Martha Char Love

Martha Char Love

Somatic Reflection Process Facilitator & Author of "What's Behind Your Belly Button?"

Hawaiian Islands
Professional Training & Coaching

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Martha Char Love's Overview

  • Personal Coaching Consultant in Career-Life Directions, Author of "What's Behind Your Belly Button?" at Independent
  • Computer Lab Assistant at Santa Rosa Junior College
  • School Psychologist, K-12 at Alachua County School Board
  • Counselor/Instructor at Santa Fe Community College
  • Counselor/Instructor at Meridian Junior College

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Martha Char Love's Summary

My life work has been in the field of psychology & education, exploring the intelligence of gut feelings and the awareness of gut instincts. I like to think of myself as semi-retired because I still am coaching a few clients and am actively engaged in writing books, developing educational material & articles about my work and discoveries about the intelligence of our gut feeling, instincts and intuition.

In the 1970s, I was involved, along with my colleague Robert Sterling, in a college occupational & academic counseling and teaching assignment, dealing with the aftermath of the previous era of changes in society and integration of the Black & White cultures, the stresses of returning Vietnam Vets, and other crisis of students in a constantly changing environment. Hours of study of what we were learning from students, suggested that we were tapping into genuine universal instinctive feeling intelligence, primarily focused in the gut area of the body. We went on to develop a Somatic Reflection Process (SRP) to access these gut feelings and assist people in unifying the body-mind split and make healthy life decisions. Since that time, we have correlated our findings to recent neurological and biological studies as well as have conducted a recent study in the Depth Psychology department of Sonoma State University in 2005. I explored further validations of these findings on gut feelings as a part of an Art Therapy Post Master's Degree program in 2007.

Presently, I am working on educational materials to go along with our recently published book, "What's Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective of the Intelligence of Human Nature and Gut Instinct", and have these educational materials as free and downloadable on our website. I am concentrating on demonstrating graphically how to understand the difference in our emotional feelings and our gut feelings to increase intuitive intelligence, as well as how to access them through the feeling "gauge in our guts".

Martha Char Love's Experience

Personal Coaching Consultant in Career-Life Directions, Author of "What's Behind Your Belly Button?"


2010Present (4 years) Hawaiian Islands

I have a recent book co-authored with Robert Sterling, now available on Amazon (or go to our website entitled "What's Behind Your Belly Button?" Subtitled: "A Psychological Perspective of the Intelligence of Human Nature and Gut Instinct". We are also exploring research for a second book at this time.

I am semi-retired, but am still in the practice of consulting (with a Depth Psychology and Somatics emphasis) using the Somatic Reflection Process with a small amount of clients to assist people with dealing with their feelings of isolation, anxiety, stress and health issues, and in making life-decisions that support the intelligence of the gut instincts, in healing the trauma of the body/mind split, and in supporting a positive new image of human nature. Having worked directly with Dr. Mary McCauley and Isabel Myers in the 70s with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), I have an extensive background in Typology and incorporate it into my coaching.

Computer Lab Assistant

Santa Rosa Junior College

November 2001December 2007 (6 years 2 months) Santa Rosa, CA

This was an exciting time to be involved in helping people learn computers. In 2001 when I started this job, many people were learning computer skills for the first time and seven years later (by the time I left the job and moved to Hawaii), the majority of people were all on board with the computer movement. I loved being a part of the beginnings of initiating people into the world of computers and learned so much myself from this job. I had the opportunity in my job to assist students of all ages in an open computer lab at SRJC work through many software programs, some quite advanced like InDesign, Flash, and Dreamweaver, but my favorite days were those in which I actually got to teach someone how to do a simple computer task for the first time—like copy-paste. To see someone light up with joy from the success of first learning the magic of the computer and feeling like they just stepped into the 21st century, was my favorite part of the job.

School Psychologist, K-12

Alachua County School Board

19771980 (3 years) Alachua County

Licensed beginning in 1971 in the states of Florida and Georgia in School Psychology, with 5th year certificate in Psychometry, I provided psycho-educational assessment and evaluations, psycho-educational reports, and teacher/parent conferences in Alachua County School system. Responsible for psychological services to pre-kindergarten through 12th population. Left to be a Mom and raise two children.


Santa Fe Community College

19731977 (4 years) Gainesville, Florida

I worked as a full-time Behavioral Science Instructor teaching classes called B.E.100 or The Individual in a Constantly Changing Environment, as well as developing the psychometrics for and counseling in a storefront career center, called Career Gap, for SFCC that was also opened to the public. It was at this time that I had the opportunity to know and meet with on several occasions Isabel Myers and Dr Mary McCauley and feed data on the MBTI we were giving in the career center to their Typology lab research at the University of Florida. SFCC was at that time an experimental educational environment for which I will be forever thankful for having the opportunity to work in. I had the opportunity at SFCC to develop, along with my colleague Robert Sterling, through clinical experiences with hundreds of people, the Somatic Reflection Process on the intelligence of the gut instinctual responses. Much of this early work is the basis of our recent book "What's Behind Your Belly Button?"


