Dr. Shari Taylor is a somatic therapist practicing in New Orleans, LA. She employs methods drawn from humanistic, transpersonal, and eastern traditions. Using meditation, mindfulness exercises, yoga inspired movement, and talk therapy, she helps her clients bridge the mind-body dichotomy. Her interests in yoga, meditation, and shamanic practices inform her style of practice. Dr. Taylor is currently working with the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), in the phase III study using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.
Dr. Taylor holds a PhD in Psychology from Northcentral University, a Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of South Alabama, and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison specializing in the field of child/adolescent psychology. She is a registered yoga therapist and teaches yoga both privately and in a class setting.
How I work with clients
Somatic therapy informs the therapeutic process for me. It involves trusting the wisdom of the body; the body knows what to do. I have always believed that everyone has the ability to move toward wholeness if given the opportunity to do so.
Our body is a powerful container that we can always have access to. It holds all the information we need – information that is literally encoded onto our DNA. I encourage clients to be in the felt realm, cutting through the story/narrative realm. I encourage clients to feel what is happening in their experience, allowing it to sink into their body. I believe this helps maximize the benefits of an experience and give a reference point to come back to when needed. When we ask the body to be an active participant it can tell us things that we might not have realized intellectually. Many of us in the West are disassociated and not embodied so working with the mind-body dichotomy is essential.
Breath work is another aspect of the therapeutic and integrative process that I employ. It is especially helpful in working with and processing difficult experiences. Breath work is a non-specific tool that can facilitate integration and bring people to somatic catharsis or to a cognitive awareness which can help them reframe their experience. It can often give a gentle push to move forward and explore a difficult experience again but in a gentler way. Using the breath allows the experience to unfold on its own and for each person in the way that is most useful for them. Often the experience doesn’t have words and may need a felt sense awareness of what happened; and encouragement to trust that there is this innate intelligence in the body that can guide us. The breath is also key in helping to self-regulate the nervous system.