Karol Ward, LCSW discusses how to help patients become more in tune with their bodies.

by Karol Ward, LCSW 

Our patients and clients are continuously giving us information on their emotional state through the language of the physical body. In fact, 80 percent of Americans say that during the past few years they have become more aware of how their mental health and emotions can affect their physical health.1 As practitioners, we can look to the bodies of our clients to inform us and themselves about what traumas or emotional difficulties are being stored there. Through both their physical stance and how they move through space, our client’s bodies reflect their internal emotional landscape. Noting what your client is communicating through conscious and unconscious movement will give you clues on what they may need to express. This information can guide you and your client towards the type of movement that best matches what they are feeling and want to release.   

By noticing and using physical cues you will be able to help your client build an internal dialogue from the body to the mind. In fact, they are looking for your assistance. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, “two-thirds of all office visits to family physicians are due to stress-related symptoms” and 68 percent of Americans said they would visit a psychologist to deal with physical symptoms that are emotional in nature.1 So this dialogue will help you determine if the health information offered to your patient is being assimilated or rejected. You will be able to partner with your client and have them give you body based information about their feeling state. Using this inside out approach to exploring emotional states, provides you with vital knowledge and a language that can be used for healing on many fronts.

© 2007 Karol Ward, LCSW  |  www.karolward.com


1. American Psychological Association (APA): 2005

2. American Academy of Family Physicians

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