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      SOPHIA SAM DAVIS, Ph.D.

    Somatic Coaching & Body-Based Therapy in Berlin

     


 

 

Do you struggle with anxiety, stress or feeling never good enough? 

I help creatives, professionals, and researchers who deal with feeling pressured and stressed, or worried, panicked and low in self-confidence, so that they can feel comfortable being their true selves with others, and can pursue their work with less pressure, more confidence and more enjoyment.

I teach my clients how to channel their energy into the actions they want, taking control of their lives, and becoming more fulfilled in their work, and more connected in their relationships. I provide a safe space for them to build awareness of themselves, release emotions, and strengthen their resources, which allows them to become calmer, clearer, and more grounded and confident.

Working in this field for seven years, I have helped hundreds of clients. I use a body-based approach that sees brain, mind and body as a whole system.

If you’re curious how I could help you, get in touch today to arrange a preliminary chat.

 

anxiety, panic & insecurity

 

stress, burnout & low energy

 

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Anxiety, panic and insecurity

The experiences of anxiety and panic can be extremely frustrating and can make us feel powerless, and afraid it will never change. I’ve had my own journey of learning how to deal with feeling never good enough, and afraid I’ll disappoint other people. As well as all the thoughts and feelings, anxiety is also a bodily response; it can feel like being tensed up, tight in the chest, nauseous, restless or as if we can’t breathe. While that physical response is there, your unconscious brain’s fear responses are effectively stuck in the “on” position, no matter what you change on a cognitive level. Working through the body level can be the key to changing your anxiety.

Through body-oriented coaching, I teach people how to notice and change their physical experience of anxiety. This is like re-wiring your responses, changing the way your deeply-wired fear response and your nervous system work. You can learn to release fears that you have been unconsciously storing in your body, and to gain empowering tools for how to manage your anxiety yourself.

more on how I work with anxiety and insecurity

Stress, burnout and low energy

Feeling a lot of stress and pressure can become really exhausting over time. I am definitely someone who puts a lot of pressure on myself, and have had to learn how to slow down and feel okay with doing less. Stress is a physiological response that helps us to get through a challenging situation, but it is supposed to be short-lived. Without a healthy balance of activation and relaxation, our minds and bodies suffer. Stress can create tension and headaches, digestive and immune problems, chronic fatigue, or outbursts of anger.

I teach my clients to reactivate their relaxation response. Combining talking with body attention, mindfulness, breathing and movement, I teach them to notice stress on a physical level, and then to find various ways to shift out of this state. This has a feedback effect on your whole system, and can help you to reinstall the rhythms of being active and passive that you need to stay physically and psychologically healthy.

more on how i work with stress and pressure

 

Pain, tension, headaches and digestive problems

So many of us are walking around with physical pains, tensions, and symptoms that just seem to always be there, or to come and go without us being able to stop it: especially headaches and migraines, lower back and neck pain, digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome, and skin conditions. Our physical and psychological wellbeing are so connected that they need to be looked at as a whole.

I help my clients notice how the way they are holding their bodies produces their pains and tensions. Pain can have its roots in the way we are when we’re stressed or anxious, or in an old accident, injury or trauma. In addition, just the anxiety of feeling pain again can often be enough to actually produce the pain.  Through my coaching, I mix talk, touch, breathing and mindfulness exercises to teach you how to relate differently to your body and your pain. This alters how pain is being generated in the unconscious parts of your brain, and by bringing attention to your body in new ways, we can also uncover the natural movements that are stuck there, allowing your body to rebalance itself.

Trauma, repeating patterns and letting go

Often we go through life repeating certain patterns, like ending up in the same kind of relationships, or being stuck in certain feelings over and over again. We carry our past around with us, in the beliefs and conclusions we have about ourselves and others, and in how we react to our own emotions in various situations. This is not just psychological; it is also deeply physical.

Our emotional responses go through our unconscious brains, which are in a dynamic interplay with our physical bodies. Even if we have psychologically come to terms with events in the past, we can still be “wired” in ways that have us keep reproducing old emotions and behaviours. I help people unravel, resolve and release the feelings or dynamics that they’re stuck in, which allows them to move on from the past, and to learn greater emotional resilience in the present.

 

more on how i work with trauma and repeating cycles

Fitness, tone and strength

Mental and physical wellbeing are all part of the same big picture. I teach people how to make exercise a simple and sustainable part of their lives, and to get a taste for enjoying their own strength and physicality, and the self-confidence that comes with owning your own body. We work as much as possible with bodyweight training (doing exercises that just use your own body), with minimal equipment like kettle bells, resistance bands and benches. My training is designed for each individual’s needs, and is based around strength training and high intensity interval training, which are two extremely effective ways to make positive changes to your body, health and fitness.

more on my approach to personal training

SOPHIA SAM

“I’ve always been fascinated by the mind, brain and body, and how they are connected”

 

 

My way of coaching people comes from a love of seeing people, diving into their struggles with them, and coming up somewhere on the other side, and it comes from having a curious mind that is always seeking to understand how we work from different perspectives.

