Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a comprehensive treatment approach developed by Pat Ogden, PhD. Some therapists use Sensorimotor Psychotherapy in addition to other treatment approaches to include the body as a valuable piece of one’s experience. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is informed by research in physiology, neuroscience, psychology, and sociology. Several Hakomi principles also guide this approach, as Dr. Ogden founded a branch of the Hakomi Institute, Hakomi Integrative Somatics, which is known today as Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy uses a three-phase treatment approach to gently guide the client through the therapeutic process – Safety and Stabilization, Processing, and Integration. Therapist and client collaboration are essential to the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy approach. The therapist must pay close attention to the client to ensure that they are not overwhelmed by the process while simultaneously engaging their own abilities and capacities for healing.
It is thought that Sensorimotor Psychotherapy strengthens instinctual capacities for survival and assists clients to re-instate or develop resources which were unavailable or missing at the time the trauma or wounding occurred. Once resources are developed and in place, the traumatic event can be processed with the aid of resources.