Integral Somatic Psychology™ (ISP™) is an effective somatic psychology approach that helps clients achieve optimal mental health by fully embodying their emotions.
ISP has been developed to shorten therapy times and improve diverse outcomes (physical, energetic, cognitive, emotional, behavioral, relational, and spiritual) in all therapy modalities including body psychotherapy systems such as Somatic Experiencing® (SE™) and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.
It can also be taught to clients as a self-help tool for healing, and for enhancing their lives.
ISP professional trainings and workshops have been offered on all continents; in the US, Brazil, UK, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Israel, Turkey, Russia, India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan, and Australia.
Over 2000 mental health professionals have been trained in the ISP method. Click here to learn more about the ISP Professional Training.
What is the science behind it?
The emerging science of embodied cognition, emotion, and behavior in affective neuroscience and cognitive psychology is increasingly establishing that our thoughts, feelings, and actions are dependent not just on our brain but also on our body and our environment; and that the lack of involvement of our body in any of these three inter-related functions can compromise all three and reduce our well-being.
The field of body psychotherapy has established that our inability to tolerate emotional experiences in our bodies is the primary reason for the formation of physiological defenses such as muscular constriction. These defenses reduce our body’s involvement in cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functions and cause psychophysiological symptoms.
Using these research findings, Integral Somatic Psychology seeks to improve our thoughts, feelings, and actions by making our body more available for them, by improving the body’s capacity to tolerate emotional experiences so that it does not shut down in the face of difficult emotions in therapy or life.
How is it done?
The practice of embodying emotions in Integral Somatic Psychology involves the following steps:
- The situation: Knowing how to work with details of a situation to evoke the emotional experiences as quickly as possible.
- The emotion: Knowing how to find and support a wide range of emotional experiences including the always-present and often-overlooked sensorimotor emotions such as feeling bad or good so as to work with emotions from the very first session.
- The expansion/regulation: Knowing how to work with physiological and energetic defenses in the body and brain physiology against emotions so as to expand and regulate emotional experiences in as much of the body as possible.
- The integration: Knowing how to find and support physical, energetic, and other resources that arise spontaneously in response to the increasing capacity for emotional experiences from the first three steps, to further stabilize the process of embodying emotions and to facilitate deeper healing in the body and the psyche.
“ISP has been developed to shorten therapy times and improve diverse outcomes in all therapy modalities.”
Raja Selvam, PhD, Founder and Developer of ISP
ISP Professional Training
Study with Raja Selvam, PhD.