“By understanding ourselves
and the fuller aspects of our functioning, we are empowered to help ourselves"
My name is Stephen Cooke. I am a qualified Counsellor and Psychotherapist (BSc) and an accredited member of the IACP.
I am a certified Somatic Movement Educator (CSE) in the tradition of Thomas Hanna, and I trained in the Ingle Institute of Somatic Education. I am currently on the Somatic Experiencing training programme. My approach to therapy is to work with the “Soma”, the entire person, to help relieve mental and physical pain.
Counselling & Psychotherapy
“Just when I accept myself do I change” Carl Rodgers
I am an accredited Counsellor with the IACP. I trained in an integrated approach to Counselling and Psychotherapy (BSc from Middlesex University) and with my experience in Somatic education, I have a focus on working with the mind and body within Psychotherapy. I also have a certificate in CBT ( PCI college) that can help clients manage their pain, while exploring the deeper origins and causes. I use a wide range of counselling and psychotherapeutic interventions in therapy, depending on the circumstances and the needs of the client. I believe most human suffering both mental and physical is the result of some sort of trauma that has happened over the course of our lifetime. I encourage clients to become self aware and to undertake a journey of learning and self improvement. I can help with a wide range of problems from anxiety & stress, to depression and trauma.
Counselling sessions last 50 minutes to an hour.
“ If you can sense it and feel it, you can change it" Thomas Hanna
Sense it. Feel it. Move it.
Somatic Movement Education (SME) is a neuromuscular retraining programme that eliminates muscular tightness and pain by retraining the brain and restoring the nervous system control of muscles through slow guided exercises. It is a gentle therapy that empowers the client (student) to develop self awareness that allows for greater self control of muscle and improved movement.
The founder of Hanna Somatic Movement Education was Thomas Hanna PhD, who studied under Moshe Feldenkrais. He studied neurobiology and wanted to improve people's quality of movement by educating them to understand that habituated stress reflexes contribute to their poor patterns of movement and cause pain.
SME is targeted to reawaken muscle movement that may have been lost over time through a lack of movement or bad patterns of movement. Thomas Hanna called this Sensory Motor Amnesia. SME can help the following: Shoulder & neck, lower back, pelvis, TMJ (jaw), Breathing and Walking, to name a few.
The training programme can be delivered in a group setting, in classes & workshops, or with 1-1 lessons.
More information on the origins and science behind Hanna Somatics & Somatic Education can be found in the resource section of this website.
Lessons & Classes
“If we are willing to release ourselves from the tyranny of hurry, however, we may discover the gifts of going slow, of being present to those we serve on the only timetable that really matters” Suetonius
Somatic Movement classes explore movement in different parts of the body. Each week students learn how to move themselves in a pain free manner through gently guided movement lessons. The lessons require the student to be aware of how to move their body, with the emphasis on quality rather than effort. Somatic Education’s mantra is “Less is more” and we do not focus on stretching but on naturally lengthening the body.
There are many types of movement classes but the MoA (myth of ageing) series of eight classes designed by Thomas Hanna focused on: Abdominal's, Lower back, Sides, Trunk , Hips and Legs, Shoulders & Neck, Breathing and Walking.
Maximum of 12 people per class allows for a better learning experience. Students should wear loose clothing and bring a Pillow & Blanket and a yoga mat if they have one.
1-1 Movement lesson*
Personal movement sessions can help clients understand their movement patterns. The Educator guides the the practitioner through a gentle range of movements with the emphasis on the functional movement of the entire body. Thomas Hanna developed a series of specific protocols (movement series) that can be employed depending on the restricted movement pattern the client displays.
Individual 1-1 Sessions take place on a physio table and last for approximately one hour. Clients are encouraged to take part in at least three sessions.
What to expect from first lesson :
First lesson can take up to 1 hr 15 minutes and involves :
-Movement assessment (walking)
-Movement integration assessment on the table
Clients take part in lessons fully clothed and should wear light flexible clothing.
*Somatic Education addresses structural and movement dysfunction. It is not a replacement for medical treatment. The objective is purely educational. While a medical history is taken, it only serves the purpose of understanding how it may impact on movement.
Half and full day workshops explore movement in an immersive way. Some workshops that have been developed in the past, work on movement integration like standing, walking, breathing etc. Details of upcoming workshops will be listed on this website and on Facebook.
Times & Fees
Counselling & Psychotherapy
A Counselling & Psychotherapy session lasts for 50 min - 1hr
* Open 9am- 6pm Mon - Friday depending on availability.
