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Welcome back to Therapy Chat! We often talk about embodiment, and connecting with emotion held in the body; but what does it actually mean and how do we do it? This week, host Laura Reagan, LCSW-C interviews Dr. Raja Selvam, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist who is the developer of Integral Somatic Psychology (ISP), a therapeutic approach based on affective neuroscience and emerging scientific paradigms of embodied cognition, emotion, and behavior in cognitive psychology to improve cognitive, emotional, behavioral, relational, and spiritual outcomes in all therapy modalities. Earlier this year, Dr. Selvam’s book, “Embodying Emotions: A Method for Improving Cognitive, Emotional, and Behavioral Outcomes” was released this year.
Dr. Selvam is also a senior trainer in Dr. Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing (SE) Professional Trauma Training Program. He has taught for twenty-five years in nearly as many countries in North and South Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and the Far East . His work is informed by older body psychotherapy systems of Reichian Therapy and Bioenergetic Analysis, newer body psychotherapy systems of Bodynamic Analysis and Somatic Experiencing, and bodywork systems of Postural Integration and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. His work is also inspired by Jungian and archetypal psychologies, Kleinian and intersubjective schools of psychoanalysis, affective neuroscience, quantum physics, yoga, Polarity Therapy, and Advaita Vedanta (a spiritual psychology from India).
Dr. Selvam’s work also draws upon his clinical psychology PhD dissertation on Advaita Vedanta and Jungian psychology, based on which he has published an article titled “Jung and Consciousness,” in the international analytical psychology journal Spring in 2013. He did trauma outreach work in India in 2005–2006 with survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, based on which he has published an outcome study titled “Somatic Therapy Treatment Effects with Tsunami Survivors,” in the journal Traumatology in 2008. Dr. Selvam’s work is also inspired by the work he did in Sri Lanka in 2011–2013 with survivors of war, violence, loss, and displacement, and with mental health professionals engaged in treating them, after Sri Lanka’s thirty-year civil war ended in 2009.
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