By Nic Higham
Are you asking questions around your suffering? Are you ready to look at yourself in a new way? Are you unsatisfied with your attempts to fix or free yourself? Do you want to know who you really are?
So, what is nondual therapy and where does nondual therapy come from? Nondual therapy is inspired by the nondual spiritual traditions, such as Taoism, Advaita Vedanta, and Buddhism. Nondual therapy isn’t, however, a religious modality and anyone can benefit. Psychospiritual in nature, it assists people from all walks of life on their full-spectrum path of spirituality and healing.
Many experiences take place from birth where we disconnect from ourselves, from our worth, and from the here-and-now. The entire body participates in each emotion, attitude, identity, thought and belief. Somatic Inquiry is a way to dive into present experience and to attune to the truth of what is through the body. We form important new neural networks when we feel safe and connected and give suffering space to be and communicate what it needs. We integrate into wholeness our abandoned, neglected or rejected parts, and even come to love ourselves.
Instead of seeking answers or solutions, nondual therapy and somatic inquiry is focused on revealing the concepts, stories, and beliefs that cause suffering. Once recognised for what they are, wellbeing surfaces naturally. This isn’t, however, about trying to change or get rid of anything.
Nondual therapy sessions can help you uncover and express your authenticity by unravelling or softening painful experiences and self-concepts to allow your truth to speak for itself. Whether you’re feeling anxious, down, uncertain, held back by your traumatic past or dealing with loss, when you feel safe and held with compassion, your internal systems will relax. You will experience peace, trust, and joy, providing an anchor for your journey as you start to live from your own innate wisdom.
This approach to therapy and counselling isn’t about becoming a new, improved individual. It acknowledges that you are already whole and never separate from the source of life. It helps to unfold the mind-body network of personal narrative to allow the emergence of “Sattvic” qualities such as: calmness, peace, focus, centeredness, purity, essence, vital energy, strength, courage, truth, honesty and wisdom. Feelings of opposing quality (i.e. Tamas, which can lead to depression, and Rajas, which can lead to anxiety – the other two “gunas”) that were once numbed are met with openness within the relational safety provided.
As in Advaita Vedanta, an ancient school of nondual philosophy, we find out who we are by discovering what we are not. We discern between the true and the false, the real and the unreal, and are thus liberated. Through this process, we find an innate capacity to be okay with what is in any given moment. This is the concept behind the now popularised notion of mindfulness of “living in the moment”. We discover a deep trust in life, realising that there is no divide between who we really are and life itself. This is what the word ‘nonduality’ implies. There’s a lot of relief in acknowledging and holding what is here and giving it space and time to dissolve. Fighting with (or indeed fighting for) imagined duality, on the other hand, is futile and the cause of all suffering.
In a meditative space (eyes can be closed or open) with the outlook of a unique psychosomatic inquiry, we explore, integrate and release:
In nondual therapy and somatic inquiry, we attend mindfully to feelings, thoughts and sensations, and use practical therapeutic tools to release painful and traumatic associations from the past. By letting go of painful experiences through shining the light of awareness onto what shows up – words, images, memories attached to ‘stuck’ sensations or energies – unconscious beliefs become clear. Once we are familiar with the mechanisms built within our beliefs we begin to experience life with much more clarity and ease.
This guided unravelling loosens contractions (i.e. internal dislodged bundles of experience) and polarities (e.g ‘like’ and ‘dislike’), giving way spontaneously to inevitable – not forced- change, growth and freedom. In nondual therapy, we give the body space to feel all the things that it hasn’t felt safe enough to feel. This allows space for anything to show itself in its own time and way. When it does, we find there is both wisdom and intelligence in all that we’ve habitually denied, repressed or weren’t even aware of consciously.
In her book ‘Nondual Therapy – The Psychology of Awakening’ Georgi Y Johnson writes:
“Our inner dimensions of trauma are places of intense suffering.”
“In general, where we suffer, there is a sense of contraction or freeze. This freeze creates stress. When the stress is ignored, the contracted energy becomes depressed. Yet it’s still there, creating bottlenecks and restraints in the flow of vitality [sattva] through the body, psyche and mind.”
Johnson goes on to explain that Nonduality introduces the principle of our True Nature – the sattvic qualities of consciousness that are shared and recognised by all, such as love, peace, joy and freedom. Johnson’s premise is that contractions are frozen rajasic and tamasic forms of those qualities. For example, when we surround a contraction of hatred with unconditional love, a melting occurs which de-contracts the energy. When we are encouraged to honour rather than alienate the feedback from the autonomic nerve system, we often witness this polarization of thought-forms into dualistic, either-or structures.
Johnson says that therapy is about healing and defines it as “the compassionate movement needed to return to naturalness and wholeness.” Nondual therapy is an approach which supports the release of energetic contractions in the psyche back to the sattvic qualities out of which they were formed.
Nondual therapy and somatic inquiry sessions meet you as you are, walk with you in exploring what’s really going on, and guide you to resource the qualities you seek.
Both face-to-face and online sessions available