Somatic-Relational Psychotherapy, Intuitive Healing, E.M.D.R., Client-centered Counseling & Coaching
My intention is to support individuals to get in touch with the lived experience of the body, as it pertains to body-mind-spirit healing, personal development, and relational growth. My approach is theoretically holistic, however I am inspired by somatic and relational psychology, yoga/movement, intuitive (energy) healing, and the power of nature. My intention is to support clients to identify, explore, and ultimately transform stuck patterns and energy so they become more capable of living happy, balanced lives.
In therapy and in life, we sometimes need to challenge our edges in order to grow. My style is empathetic, nurturing, and direct. Although I am clinically trained and licensed, new clients should know my approach is not one of a standard psychotherapist. I draw from over twenty years of healing arts experience and spiritual studies and see through the lens of both a clinical somatic-relational psychotherapist and an intuitive healer.
One of the most common questions I receive from people curious about somatic psychology is, “What does somatic mean?” The word somatic is associated with the lived experience of the body (soma) and how sensations relate to various processes, including how we experience thoughts and feelings. In each counseling or somatic coaching session, I facilitate somatic awareness by utilizing various techniques that include mindfulness and sensation-focused awareness.
When prompted, we are usually able to name and sense something in the body. These sensations may include: density, texture, temperature, shape, or even a flavor or scent. By noticing sensations in the body – often provoked by emotional response patterns – we become better-able to explore the innate body wisdom directly correlated with self-healing.
We can harness the phenomenon of sensory awareness to ground ourselves during moments of tension and reactivity, regulate the nervous system, and to learn from and heal long-held pain and body armor. The therapeutic nature of this heart-centered process also supports us to compassionately address unmet needs and understand their origins.
The more we become familiar with our unique energy, emotional responses and sensations, the more we become capable of processing challenging feelings and embracing the joys of life.
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Existing clients can log-in to the secure client scheduling portal
Who I Work With:
What I offer aligns well with people who are curious about body-mind connectivity and are motivated to develop intellectual, emotional, and spiritual insight. I support adults and young adults of all ages and specialize in somatic therapy, intuitive healing, and spiritual development.
Please note: I do not specialize in eating disorders and advise all clients seeking therapy for eating/food-related challenges to seek out a specialist. If you need support from a registered dietitian, I highly recommend Elise Liu, Craving Food Freedom.
About Somatic Therapy & Healing:
The way we process external input and internal sensations has everything to do with living a meaningful, healthy life. As mammals, we have adopted certain behaviors over the course of evolution to enhance the viability of the species. A good example of this is our defense structure. It has helped us survive for thousands of years, however when activated, it does not support ease within interpersonal relationships. When we operate from a place of defense, the relational, more empathetic part of the brain goes off-line, leading to problematic behavior and relational or personal distress.
The sympathetic nervous system branch, responsible for a human’s fight, flight, freeze response, is directly correlated to how the body processes anxiety, trauma, and interpersonal challenges. When unregulated or ignored, this response pattern has a dramatic effect on our character, lives and relationships.
When we continually operate from a place of nervous system dysregulation, also called sympathetic arousal, we do not function optimally, symptoms ensue, and life can feel unmanageable. Somatic and relational psychotherapy assists people to observe their defense mechanisms and work proactively with them, thereby stimulating the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system.
The parasympathetic branch is responsible for rest and digestion activities and assists the body to feel calm and at-ease. Early childhood plays a large role in this style of psychotherapy, which is humanistic and correlated with attachment and psychodynamic theory. Somatic work is healing by nature because it gives the client an experiential understanding of attunement, otherwise known as neurologically regulated, compassionate presence.
Research has shown that when a person feels attuned with another human being in a therapeutic context, the nervous system has the space to down-regulate, and symptoms such as stress, anxiety, and panic may reduce.
I am a certified practitioner of Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR). E.M.D.R. is an extensively researched, highly effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders. It is also highly effective to cultivate self-esteem, confidence, and personal empowerment. If you are interested in learning more about E.M.D.R. watch this video and do additional research to see if it could a good approach for you.
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Somatic Education & Resources by Romi Cumes, LMFT
Somatic psychology is centered around the lived experience of the body (soma) and how that relates to relational, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual processes.
Somatic psychotherapy includes various therapeutic approaches, many of which focus on sensation-based awareness and nervous system response patterns.
I received clinical training and inspiration from a variety of professional somatic educators and psychotherapists, including but not limited to: Michael Sieck, Ph.D., (Three Fold Way), Gabrielle Hoppe LMFT (Biosynthesis), Jeanne Denney Ph.D., (Body Psychotherapy), Joanna Chartrand-Benz, (Somatic & Relational Psychotherapy), and Stephen Dansiger Psy.D. (EMDR). In addition to clinical psychotherapy training, I draw from over twenty years of experience offering: yoga, meditation, bodywork, and energy healing. Before moving into private practice full-time, I worked as an associate at various community agencies, including: New Beginnings Counseling Center, Santa Barbara City College, Crescend Health, La Ventana Treatment Center, and Hospice of Santa Barbara.
From 2012-2015 I received post graduate training in the Three Fold Way, a method of relational and somatic psychotherapy developed by its late Founder, Michael Sieck, Ph.D. My approach is largely inspired by the work of Dr. Sieck and his partner Jeff Turner, LMFT. Michael and Jeff’s work was transcendent, and their offerings helped thousands of people to feel loved, seen, and empowered. I am forever grateful for their brilliant, compassionate teachings.
Areas of Focus: Spirituality, Personal Development, Relationships, Dating, Self-Esteem, Peer Relationships, Performance, Stress Management, Academics, Coping Skills, Anxiety, Trauma, Attachment, Life Transitions, Life Coaching, Professional Development, Grief, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Codependency, Depression, Divorce/Separation, Dual- Diagnosis, Mood Disorders, PTSD, CPTSD, Sexuality, Infidelity, Sleep Issues, Sexual Abuse, Substance Abuse, LGBTQIA+.
Mental Health Resources (local and online)
- Suicide Prevention Hotline
- Better Help (lower cost counseling with licensed therapists)
- New Beginnings Counseling Center (affordable counseling)
- Community Counseling and Education Center (affordable counseling)
- Mental Wellness Center (mental health trainings and community programs)
- Family Therapy Institute (couples, family and individual counseling. Sliding scale options)
- Hospice of Santa Barbara (free grief counseling)
- Mission Harbor (mental health outpatient programs)
- CALM (child abuse resource, healing and prevention)
- Alsana (eating disorder recovery)
- Wilderness Youth Project (nature awareness programs)
- Academy of Healing Arts (AHA) (tools for teens to feel safe, seen, and connected)
- Girls Rock (empowers girls, women, and gender-expansive humans through music education, the creative arts, community, and positive mentorship.