Open to 9pm Wednesday.
Somatic Movement Education
Classes typically cost €50 for 6 classes
There is a max of 10 people allowed per class.
List of upcoming classes and courses :
- see FB for more details or email me.
1-1 Movement lessons
€60 / 1hr- 1.15 minutes *
Important information for 1-1 Movement lessons:
- it is preferable that students attend at least 3 sessions / 5 is optimum
- students are encouraged to practice movement homework in order to help restore Movement patterns.
* special rates apply to those attending classes or who attended more than three individual sessions.
Opening Times for 1-1 Movement lessons are the same as the above Counselling sessions.
“The brain is a far more open system than we ever imagined, and nature has gone very far to help us perceive and take in the world around us. It has given us a brain that survives in a changing world by changing itself." Norman Doidge
Somatic Movement Education
“Somatics” Thomas Hanna
“The Body of Life” Thomas Hanna
“Awareness Through Movement” Moshe Feldenkrais
Wellbeing & Health
“Why Zebras don't get ulcers” Robert M Sapolsky
“Full Catastrophe Living” Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Headstrong” Dave Asprey
“Better Breathing” Carola Speads
Carrick on Shannon
Somatic Way can be found at the offices near Lunney’s Service Station (Texaco) / Directions available on appointment
Somatic Way Disclaimer & Private Policy
This website does not contain medical advice. It is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your professional healthcare provider for medical advice. Always seek the advice of a medical professional or qualified healthcare provider with any questions regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice or treatment because of something you may have seen on this website.
What personal data we collect and why ?
Data is collected when we make contact through phone, email, web or in person.
The types of data and information collected include:
The basic amount of information is collected to allow for an effective level of service. In Somatic Movement Education it is used to understand a clients movement pattern and to develop a plan to improve clients movement. In Counselling and Psychotherapy it is used to understand a clients current situation and detail interventions (where relevant).
Contact Forms & Contact Information
When you contact us we collect relevant information to get in contact with you. This includes, name, physical address, phone number and email address. We do not share this information with any third party providers.
Analytics & Browsing Information
When you access or use our online services, we automatically collect the following information about you via google analytics. The information is used to understand who is visiting the site and optimising content.
1) Log information about your use of the service, how you navigate to and around the website.
2) Device information is the information collected about the device you are using to access our services, for example hardware model , operating system, mobile network information etc.
Cookies ( small text files that work in the browser to collect and gather information) are employed by Google Analytics to allow browsing Information to be analysed. These can be turned off in your settings but these can effect your service. We do not have any control over third party cookies.
Client Counselling Information & Medical Data
Any client information in relation to counselling sessions and medical data taken during your appointment is collected in an intake form and stored securely and the information is not identifiable. Information is stored for seven years to comply with the insurance policy but is freely available at any time by contacting Stephen Cooke at somaticway.ie.
Counselling and Psychotherapy information collected includes: contact details, date of birth, GP and emergency contact details, Medication and description of presenting issues. Basic notes are kept of any follow up sessions. These are kept very brief and factual.
Somatic Education information* collected includes : current movement issues , previous injuries, current pain state and observations around posture and movement.
*Any information that is gathered in the Somatic Movement Education intake form and during the follow up sessions, is solely to help understand the clients movement patterns. Somatic Movement Education is not a replacement for proper medical care. Clients are advised to seek proper medical attention first.
No data by which you could be identified by a third party is stored electronically. The written information is held in separate locked filing cabinets. No identifying information is held together.
How long is the data held for and rights over your data
You can request that we delete any personal information that might be stored when you make contact. For information taken during appointments, this data needs to be held for the seven year period to comply with the insurance policy but you can have access to a copy of the information collected and your notes at any time by contacting Stephen Cooke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your rights to the data
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) individuals have the following rights:
Obtain details on how their data is held and processed by an organisation; to have access to their data and have incorrect and incomplete data corrected; have data erased if their is no legitimate excuse to holding it; to obtain their data form the organisation and have it transmitted to other organisations; object to the processing of data by that organisation; and not to be subjected to automated decision making including profiling.
If you want to see the data collected which relates to you or you wish to make changes please contact the Data Controller, Stephen Cooke at somaticway@gmail.
Further information in relation to GDPR
If you have concerns over how data is being used by an organisation you should contact the Data Protection Commissioner at the details below:
Data Protection Commissioner
R32 AP23 Co Laois