Somatics ~ My Studies, Training, Teaching and Coaching
In Somatics, we cultivate our awareness of and skill in using and managing the resources of our whole self: a clear and focused mind; moods and emotions that reveal what we care about, where our motivation lives; our bodies as the domain of centered and purposeful action; and our spirit as our capacity to connect with our own wellsprings of mystery, inspiration and imagination. We integrate and own these resources by doing practices with an intention to develop in ways most needed. A skilled teacher or coach often shows the way.
Richard Strozzi-Heckler, PhD, my teacher and mentor, developed Somatic approaches to essential skill-building offered in his coaching and leadership trainings. He uses the term Somatic to reflect the integrative wholeness of each person.
I began focused studies with Richard and the faculty at the Strozzi Institute in 2006 and gained certification as a Somatic Coach. Recognizing how well Somatics stimulated my own growth, I continued these studies and earned my Certification as Master Somatic Coach in 2012.
Carey Elizabeth Smith is Director of the Center for Embodied Education and creator of Spirit of Learning. She has been my teacher and mentor in embodied education for many years, and continues to be a bountiful source of learning and inspiration for me.
Direct relevance to my concerns: I observed how my studies in Somatics made me a more effective teacher in a rigorous Anatomy and Physiology course I taught for 23 years, and a more useful and versatile person. I more skillfully and consistently perceived and worked with the wide-ranging concerns of large groups of adults who came to study each year at the Body Therapy Institute.
The Spirit of Learning: Teaching in the Somatic stream in the The Spirit of Learning has had far-reaching impact. In this 100-hour teacher-training program offered by the Center for Embodied Education, our first step is teaching educators how to build an embodied presence. The ability to be present is the beginning of meaningful outcomes in the classroom for teachers and for students.
Since 2012, I have applied somatic principles and practices to teaching and coaching groups of teacher trainees through their ten-month study.