
Neurophysiology of emotions and emotion regulation.
The inter-relationships among cognition, emotion, and behavior in the brain and the body physiology.
Neurophysiology of early brain development and early childhood trauma, post-traumatic stress patterns in childhood from developmental interactions, and integration of appropriate clinical strategies from psychodynamic and body psychotherapy approaches for treating early developmental trauma with traumatic stress.
The psychological and developmental functions of individual muscles. Refinement of initial findings from Bodynamic Analysis on the basis of three years of research from weekly classes taught in Los Angeles.
India and depth psychology. Cultural differences that require modifications in Western depth psychological approaches to the Indian psyche. Study of Indian institutions, joint family systems, spiritual organizations, etc., that provide functions provided by psychotherapy in the West.
Advaita Vedanta and Jungian Psychology. Comparison and integration of an Eastern and a Western model of individuation.
Effectiveness of treatment of PTSD symptoms among tsunami survivors in India and survivors of war, violence, loss, and dislocation in Sri Lanka.
Quantum psychology: The impact of quantum-level energy phenomena on psychological experience.
Development of an integral model for increasing clinical efficiency in all psychological processes through greater embodiment of different levels of the psyche; based on Western and Eastern psychology, philosophy, spirituality, science, body and energy therapies and psychotherapies, affective and cognitive neuroscience, and quantum physics.
PhD, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Clinical Psychology, 2008
PhD, Northwestern University, Marketing, 1995
MS, The University of Iowa, Applied Statistics, 1985
MBA, Xavier Institute, 1980
BA, Loyola College, Economics, 1978
Specialized Study in Psychology
Study of the Kleinian psychoanalytic model. Weekly study/supervision group with Jane Van Buren, PhD, Psychoanalyst, Los Angeles, 2002-2003.
Study of the Inter-Subjective psychoanalytic model. Weekly study/supervision group with Robert Stolorow, PhD, Psychoanalyst, Los Angeles, 2000-2002.
Study of affective neuroscience and early childhood development. Bimonthly study group with Allan Schore, PhD, Northridge, CA, 2001-2002.
Professional Education in Body Psychotherapy and Bodywork Systems
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Training Program, Santa Barbara, CA, 2002-2004.
Somatic Experiencing Practitioner Training, Boulder, CO, 1994-1998.
Bodynamic Somatic Developmental Psychology Practitioner Training, Pescadero, CA, 1994-1996.
Bodynamic Somatic Developmental Psychology Foundation Training, Los Angeles, CA, 1993-1994.
BodyMind Integration Training, BodyMind Institute, Los Angeles, CA, 1993.
Reichian and Neo-Reichian Character Structure Course, BodyMind Institute, Los Angeles, CA, 1993.