Listen to the body: Counselor infuses her practice with somatic-based therapies | Videos

On a table in Victoria Day’s studio at Kindred Collective in Columbia, a sign says: “Go Only as Fast as the Slowest Part of You Feels Safe to Go.” It’s a phrase she embraces in both her work and personal life.

Day is a registered somatic movement therapist and educator based in mid-Missouri as well as a licensed professional counselor with Kindred Collective and a certified movement analyst. Day, who said she has loved to move and dance since she was young, offers movement-based classes and workshops through her business, Embodiment LLC, which she started in 2010.

Somatic therapy is “a form of body-centered therapy that looks at the connection of mind and body and uses both psychotherapy and physical therapies for holistic healing,” according to Psychology Today. Day said she knew she wanted to help people heal through a more holistic approach, but there was no real framework in mid-Missouri to become a somatic movement therapist. As a result, she decided to create her own path by becoming a licensed professional counselor who offers somatic-based therapies.

“I knew that there was something about being able to move with more awareness of my body that also helped me be able to be clearer mentally,” Day said.

After receiving her graduate degree in professional counseling from Stephens College in 2015, Day trained at the LABAN/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in Brooklyn, New York, where she received a master’s-level certification in movement analysis in 2017. According to the institute, Laban Movement Analysis is a method commonly taught in modern dance that is used to visualize, describe, interpret and document all types of human movement. Day now incorporates LMA into her somatic movement therapy and education framework.

Some of the group movement classes she offers through Embodiment LLC include Mindful Move Groove, Micro Enlivenment Breaks and Embodied Movement and Stillness. Day also offers private somatic repeating sessions and other types of workshops.

Day’s relationship with movement, her mind and her body has become integral to her life. Eleven years ago, Day suffered a brain injury after slipping and falling on black ice. At that point, she said, she was doing too many things and moving too fast in various facets of life, never allowing herself to slow down and feel. Since then, she has learned the importance of slowing down and listening to her body.

“I have such compassion (for my younger self) because I didn’t know any different,” Day said. “You don’t know what you don’t know. It causes me, then, to have compassion for everyone I engage with. And even as I am sitting here, having compassion with the me that 10 minutes from now or 10 years from now is going to look back and go, ‘Oh, she was doing the best she knew how, then.’ ,

Day has translated this compassion into her work, dedicating her time to helping other people heal using practices that have become so vital in her own life. Incorporating practices like somatic movement and constructive rest into her routine has allowed her to live her life more fully. Through Embodiment LLC, one of her goals is to support other people to achieve that, too.

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