Therapeutic Presence

Why You Need a Strong Therapeutic Presence

Want to know the most essential thing needed for successful client sessions?

It’s not something you have to do! It’s how you show up for your sessions. It’s how you ARE BEING that is the most important thing.

Your presence is the most crucial aspect of successful client sessions.

Why Therapeutic Presence is Important

When we have a strong therapeutic presence, our energy supports our clients better. We offer a more comfortable space for them to process whatever they need. It’s similar to how moms help babies regulate. When moms are calm and peaceful their babies can sense that too. When moms are activated, babies have a hard time settling. We need to allow our clients to regulate from our being.

Similarly, a study was done where all different pendulums were going in a room at different rates. After a while, they all fell in line with the largest pendulum in the room. We as bodyworkers, want to be the largest pendulum in the room for our client’s benefit. But being a large, settled, grounded therapist with a strong therapeutic presence takes some developing if it doesn’t come naturally to you.

Developing a Therapeutic Presence

According to Suzanne Scurlock from Healing From the Core, a therapeutic presence means being grounded and fully embodied in the present moment so you can easily hold space for another. Holding space means we allow our clients to express and do whatever they need to for their own healing process.

How do we develop this?

First, we have to create a connection of support for ourselves. I like to connect to the earth below. The earth’s energy is powerful and healing and is often referred to as Mother Earth’s energy. It has a nurturing and transformative energy that can fill and guide us when we connect. I also like to connect to Father Sky or the Heavenly energies to fill me so I have both the Earth’s and Heaven’s support. Connect in whatever way feels best and most supportive to you – it can be to your guides, nature, spirit, creator, family, love, light – whatever resonates.

The next step in strengthening your therapeutic presence is to connect and be present in every area of your body, fully. When you have a connection to your own body, you can use it as a guiding system to help you know where and how to work with your clients. Your body can light up or ping you where your clients need focus. Your body can guide you in the sessions to know when tissue is releasing or if something is resonating with your clients or not. All of this is done through the sensations of your body and knowingness. By being present in the moment with your bodily sensation, you can sense as things change from moment to moment to help guide your sessions.

Blocks to Energetic Flow

Another aspect of this therapeutic presence and embodiment is a healthy, energetic flow that occurs in your body. However, a lot of people have blocks to this flow and, therefore, can’t access all parts of their body. Your body is meant to have uninterrupted flow throughout it. Your energy flows from head to toe and back up again in two concentric circles overlapping in the middle.

The blocks we carry in our body from all our hurts, traumas, and events that have happened to us are like the giant boulders in a river diverting the water around it. These blocks can diminish energy flow in parts of our body. In my Holistic Treatment of the Pregnant and Postpartum Body courses, I teach how to feel for the flow going down into the legs. Rarely is this flow happening after birth, but it can be reestablished with a bodywork session. Lacking energy down the legs impairs our ability to be grounded. Blocks near the heart and throat can limit energy flow into our head and down our arms. Freely flowing energy throughout our body gives us the entire body to use to facilitate our client sessions.

As therapists, we must do our best to remove any blocks to our energy flow so we can access every aspect of our body to help guide our treatment sessions. In the Birth Healing Intensive, you learn how to remove your blocks to show up more powerfully in your client sessions. Doing so teaches you how to help your clients do this, as well.

Healthy boundaries

It is also important to develop boundaries to keep yourself healthy and sane as you work with others. Lack of boundaries can cause burnout from over giving to your clients, running over on your appointment times, over working, and lacking balance between work and your personal/family time.

Boundaries develop from a fully integrated self of knowing where you end and the rest of the world begins. They help you know your yes’s and firmly establish your no’s to others in a healthy, respectful way.

Being fully embodied and present in your pelvic space helps you have healthy boundaries. Knowing your boundaries are lacking is easy. Becoming aware of your connection to your body, in particular, your pelvic space, and strengthening it is the first step in reestablishing a healthy boundary in you. In studying with Tami Lynn Kent, I’ve learned that your presence in your pelvis is your protection, and that presence helps create boundaries as well.

When you have a good therapeutic presence with full access to your body as a navigational system and healthy boundaries, you will show up powerfully to support your clients and have the tools to help you do it for a very long time.

About the Birth Healing Intensive

The Birth Healing Intensive begins in February each year, and is designed to help you develop a solid therapeutic presence and heal the blocks in your body to help you have full embodiment and firm boundaries. It helps you do your own healing as you learn how to support others best. If you are ready to show up more powerfully for your client sessions and heal in a supportive community, please consider joining this program.

About the Author: Lynn Schulte is a Pelvic Health Therapist and the founder of the Institute for Birth Healing, a pelvic health continuing education organization that specializes in prenatal and postpartum care. For more information, go to

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