Psychedelics and Somatic Psychotherapy: A Complementary Relationship

Psychedelics and Somatic Psychotherapy: A Complementary Relationship

The popularity in both somatic modalities and psilocybin to support mental wellbeing are growing. Here we discuss the the possibilities of their powerful partnership.
Psychedelics and Somatic Psychotherapy: A Complementary Relationship

In partnership with Lisa Messina of The Messina Movement

Exploring Growth and Wellbeing Through Science-Backed Methods

In a Statistics Canada study released in 2021, nearly one in five Canadians reported that they needed mental health support. With growing popularity in both somatic modalities and psilocybin to support mental wellbeing through body-centered processes you can imagine the power in exploring both.  

Psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found in certain mushrooms, has the remarkable ability to enhance sensory perception and dissolve barriers within the mind, creating a gateway to the subconscious. Somatic therapy centers the body’s role in storing and expressing emotional experiences, going beyond talk therapy, and engaging the whole system in processing trauma, unresolved stress, and adverse experiences.   

When coupled, this dynamic duo offers a holistic approach that integrates mind, body, heart, and spirit. Whether magic mushrooms are used simultaneously within a somatic therapy session, or somatic therapy sessions prepare and support the integration of a psychedelic experience, together they can facilitate deep introspection, emotional release, and personal transformation, making way for healing on a profound level. 

What is Somatic Psychotherapy?

Somatic psychotherapy stands as an embodied and profoundly effective mental health modality.

The origins of somatic psychotherapy trace back to Wilhelm Reich’s groundbreaking work in 1933, particularly his seminal book “Character Analysis.” Reich postulated that unresolved traumatic experiences reside within our bodies, exerting a pervasive influence on our overall wellbeing. This laid the groundwork for somatic psychology, a paradigm shift that recognized the interconnectedness of mind, body, heart, and spirit.

At its core, somatic psychotherapy, often referred to simply as somatic therapy, acknowledges that our bodies serve as repositories for unresolved traumas, shaping not only our physical sensations but also our perspectives, interpretations of the world, and interpersonal relationships.

Our experiences, whether remembered or suppressed, leave indelible imprints on both our physical and emotional selves. While ignoring these experiences might seem tempting, it’s akin to temporarily patching a leaky boat with duct tape—ultimately, the underlying issues persist and worsen over time.

This is where somatic therapy steps in, offering a holistic approach to addressing deeply ingrained traumas and facilitating a journey towards wholeness. 

What to Expect in a Somatic Therapy Session?

Our friends at The Messina Movement, design their sessions to revolve around somatic processing—a journey akin to embarking on a nature walk guided by a compassionate and supportive mentor. Similar to navigating through the wilderness, the path to healing is nonlinear.

During a somatic session, you are invited to track raw sensory data—sensations, emotions, thoughts, memories, and images. With your guide as a resource, you can safely approach and tend to places that may otherwise feel overwhelming to confront and therefore may end up neglected, sheltered, or protected within you. Within this therapeutic journey, we navigate obstacles and forge a personalized path tailored to your unique needs. We seamlessly transition between various practices and processes intuitively attuning to what resonates and supports you moment to moment. We conclude with integration, harvesting important insights, wisdom, and realizations acquired throughout your healing journey. You leave with clarity and the motivation to continue nurturing your unique needs long after your session ends. 

Psychedelics and Somatic Psychotherapy: A Complementary Relationship

How Psilocybin & Somatics Complement Each Other

Somatic therapy and psilocybin can work together synergistically to facilitate profound healing and transformation – it’s clear that they go hand in hand. Both modalities share a lot of similarities offering an abundant landscape for embodied healing and wellbeing. The dynamic journey of a somatic therapy session resembles the dynamic experience of a psychedelic journey, and vice versa. Both modalities are powerful on their own and catalyzed when used thoughtfully in tandem. 

