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What is a 'felt sense' and why is it important for healing?

Have your reactions to a situation ever confused you or suprised you? Has something ever just felt wrong but you're not sure why? Have you ever felt rage and wanted to distance yourself from your best friend when they miss your calls? Have you ever shut down when your partner asks to spend time with you because they miss you? Have you ever felt panicked when you spilled some milk on the floor or when you had a typo in an e-mail? The felt sense can account for the nuance and complexity to our experiences. Let me explain further with examples. Friend missed your calls: Logically you know that it is likely not personal and that they are busy. On a deeper level, this current experience may have similar bodily sensations that may be familiar to past experiences of abandonment that left you feeling alone, angry or frightened. Partner misses you and you shut down: What could be going on here? Well, you may have had an invasive parent who had really big needs growing up; your needs were not tended to and you often felt overhwelmed by their needs. You could be having a similar reaction from childhood when your partner asks to spend time with you. Making mistakes: You know that people make mistakes; typos and spilled milk are not life altering errors, so why are you panicking? Why do you feel like you're dying? Perhaps, you grew up being criticized a lot and maybe there used to be grave consequences to errors... Do you see how your past can influence the way your body reacts to situations that may feel familar? Felt sense is partially emotional; however, it is more than that and it may feel a little fuzzy or unclear at first. It combines sensation, emotion, and awareness. It may be difficult to verbalize it in words but it often tells a story of old wounds and psychological traumas. Developing awareness of our felt sense allows us to recognize our natural patterns, sensations and experiences in order to trace and repair past wounds. Through repair, people experience a felt sense of safety that allows them to build meaningful relationships to themselves and others.

Therapeutic Approaches

There are over 400 approaches to psychotherapy out there!

Knowing what approach will work best for you can be difficult to know.  Some approaches have been empirically tested through clinical trials. The results from these studies have shown significant changes in participants. It is important to note that none of these treatments work for every person and every problem. At FSP, our practitioners and counsellors are trained and skilled in providing a variety of psychological treatments for this reason. 

Different therapeutic styles focus on different aspects of your concerns, including behaviours, cognitions, emotions, perceptions, sensations, and relationships. At FSP, we integrate top down (intellectual) and bottom up (body based) approaches to healing. Below is a brief list of some of the scientific, evidence-based psychological approaches used at FSP.  

Informative Videos 

Felt sense is a concept that describes internal bodily awareness that arises from increased awareness

We know what love is, why it matters, what it does for us, and what responses make or break our love relationships

Brené Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love....

Infidelity is the ultimate betrayal. But does it have to be? Relationship therapist Esther Perel examines why people cheat, and unpacks why affairs are so traumatic...

Lighthearted introduction to one of the key elements of Emotionally Focused Therapy for anyone who wants to improve their relationship and start toward a lasting and secure bond...

Consequences of emotional avoidance: An Acceptance & Commitment Therapy metaphor...

This practice is for grounding to help open the rivers of energy in your body helping you come back to a sense of ease in your body

The attachment theory argues that a strong emotional and physical bond to one primary caregiver in our first years of life is critical to our development...

Dr Stephen Porges, creator of Polyvagal Theory, explores the importance of an inner state of safety and the conditions which help create

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