In the last blog, I talked about patients who tend to live mainly in their heads.
They can describe a moment when they were angry, the reason why they were angry, and, sometimes, how their anger relates to their upbringing.
I now tend to be more interested in how they experience their anger.
Did the anger register in their bodies, or was it just in their heads?
Did they want to lash out, or pull back into a defensive shell?
Similarly, when they are in my room, I continually bring them back to what they are experiencing somatically.
These patients usually find this focus confronting. No one has been interested in them in this way.
Despite being able to fill the room with thoughts, focussing on their bodies leaves them speechless.
In time, patients begin to see that the body has its own language; tensions in the jaw and chest, butterflies in the stomach, feelings of relief and joy, exhaustion, agitation that stops them relaxing.
It can also hold the horrors of terrible abuse.