We Mind Body Spirit
Wendy Elliott, MA

Kind mind, open heart, calm body

Healing through Somatic Psychotherapy


Somatic Psychotherapy means healing happens through the mind-body connection. When we feel happy, we feel well in our bodies. When we feel  nervous, we feel it in our body. There is one continuous loop between the thoughts in our mind and the emotions in our body.  Please click here if you are curious about Individual therapy and here for Couples.

How can Therapy help you?

People see Wendy for a number of reasons-most of which have to do with feeling overwhelmed, lost, confused and disconnected from others and their life.

Depression shows up in the emotional numbing that can follow a significant loss, life transition, or inner shift that causes us to go down a dark and negative spiral. Finding a way to step back into life takes more than just talking to someone, reading a book, or increasing your exercise.

It takes having a supportive presence that can help you develop the courage, mindfulness, and creativity to be with life as it is so that you can begin to feel again with mindfulness and self-compassion. Moving beyond depression is about coming back to life in your mind, body and spirit. Feeling alive is entirely possible for you.

Anxiety is a part of life. Most of the time we do not even notice how much we are thinking about the future, especially in regards to money, health, family, work and relationship. If we let it, our entire life can pass us by worrying about tomorrow. There are many approaches for working with anxiety, but most of them leave out the body- focusing only on changing our thoughts to help regulate our emotions. But when we are feeling anxious, our emotions, like gremlins in our psyche, reek havoc on our entire system.

A number of physiological responses also result such stomachaches, migraines, insomnia, back problems, undiagnosed pain and so forth. Using a mindful and body centered approach, we work with anxiety not as something to get rid of, but as a part of life we need to learn how to manage. We first look to situations in your life that you feel safe, experiences in your body that feel neutral, and your overall resiliency.  We spend time focusing  in on the connection between your sensations, thoughts, and emotions. We help you mark and remember in your body, the felt sense of feeling balanced, in spite of a disturbing thought. Gradually, this becomes the focus of our work which supports you to deepen the sense of calm.

Stress hormones are released when we perceive a threat.  Worrying about the future or what has already happened can signal a stress response in the body.  Cortisol is released and our adrenal system is ready to fight, flight or freeze. The only problem is that there is no real threat out there, but our body does not know that and continues to freak out.The result is that we feel too afraid to step out of the house, too afraid to run into somebody we might know, or too afraid to try something new that we’ve always wanted to do.

We all have experienced Trauma at some point in our life. The most simple definition of trauma is too much too soon. We become traumatized when we feel overwhelmed and our body responds by the urge to fight, flight or freeze. Let’s say you got in a car accident a few years ago and you notice every time you are on the freeway and there is an accident you  panic. Your thoughts begin to race and your heart starts to pound. Once you get home, you forget all about it, but it happens again and again. This symptom is your body saying, “I do not feel safe on the freeway.” The same is true if you grew up in an abusive or neglectful home environment. Unless you’ve worked with this material in some conscious manner that integrates the mind, emotions, and body, most likely you are still getting triggered (you want to leave certain situations quickly, you have a tendency to snap, you have on-going night mares and fears, you feel frozen on the inside) around situations that remind you unconsciously of that earlier time in your life.

Using a Somatic Approach we create the conditions for  you to move through the trauma safely. Establishing a safe container you release old patterns that are housed in your body and mind. As a result you feel safer, empowered, and connected to yourself and those around you.

Working with Wendy enabled me to start finding my creative home.
Rebecca RothfuszArtist