top of page
Group therapy

Somatic-informed
Spiritual Care 

The human experience encompasses many physical sensations, emotional reactions, cognitive processes, and potential spiritual insights. The seemingly separate realms of somatic psychology and spiritual care are intricately interwoven in a posture that can nourish the caregiver and the cared-for as they uncover hidden traumas and encourage well-being and hope. 

 

Over a decade of integrating mindfulness-based psychotherapy into my pastoral work, I explored the interplay between somatic awareness and its influence on conventional frameworks of pastoral presence. I focused on how bodily awareness and curiosity could enhance connections within client relationships, among a multidiscipline team, and most crucially, with myself in managing personal and professional stressors. Through the perspectives of theological theory, spiritual expression, body-centred psychology and therapies, I learned the transformative potential of integrating body, mind, and spirit. What became my everyday working stance became a teachable and holistic method to support the client and the caregiver in contemporary pastoral care. I also found that these same learnings and skills translated into other person-centred professional roles, learning a way of being vs. being overwhelmed and burnt out. 

Professional caregivers, educators, wellness practitioners, and organisational leaders find themselves daily at the intersection of individual narratives, events, and histories—ordinary lives meeting at points of vulnerability, struggle, ambition, desires, and even performance metrics. Whether through brief encounters or long-term professional relationships, each interaction presents a chance to uncover known or unknown reactions, sometimes rooted in personality and manifested through habitual behaviours. Leaders and caregivers navigate these delicate landscapes, ranging from mild anxiety to profound despair, with the goal of understanding, aiding, and meeting the needs of those they serve. Given that contemporary helping professionals consistently confront these complexities, merely being better leaders is no longer sufficient; we must evolve into a different type of listener. One who is fully conscious of their entire self—body, mind, and spirit—as they accompany others in their suffering in the present, compassionate, and embodied manner—learning to rely on our own felt sense and intuition to preserve professional capacity.

Somatic-informed spiritual care combines body-mind psychology with presence-based care, reflective practice, personal neurobiology, and embodied spirituality. This approach aids caregivers and other professionals in self-regulation, fostering a dual awareness and supporting restorative practices. It enables caregivers to recognise and attend to their own needs through co-regulation while helping others on their unique paths and embracing the body's innate wisdom, its role in healing and self-discovery.

 

Techniques like present-moment experience and boundaries, posture and perception, breath and mindfulness, creativity and rituals enable professionals to access their inner landscape, creating a gateway to deepening awareness, more generous capacity, calm neural states and a trusting community. 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Somatic-Informed Spiritual Care: Cultivating a Healing Presence

1. Attunement: The Embodied Connection

At the heart of Somatic-Informed Spiritual Care lies attuned presence. It transcends mere words; it is a state of mind and encompasses the entire body, a sense of each person's literal and heart-felt posture. This posture becomes a secure attachment point—a foundation for boundaries and safe connection. But it goes beyond physical alignment. It bridges the gap between practitioner and client, supervisor and supervisee, supporting what may be a 'missing need' from the person's implicit reality.

 

2. Emotional Nourishment: Beyond Verbal Exchange

Something profound occurs in the attuned presence. The other perceives our attunement as an unspoken understanding that transcends language. Here, emotional nourishment flows. Barriers soften, and the other becomes receptive to care. It's not about the specific words exchanged; it's about the felt sense—the resonance that echoes within every encounter.

3. The Transformation: A Journey Within

Somatic-Informed Spiritual Care recognises that healing begins from within. The professional transformation to embodied awareness is pivotal in supporting the client's journey toward safety and wholeness. We, as caregivers, embark on this journey first. We learn to guide our clients gently and precisely into the vast reservoirs they hold within their bodies and hearts. These reservoirs may contain memories, emotions, and unspoken narratives—the echoes of past traumas. We traverse this landscape within holism, unity, and creativity, aware of our innate impulse, making space for healing and growth, ease, and gratitude to arise organically. 

 

4. Beyond Listening: Becoming Whole Practitioners

In our contemporary world, we help professionals grapple with intertwined traumas: social, economic, familial, generational, cultural, and religious. Merely being better listeners is no longer sufficient. Instead, we become a different practitioner who embraces their whole self - body, mind, and spirit converge as we sit with suffering, challenge, fatigue, and unreachable goals. Self-compassion becomes embodied, and intuition becomes our compass. Trusting our senses, we navigate the depths alongside those seeking support. Somatic-informed spiritual care succeeds in spaces where words fail—a dance of authentic presence, ease, healing, and shared humanity.

professional development
 

Finding Presence in the 
Faces of Trauma

 

AN EXPERIENTIAL WORKSHOP EXPLORING

SOMATIC AWARENESS IN SPIRITUAL/PASTORAL CARE INTERVENTIONS. 

 


“When somatic awareness is applied to the listening experience, relational attunement quickly arrives, supporting co-regulation and safety which allows ‘presence’ as a fully felt experience.”   
Nat Kay

WORKSHOP DETAILS

This presentation is available for teams as a half-day or full-day experience, either in person or via Zoom. It includes experiential activities that enhance learning.

The course helps in the following ways:

 
Defines somatic-informed spiritual care and its opportunity to
provide presence-centered holistic care.


Discusses trauma and how it can change a person's view of themselves and others, and barriers to receiving care and support.

Explores strategies that build trust, promote safety, and encourage meeting needs.

Increases confidence in engaging and being fully present with those impacted by their current experiences while recognising the context of their life journey via a somatic lens and holistic spiritual assessment model.

Create a personalised plan to develop greater embodied self-awareness, stabilise posture and perspective, and resource oneself for longevity in one's role.
 

Center Gradient Transparent

Somatic-informed
Spiritual Care 

Center Gradient Transparent

Explore Case Studies
 

Center Gradient Transparent

Understand 'Non-
therapeutic Agreement'

Center Gradient Transparent

Discover Felt-sense
 

Center Gradient Transparent

Be Trauma Aware
 

Center Gradient Transparent

Explore your impulse
to care

bottom of page