Although I’d read and thought a lot about mind-body connections for many years, it was only in Berlin that I first began having sessions as a client in body-based therapy. I am a very sensitive person, and I had always experienced the world as feeling quite shy, and had a sense of not belonging, with a lot of feelings swirling around inside that I would try hard to shut down. I was insecure but didn’t think I was afraid of anything (!), and was trying to find a sense of acceptance from other people. Through the sessions, I was amazed by how much I started being able to connect with and describe what was going on inside, and how it enabled me to start changing and opening up.

That’s why I trained in the Grinberg Method, and then in a range of other approaches, adding different tools to my kit of helping other people to go on their own journeys towards fulfillment. I’m still on my own journey, of course, and still find challenges in negotiating how I am in the world. But the journey is the destination, so that’s all okay.

Giving me a scientific base, I had studied neurobiology, physiology and psychology as part of my B.A. in Biological Natural Sciences at Cambridge University (2002-5).

I then specialised in the History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge, completing a Master’s and Ph.D. (2006-10), which taught me how to think critically and analytically, how to always go beyond the surface, and to see everything as a work in progress that can be unravelled. I find all of these skills extremely useful in my work with people today.

In Berlin, I trained in the Grinberg Method, working with clients since 2011, and receiving my Diploma in 2015.

Since then I have done courses in various other approaches, including Somatic Experiencing, the Pantarei Approach, and TRE (Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises), as well as Nonviolent Communication, all of which is supplemented by diverse reading in psychology and neurophysiology. I also did a Heilpraktiker course (a German qualification in anatomy, physiology and pathology, for people working with alternative or complementary healthcare), at TOP-Physio in Berlin.

The other strand of my body and health focus is that my life has always been full of sports, ranging from competitive team sports, to running, breakdance and yoga. I view movement as a fundamental part of psychological wellbeing. I’ve been teaching personal fitness training since 2011, and completed my B-Licence for fitness training at ORTHOvita in Berlin.

I like to make the insights from my work available to more people than just those who come and pay for individual sessions, and I also still love researching and writing, so you can read my articles on topics related to the body and mind, and how they can stay healthy in the blog of this website. At some point there will be a book…. watch this space!

I love working with people to go with them through their journeys, often through some tricky places, to come out at a place they are more happy with and fulfilled by. I find it immensely rewarding to see people’s transformations, and am truly honored that so many people have gone with me with such trust through their own challenging processes.

TESTIMONIALS

“Working with Sophia has completely changed my life and awareness. I am now gaining the ability to care for my own body and mind through her sensitive, thoughtful and personal guidance. I recommend this to anyone who wants to not only take control over those aches, pains and recurring anxieties and fears that limit what we can do. I recommend it to anyone who wants to live more fully than they imagined possible!” – Max

“Working with Sophia helped me to be more aware of my body and how that was tightly linked to my anxiety. I understood the triggers and the causes ,and with understanding comes healing. Every session with Sophia was my moment of release and then peace. I used to deal with my anxieties with my head , but Sophia taught me how to observe and how to listen to my body and it was life changing! Thank you Sophia!” – Tanja

“I found my sessions with Sophia incredibly productive. With a history of ADD and childhood trauma, I store a lot of excess energy inside of me and Sophia helped me learn to release some of that energy and channel it into action. I feel that what I learned helps me continue to move forward on my own (albeit more slowly), as I carry my new knowledge and body-awareness with me.” – B.

“Sophia has helped guide me to a physical awareness of my body through the practise of touch and instructional breathing. With each session, I have learned to recognize how my body and mind reacts in times of anxiety and pain. I can now allow myself to feel stress without my mind spiralling out of control. This body awareness has enabled me to focus on my creativity, turning my ideas into action. Sophia has certainly given me the ability to live a more free and grounded life. Thank you! “- Melissa

“I usually try to do everything in my life with my head. Sophia introduced me to my body instead. It knows so much more than I ever imagined” – Anja

“When I think about what I am most grateful for and what has most improved my life over the past few years, working with Sophia is at the top of my list. She taught me how to focus on my body and where I was holding in emotions in order to be aware of them and release them. Most importantly, she taught me to remain neutral about my feelings so that I could register the situation without judging myself or others. She also taught me that everything–every thought, every action, every body movement, no matter how big or small–is a choice, and that I can change my life by being aware of my thoughts and body and choosing differently. Talk about empowerment! Thank you, Sophia! I highly recommend working with Sophia for anyone who wants to change their life. If you want to change your life, contact her today!” – Elizabeth

“Sophia is a very intelligent, sensible and caring coach. Since working with her my health has improved a lot and I am much calmer and happier in life. I highly recommend her.” – C.J.

