The Influence of Somatic Practices on the Subjective Well-Being of Somatic Coaches

Pamela Patterson

Advisor: John S O'Connor, PhD, School of Integrative Studies

Committee Members: Julie Owen, Todd Rose

Research Hall, #161
July 17, 2015, 11:00 AM to 09:00 AM


This study explored the influence of somatic practices on the subjective well-being of somatic coaches.  The study was conducted to contribute to the research about the intersections between somatic practices and well-being, and the practice of coaching. Little research has been performed on the intersection of the emerging fields of somatics, coaching, and well-being.  The conceptual framework of this study integrates two bodies of knowledge:  somatics and well-being with the practice of coaching. The research questions that guided the study were (1) what was the influence of somatic practices on the subjective well-being of somatic coaches? and; (2) how did formal learning of somatics influence the subjective well-being of somatic coaches? 

A qualitative research approach was utilized in this study and 11 somatic coaches were interviewed.  Purposeful sampling was used to select participants who had completed the Somatic coach certification from the Strozzi Institute.   Data analysis resulted in five major themes among the eleven informants.  These themes were (1) acquiring heightened inner knowledge; (2) discovering life purpose and meaning; (3) living a more authentic life; (4) having a greater capacity to manage adversity; and (5) enhancing well-being through the integration of mind, body, and spirit.