Pat Ogden is a contemporary psychotherapist who developed an approach to therapy called sensorimotor psychotherapy.
She founded the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, located in Boulder, Colorado. She is the director of the institute, which focuses on educating and training clinicians in sensorimotor therapy techniques used to address developmental, attachment, and trauma issues. Her 2006 book, Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy, outlines her approach.
Ogden works as a trainer, consultant, and clinician, applying her psychotherapeutic and somatic techniques to various groups of people, including prisoners, trauma victims, and psychiatric patients. Ogden is also the co-founder of the Hakomi Institute with Ron Kurtz.
Ogden developed sensorimotor psychotherapy in the 1970s as she began integrating elements of somatic therapy and psychotherapy in an effort to help her clients address their symptoms. Sensorimotor psychotherapy is a form of somatic psychotherapy that is influenced by neuroscience, cognitive and somatic approaches, attachment theory, and the Hakomi Method. Hakomi is a type of therapy that focuses on the connections between the body and mind through encouraging meditation and mindfulness.
Sensorimotor therapy helps clients uncover unconscious behaviors and habits—both physical and psychological. These habits and behaviors inform a person's experiences, good and bad. By focusing on mindfulness and becoming fully aware of both the physical and psychological sensations and responses to emotions, a client learns how to change maladaptive responses. Uncovering unconscious behaviors allows a client to understand and change those behaviors. Sensorimotor psychotherapy has shown promise in helping individuals transform emotions and attitudes resulting from trauma.