NeuroAffective Touch is a psychobiological modality that integrates the use of therapeutic touch and bodywork with psychodynamic psychotherapy and somatic psychology. NeuroAffective Touch is a professional somatic practice in which therapists use the ‘wisdom of the body’ and the power of touch as a vital bridge for body-mind integration.
Body-mind integration improves our ability to verbalize what we feel in our non-verbal bodies. The body requires equal importance to the mind when addressing emotional, relational, and developmental deficits, as they cannot be accessed by verbal means alone.
NeuroAffective Touch is a polyvagal-informed psychobiological approach that integrates key elements of somatic psychotherapy, attachment and developmental theory, psychodynamic psychotherapy, affect-regulation and interpersonal neurobiology.
The integration of a body-centered intervention is in its infancy in the United States but has been widely utilized and respected in European countries. Connection with our neurobiological states allows for unconscious or hidden narratives or trauma wounding in psyche to move into the conscious realm for processing, integration and wholeness. When psychological identity is built on the shaky foundation of an early traumatized physiology, an integrated psychobiological approach is necessary.
Healing early trauma begins with offering the missing nonverbal experiences of somatic support, attunement, and safety, a secure bottom-up foundation based in trust and care from which a new top-down narrative can emerge. Attuned presence addresses the three essential self-states necessary for secure attachment and emotional well-being:
- I exist
- I am loved
- My needs are important
Working somatically with early developmental trauma addresses the nonverbal implicit self. Deeper understanding of how we embody a biological life force, and the polyvagal energy centers shapes our pattern behavior of connection and protection. Somatic touch supports the better understanding of how the body speaks to us. Somatic touch work is vital and necessary in work with attachment deficits and deeper exploration of psychological stress and trauma.
Nurturing touch focus supports our core neurological and emotional capacities to trust and yield. Touch develops our ‘felt sense’ ability to notice changes in tissue tone and density. Touch allows for nonverbal states to move into explicit spoken expression.
Expansion of our embodied presence encourages psychobiological exploration. This exploration builds our capacity for connection and attunement to better regulate our emotional states. Understanding of our polyvagal informed psychobiology allows us to safely feel connection again.
Through NueroAffective Touch we develop ‘somatic resonance’, a sense of knowing what we feel in our bodies. Clarity and safety allow us to deconstruct survival adaptations and reconnect to the creativity of our somatic individuation. Lastly, NeuroAffective Touch stimulates the brains property of neuroplasticity, and opens new neural pathways and supports development of our capacity for loving connection often deeply buried by past relational trauma.