Let’s dive a bit deeper into how that’s possible…

Enhanced Awareness and Sensory Perception:

Somatic therapy focuses on tuning into bodily sensations, emotions, and experiences. Psilocybin has been shown to enhance sensory perception and introspective awareness. When combined, they can deepen the individual’s ability to connect with and explore their bodily experiences, often leading to powerful insights and breakthroughs.

Access to Subconscious Material:

Psilocybin has the ability to temporarily alter brain function, including reducing activity in the default mode network (DMN), which is associated with self-referential thoughts and ego processing. This can facilitate access to subconscious material that may be difficult to reach through traditional talk therapy alone. Somatic therapy also goes beyond traditional talk therapy, by putting the body first, we can uncover core, unconscious material that has been neglected, suppressed, or forgotten.

Release of Trauma Held in the Body:

Traumatic experiences often become stored in the body, leading to physical tension, discomfort, illness, and emotional distress. Somatic psychotherapy techniques, such as body awareness exercises, breathwork, and unrestricted movement, can help release these stored traumas. Psilocybin’s ability to induce a non-ordinary state of consciousness may facilitate the release of deeply held somatic tensions and emotional blockages, allowing for profound healing on both physical and emotional levels.

Integration of Insights and Experiences:

Integration is a crucial aspect of both psychedelic and somatic therapy, ensuring that insights gained during the experience are meaningfully incorporated into everyday life. Somatic therapy provides valuable tools and techniques for integrating the insights gained from psychedelic experiences, helping individuals translate their newly-gained knowledge into real-world changes and behavioral patterns. 

Facilitation of Self-Exploration and Growth:

Both somatic therapy and psilocybin therapy encourage self-exploration and personal growth. By combining these modalities, individuals can embark on a deeply transformative journey of self-discovery, uncovering hidden aspects of themselves, gaining clarity on past experiences, and cultivating greater self-awareness and self-compassion.

Holistic Approach to Healing:

Somatic psychotherapy and psilocybin therapy take a holistic approach to healing, addressing not only symptoms but also underlying root causes of mental and emotional distress. By integrating mind, body, heart, and spirit, these modalities support comprehensive healing and promote overall wellbeing.

Overall, the combination of somatic therapy and psilocybin therapy offers a powerful and effective approach to healing, fostering deep introspection, emotional release, and life-long personal transformation. As research in this area continues to evolve, and availability increases, it holds great promise for individuals seeking alternative and integrative approaches to mental health and wellbeing. 

Guided by skilled facilitators you are empowered to explore the depths of your being, listening to your body’s subtle cues expressed through gestures, impulses, and sensations – which can be supportive in preparing for psychedelic journeys and throughout the integration process.

Though somatic therapy sessions are not always psychedelic-assisted, it’s clear that one modality works to powerfully enhance the effectiveness of the other for those who are interested. 


Healing Cannot be Rushed + Healing is for Everyone

Above all, we recognize that healing is a journey that cannot be rushed. Whether you’re embarking on your healing journey with psychedelics, other mental health therapies, or somatic modalities, progress takes time and dedication.

Trauma healing is a universal endeavour, transcending boundaries and embracing individuals from all walks of life. It is an ongoing process that demands patience, presence, consistency, safety, and trust.


Sero and Somatics

Interested in exploring this complementary pair? The Cacao Star Bar could be a good place to start.

Our ceremonial-grade Cacao Star Bar allows you to choose your adventure. A single square equates to a microdose, giving you the opportunity to build out a unique experience based on your needs.

Our cacao is sourced from an eco-forest in Guatemala. This Star Bar is vegan and hand-crafted with sustainably grown magic mushrooms and love. The unique compounds in Cacao allow for simultaneous relaxation and heightened awareness, as well as increased creativity. By stimulating the heart centre, Cacao further aids in creating a sense of openness for expansion and Love. 

Have more questions regarding somatic psychotherapy and want to speak to someone? Our friends at The Messina Movement are able to offer support. You can connect with them on Instagram (@messinamovement) or via email [email protected].

Have any questions about psilocybin? Reach out to us anytime via email at [email protected] to chat with a Sero team member, psychedelic therapist, or experienced psychonaut. We are always here to help!