Pat Ogden on sensorimotor psychotherapy

I am training with the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute and loving it. Not only have I witnessed amazing outcomes with clients, but practicing sensorimotor psychotherapy leaves me feeling more grounded, mindful, and peaceful, which hopefully also translates into better experiences for my clients (and perhaps even my husband).

Pat Ogden founded sensorimotor psychotherapy in the 1980s. For years, Dr. Ogden collaborated with Ron Kurtz, the founder of the Hakomi Method, a mindfulness-based, body-centered approach to psychotherapy that draws from general systems theory and incorporates Buddhist and Taoist principles of nonviolence. Dr. Ogden combined Hakomi principles and methods with knowledge about the neurobiology of trauma and attachment theory to create sensorimotor psychotherapy. And while sensorimotor psychotherapy treats the effects of trauma, it is also a body-centered method for addressing attachment failures and other attachment-related problems, and thus is appropriate as a general approach to psychotherapy.

Here is a link to an interview with Dr. Ogden conducted as part of the USASP‘s monthly series, “Somatic Perspectives on Psychotherapy.” I found particularly interesting Dr. Ogden’s body-centered discussion of transference, countertransference, and enactments. In this interview, she also gives a nuanced perspective of dissociation. Dr. Ogden distinguishes between how structural dissociation can emerge as a defense against trauma and profound fear, and how unrecognized, often hurt parts of the self can develop when key attachment figures fail to recognize (or even shun) aspects of a child’s developing self.

© 2012 Laura K Kerr, PhD. All rights reserved (applies to writing and photography).