 

more testimonials
 

ARTICLES

The Age of Separation: Psychotherapists Discuss the Roots of Contemporary Unease

Just when we have become so hyper-connected, the psychological issues of our times seem to be rooted in problems connecting with others. This was the tone of the four-day European Congress for Body Psychotherapy in September, Berlin, where established psychotherapists discussed the challenges they face today. Anxiety, burnout and depression, as well as greater tendencies towards narcissism, alienation and dissociation are apparently among the highlights of today’s therapy rooms. But how are they linked by a lack of connection? For Maurizio Stupiggia, professor of general

14 Aug 2018

4 Sets of Exercises for Somatic Mindfulness

My new eBook is up! It's a series of four sets of exercises, each of which lasts five minutes. They combine movement, breathing, and attention to your body, and altogether make a nice routine for practicing somatic mindfulness in order to become more grounded, calm, and able to channel your energy how you want to. In general, practicing mindfulness can help us be more in the present moment, calm our thoughts, and help us let go of emotions that we usually get caught up in.

5 May 2018

5 Exercises for Relief from Anxiety in Berlin

Berlin is a place where many people come for a new start, and there's a sense of freedom to create yourself here, which can be wonderful. It can also be fairly anxiety-inducing! It's easy for confidence in yourself to slip sometimes, and to doubt whether you've got what it takes, or if you're really following the right path. Berlin can also be a tough place to feel connected to others or to feel a sense of community, which leaves many people feeling lost and alone.

Body-Words: The Neuroscience of Body Psychology

Combining somatic elements or mindfulness with psychotherapeutic approaches has become more popular in recent years, but can sometimes seem a little mysterious. I am going to take a tour of some of the neuroscience at work here, and give some insights into the world of physical sensations, including how to move with and through them to change our emotional responses. Bodies can seem like strange, unfamiliar places at times. They can be sources of long-term pain and discomfort, or just cumbersome things that we lump

Being ‘good enough’ in a high-performance world

  You feel that stress again, seeping into a mounting restlessness, a background frustration, a drive to keep going as if the days were a race. You have so much to do; you’re not sure you can manage. You’re exhausted, but you’re not sleeping well. You feel that irritating tension in your shoulders and neck again, creeping up into a headache, a foggy cloud in which you can't think clearly. You don’t need this now. Your lower back is blocked and uncomfortable again, draining your energy.

Questioning the science of mind-body interactions

  I love taking a scientific approach to how the body and mind are interconnected. If you've read any of my recent articles, it's probably obvious that I love physiology, neurobiology, and biochemistry. Yes, molecules just rock my boat. Nerve and hormone pathways make me bristle with excitement. The intersection of mind states and psychology with this biological perspective is mind-blowingly fascinating to me. But this approach has it's limitations. More and more people seem to be jumping on the science-of-mind-body bandwagon. There have been a lot of

The biology of high intensity interval training (HIIT): why it’s better than aerobic or cardio exercise for health and fitness

  So many people are interested in doing exercise or changing their fitness, and there seem to be so many different ideas around. It can be tricky to know which one to believe. At the same time, the scientific studies might be a bit much to attempt to dig into. This article aims to provide the middle ground: a summary of, and introduction to the biological process that happen during exercise, which are responsible for altering your health and fitness. I focus on high intensity

The Physiology/Neurobiology of Relaxation and Trauma Therapy. Part III.

  This is the third in a series of three articles that use a physiological and neurobiological approach to explain why relaxation is so amazing, and how it allows someone to let go of old fears and be more present. In the first article, which you can find here, I looked at how to understand rest in terms of various body systems, and I described what happens to those systems during the stress and fear responses. The second article, which is here, talked about how people stay

The Physiology/Neurobiology of Relaxation and Trauma Therapy. Part II.

  This is the second in a series of three articles, which use a physiological and neurobiological approach to explain why relaxation is so amazing, and how it allows someone to let go of old fears and be more present. In the first article, which you can find here, I looked at how to understand rest in terms of various body systems, and I described what happens to those systems during the stress and fear responses. Now we'll turn to how people end up staying stuck in

The Physiology/Neurobiology of Relaxation and Trauma Therapy. Part I.

  Relaxation is so much more fascinating and powerful than many people think. It doesn't mean floating in a half-conscious state with your mind somewhere else. It means becoming more alive, more present, and more able to react to what is happening around you. It is a physical as well as mental state, and both of those elements - body and mind - need to be involved in order to achieve this presence, or what some people call mindfulness (or bodyfulness!). This article is the

CONTACT + INFO

What does it cost?

Individual one-hour coaching sessions cost €70.
A reduced price of €60 is available for students.

 

Where do we meet?

Sessions take place at The Studio for Body Attention, centrally located in Kreuzberg at Körtestrasse 8 on the ground floor. Ring for “Studio Kinkel”.

How do we start?

I’m happy to talk on the phone or in person first; get in touch for a complimentary 30-minute coaching conversation, in which we identify what you would like to work on. You can write to me at davis.s@gmx.de or +49 162 430 9586, or use the contact form below:

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If you need to cancel a session, please let me know 24 hours before the session was scheduled, so that I can reorganise my time. For cancellations less than that, you will still need to pay for the session.

 

 

 

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Sophia Davis, Ph.D.,
Straße der Pariser Kommune 27
10243 Berlin, Germany

sddanielle@gmail.com
+49 162 4309586

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