Elli Schmeltekopf, MS, LPC, SEP

Licensed Professional Counselor and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner

Session Outline for Individual Clients

Elli specializes in working with people that really want something for themselves, some fundamental change in their life, but are having trouble attaining it. Sessions begin with intention setting. The intention forms the container for the session and serves as a powerful bridge outside of session, supporting people in moving towards their goal. Sometimes people are clear about what they want ahead of time. Sometimes support is needed in order for people to come up with a statement that is positive, clear and powerful – one that is clearly aligned with the individual.


The next part of the session is time for relevant history. Having set the intention first saves a lot of time as from a place of relative stillness, the body, mind and subconscious bring forth the most relevant information that tells the story of why the person may be having a hard time attaining their intention. People are often surprised by what comes up, especially those who have already done a lot of healing work.


In the next phase, the processing phase, any number of things can happen but they are usually more “body based.” There is often a deep witnessing that occurs here, by the part of the therapist but also by the present age self of the individual. Understanding occurs but it is not through a cognitive awareness alone but through the “felt sense” – a sense of really getting it. This phase is more of a right brain process. It may involve supportive touch, reframing or just a deep sense of really being seen and understood.


In the debrief phase, which may be during a follow-up session, there is time for cognitive processing around what happened during the session. This is more left brain and helps with integration of the changes. Suggestions for how to support the change are often common during this phase.

Four Components

Imprints: We all come in with a blueprint for love, connection, safety, security, etc. That blueprint is then overlaid with our experiences. These experiences become incorporated into us as if they are us – like a wrinkle in a shirt. The wrinkle is there but it is not of the shirt and the original design of the shirt is still present and in tact. The wrinkle shows where the shirt has been and how it has been treated. But the blueprint for the shirt is still evident. Many of our strongest imprints are laid down in utero, during our birth and in our first few days and years. They are also laid down strongly during overwhelming or traumatic events. Also combined with the imprints are our adaptations to what was available to us.


Ancestral Imprints: Following the shirt metaphor, we can be curious even farther back then the original cutting of your shirt. Where did the fabric come from? What material? Where was the cotton grown or from what factory was it assembled? How was it dyed? These imprints get passed down through the generations until someone does the work around them. Was there famine and lack? War? Betrayal? How did the family respond? The body has the story even if the conscious mind does not. We are often acting out of these imprints without awareness.


Differentiation: This is a key piece of the work for all of the segments. This is the teasing out of the blueprint from the imprint. We don’t have to fix the imprint. We need to know the blueprint and know what we want. So essential to present day access to love, connection, safety, security, etc is being able to perceive now from then and mine from theirs. For example, let’s say my mother feels shame around her sexuality. That is hers. My intention is to embrace my sexuality. So I need to differentiate my mother’s beliefs and feelings about sex from my own internal knowing. Likewise, I have to differentiate my ancestors’ religious beliefs about sex. Additionally, if there had been childhood abuse, I would need to tease out unsafe touch (then) from safe touch (now). Differentiation is essential.


Nervous System Regulation: This segment is really about safety within the session and a feeling of safety within each of us as individuals. Can you access intense emotion and have it feel contained? Can an imprint come up, communicate the information through the felt sense as well as thoughts, without it being overwhelming in the present? Specific techniques as well as education are helpful for this component. Many of us had our systems high-jacked by overwhelming events making it feel unsafe to explore our deepest concerns. Support in this segment can help with that.

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