The Somatic Resonance Phase in Intervision

The intervision model is composed of Nine phases, one of the most important and a pillar of this approach is the Somatic Resonance phase.  Somatic Resonance is a natural  phenomenon in which bodies impact each other at a fundamental energetic level.  

Somatic Resonance is a mutual process, involving the therapist and the client. Just as when the wind blows through trees and they bend, the wood of each tree moans; no matter its size or shape. This is resonance. This is the reverberating somatic duet between therapist and client. Everything happens: empathy, mirroring, attunement, dissonances, transference and countertransference. They both participates the nonverbal, implicit stories of each other. 

D. Seigel speaks of resonance as “the alignment of two autonomous beings into a functional whole as each person influences the internal state of the other. Our heart rates align, breathing becomes in-sync, nonverbal signals emerge in waves that parallel each other… shifts in EEG findings and heart rate variability co-occur … Resonance reveals the deep reality that we are created by the ongoing dance within, between and among us”.  

We as therapist focused exceedingly on remembering and getting the fact straight by listening to the verbal story with our ears and the analytical brain. This overshadows the feeling and sensation that arise within us. 

The focal point has become the cognitive knowledge, the logical understandings, the concepts and the intelligent answers. Our bodily echoes aren’t heard and our ability to be aware of and respond to others’ nonverbal messages has been lost.    

Through the sensations in our body the client may send us information about his inner world, that they are not ready yet to embody and reveal.

It is essential for us as therapists to restore our full-body ability to resonate, because the body is the main consultant in the therapy room. 

In order to access this information and response we may need too retrain, to learn to listen to and with the whole body and with the heart, by far the strongest resonating organ in the body. 

We spend a lot of time in the Intervision groups paying attention to the many sensations and to our bodily responses to the case presented, allowing the sensations to flow through our bodies and reveal their information. 

As therapists we have been trained not to take in clients’ material, to discern whether our body response is ours or theirs’. To cultivate the awareness of differentiating that our resonances are not our own fantasies, expectations, projections, present sexual frustrations, unresolved professional and personal issues.  More important however is what we do with it.

Through self-reflection, self-awareness, deep work on ourselves and honest exchange with colleagues we can figure that out. Being  finely tuned to our embodied selves  increases our awareness, insight, self-trust and professionallity.

Ermanno Bergami & Maria Sangiorgi