Healing Minds and Bodies Through Somatic Therapy

The Essential Interview: Spotlight on Small Business

Published by:
Laura Milo DeAngelis
Owner and Founder/Bergen Concierge Service LLC

Periodically I introduce a small business owner with a five-question, “Essential” interview. Why Essential? Because the questions are fundamental yet expansive, with far-reaching objectives:

  1. To inform and educate as to the vast manifestations and motivations of small business, and what each uniquely has to offer.
  2. To provide an educational and relatable window into something new, highlighting universal trials and triumphs along the way.
  3. To focus on the intuitive aspect of small business motivations and growth, and
  4. To shine a light on Ambassadorship – how small businesses can mutually benefit through advocacy.

In this month’s Small Business Spotlight, we welcome Georgette Zacharias, Somatic Therapist, owner, and founder of SomaLuv, whose motto is “Embody your Greatest Life”.

Georgette’s story is both intriguing and illuminating. Her journey began through a decade of trauma bookended by divorce, the loss of her mother and grandmother, a fractured cervical spine, radical surgery, and a long recovery. The passage was both physically and mentally debilitating. Discontent with the boundaries of allopathic medicine – yet resolute in her goal of wellness – she sought out alternate therapies to bridge the disconnect in her mind, body, and soul. Through personal healing, she opened the door to her intuitive passion: studying the art and science of Somatic Therapy.

I am thrilled to tell Georgette’s story here today and how she has parlayed her journey into a mission to help others. Through intense schooling and practical experience, her drive to bring Somatic Therapy to the mainstream has been both challenging and immeasurably rewarding to both herself and her clients.

I welcome Georgette to my small business spotlight, and am honored to bear witness to your honest, authentic, and thought-provoking responses to your five Essential questions:

Question #1: In your own words, what brought you to this line of work?

Georgette: Personally, I was on a quest for a better life. I gave serious consideration to going back to school for social work, and took some core courses at NYU. As my spiritual growth was outpacing my academia, it became clear that the confines of social work were not where my attention was needed. I remember it distinctly, feeling like a tugging in my heart as my intuition pulled me in another direction.

From that space I researched what felt right, leading to the inexorable conclusion I could no longer ignore my body at the expense of my mind. Somatic Therapy came into view, and it was like a lightning bolt, my a-ha moment. Then my education began in earnest. The body is so much more than a vessel, it’s the “black box” that stores all our experiences. Befriend our body, and we can recalibrate the mind. How could that not gain wisdom for us?

We have to learn how to communicate with our own bodies, which is something we have never been taught to do. This is the foundation of Somatic Therapy.

Question #2: Give us some background as to Somatic Therapy education and experience.

Georgette: It is a 3 year long program, of which I’ve just completed year two, of study, that includes webinar lectures, reading, experiential homework, reflection papers, practicums working directly on people, mentor sessions and personal somatic sessions.

Certification at each level involves a minimum of 25 practice clients, with several of them being recorded and submitted to be critiqued for improvement and passing that level of study.

– Please elaborate on the three training levels in Somatic Therapy.

Level One: The overarching goal is learning how the body is a reliable resource, ally, and guide for your life and how to tune into the sensations of the body as the communicators of its knowings. Each of our bodies
communicates differently, in a very individual and personal manner based on our life experiences.

Level Two: The focus here is on tuning into the body’s emotional channel. Resourcing the body for emotional competence. Learning how to befriend your emotions and recognize that emotions are a full-body experience. It is about learning how to tap into emotions, locate where they exist, what meaning they have, and how they can guide us. Essentially, our emotions are energy in motion – Everything we are is a physical manifestation of energy.

Level Three: In level three, the body remains the resource, but the focus expands to include an exploration of the relationships, both internal and external. You will recognize and help repair core beliefs, family of origin dynamics, and other relational injuries that are imprinted on the soma and the psyche. This helps in that you determine if that automatic wiring is working for you or not, and leverage your self-awareness to change that feedback loop – changing the way you show up in your own life. This is incredibly powerful.

One interesting and important note is that we are required to ‘walk the walk’ and do the actual sessions ourselves with an experienced somatic practitioner. This parlays into empathy and understanding in sessions with clients and allows me to hold a very supportive container for what they are going through. We are better for having navigated our own emotions or experiences that may be triggered through the work. It is critical that we as practitioners are always able to hold our own ground, which allows the skills of prosody, mirroring, gentle touch, and directive dialogue to steer the session.

Question #3: What has been your greatest challenge to overcome?

Georgette: Vulnerability and authenticity. I literally had to work through layers of conditioning that prevented me from being truly present in my own life. However, this has made me a better practitioner. I am not just saying these words, I have lived them. You CAN change the way you show up in the world, but the first step is building awareness of where you are right now. Tell me what’s worse, repeating the same old patterns and showing up the same old way or spending the time befriending your body to gain new perspectives to show up in a more expanded way. I know the latter may trigger fear, but that is just an illusion. What is on the other side of that is a freedom, ease, and grace everyone should know. I can guide my clients through that process because I have done it myself.

Question #4: What has been your greatest strength?

Georgette: The fact that I have given my clients the ability to have been heard and seen in the container I provide. Being seen offers us an authentic sense of who we really are, that is a true gift. The reward to me is immeasurable in a session that is intuitive, flows organically, and provides access through our bodies for whole, authentic healing.

Question #5: Who is your ideal client?

Georgette: I have always been a seeker, and always knew there was a healthier way to live, so I was going to do what I had to do to find it. My hope is that my passions speaks to the seekers out there, to let them know that I am here for them, have walked the path, and want to share everything that I have and am learning along the way. This is not about diagnosing anybody; this is about a collaboration for growth.

I often end my blogs with a ‘Final Thoughts and Forward Thinking’ segment. Where do you see SomaLuv and Somatic Therapy in five years?

Georgette: My fantasy: It becomes a movement for people to step into a heart-centered reality, we can be heart warriors, and unearth the power that lies within our hearts. I don’t want to discount the mind, but the heart has an inherent ability to peel back layers, thus accessing enormous potential to positively influence the mind, and by mind I refer to the “embodied mind”. There is the capacity for this beautiful dance between the heart and mind to help us step into the best, most authentic version of ourselves. From there, what can be accomplished is limitless.

Consider taking your wellness journey to the next level by reaching out to Georgette through her contact form or phone (917) 453-1830.

Published by:
Laura Milo DeAngelis
Owner and Founder/Bergen Concierge Service LLC