Meridian Junior College

19701973 (3 years) Meridian, Mississippi

I worked as a full-time instructor and counselor, teaching a variety of subjects. I started out teaching both college level and remedial reading full-time the first semester during the summer of 1970, using SRA material. Beginning that Fall, I began teaching General Psychology 101 and developing the psychometrics for a new program to evaluate the needs of students needing tutors and working with the tutors in a new Special Services Program. After the first year of that program, once it was off the ground so to speak, I volunteered to help start up another program teaching a social science class in the Higher Educational Assessment Program, primarily for students first integrating from the Black Junior College in Meridian, Mississippi., which had been closed down that year, to the Meridian Junior College. This was a difficult personal adjustment period for many students and I will forever be thankful that I had the opportunity to know these brave students who made this important transition.

Martha Char Love's Publications

  • What's Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective of the Intelligence of Human Nature and Gut Instinct

    • Available on Amazon
    • November 2011
    Authors: Martha Char Love, Robert W. Sterling

    "What's Behind Your Belly Button?" is a narrative of the maturation of the sciences (Psychology and Neurology). Utilizing the research of Dr. Michael Gershon on the Second Brain, the work of Dr. Lise Eliot who charts the development of children from conception through the first five years of life, recent research of our own in the Psychology Department at Sonoma State University, and our vast accumulated clinical experience, Robert Sterling and I present an interpretation of recent medical research into a new Gut Psychology and a more accurate behavioral understanding of the Self and human nature than has previously been available. We share a complete protocol and results of clinical research findings for the Somatic Reflection Process that we have created and used successfully, with ourselves and hundreds of people, to assist the process of getting in touch with the voice of the gut and learning to follow its wisdom toward a healthy life—unifying the body-mind split in the individuation process. This book describes in both conversational and theoretical language the awareness of the gut intelligence and what specifically the gut instinctual feelings are, how to access them, and how they are designed by our DNA to guide us toward healthy living.

  • What Are Our Instinctual Gut Feelings?

    • Blog site where we explore gut feelings and instincts, see 3 years of posts
    • 2011
    Authors: Martha Char Love, Robert W Sterling

    Welcome to our blog! Are you curious to understand your gut feelings and instincts and how they relate to your health, to your intuition, to your decision-making in life? We have worked for over 40 years as counselors with hundreds of people exploring gut feelings and we invite you to participate in our blog if you are interested in this exploration. Psychology scholars are welcome, as well as any person interested in intuition, gut feelings and instincts.

  • The Evolving Communal Mind

    • The Write Room Blog
    • July 31, 2013
    Authors: Martha Char Love

    Is the internet fundamentally changing us as a human species? Is the internet and social networking our training wheels for developing telepathy as a species in the future?

    "If we are learning that we do not need to be in the same locality together, that we do not need a close proximity and physical relationship in order to feel close and to share thoughts and feelings, to comfort each other emotionally and feel intimate in that sense, and to feel accepted by and care for each other, then is this fundamentally changing us and our psychological competencies and functions as human beings? Of course it most likely is, even if it is a very slow, almost unrecognizable, transformation of our species." ......

  • Healing the Trauma of the Body/Mind Split through Accessing Instinctual Gut Feelings: A Protocol for Facilitating the Somatic Reflection Process (SRP)

    • Somatics Magazine-Journal of the Mind/Body Arts and Sciences
    • 2008
    Authors: Martha Char Love

    This article was first published in the Spring 2008 Somatics Magazine-Journal of the Mind/Body Arts and Sciences. You may now read and download the entire article by following the title link above to I also now have it on our blog so those of you wishing to use the Blogger language translator may do so at:

    "To my surprise last spring, an article titled “Gut Almighty”, which briefly explained the latest emotion theories on how intuition comes from the gut, was featured in Psychology Today (Flora, 2007) at the same time that my article on gut instinctual somatic responses and healthy life choices was published in Somatics Spring 07 issue (Love, 2007). I wondered if two articles published on the gut in one month might surely be a record, as the gut has not seemed to have so much attention in the media since Gershon’s (1998) book acclaiming it through his neurological research to have a mind of its own."

    "In the months I awaited the publication of my article, I reread Gershon’s (1998) book and it was again delightful to me to read that a scientific investigation actually uncovered evidence that the gut has a separate capacity to generate and record vital responses and functions as what he calls our second brain. Gershon outlines the biological functions of the gut as being its own intelligent brain and having its own vitality that is in communication with, but not dependent upon, the head brain. As I combed through his book and shared emails with my colleague, Robert Sterling, it became quite clear to us that Gershon’s work was supportive of the clinical findings in the work we did as guidance counselors in the 70s. Our work centered around assisting people to assess the meaning of their experiences through an awareness on the empty-full instinctual feeling responses that they identified in the gut region of the body....."

  • Using Somatic Awareness as a Guide for Making Healthy Life Choices

    • Somatics Magazine-Journal of the Mind/Body Arts and Sciences
    • 2007
    Authors: Martha Char Love

    "Using Somatic Awareness as a Guide for Making Healthy Life Choices" was first published in the Spring 2007 in Somatics Magazine-Journal of the Mind/Body Arts and Sciences. You may now read and download the entire article by following the title link above to

    Introduction: "In 1973, I was career counselor in a progressive and humanistic-oriented college, Santa Fe Community College, in Gainesville, Florida. People were coming to me in a career center for guidance with feelings of emptiness and confusion concerning their career choices. They were more aware of what the external world, including parents and other authority figures, would find acceptable for them to do with their lives than what they themselves felt they would like to do. In fact, I quickly discovered that most people I counseled had no idea as to what their own inner needs were and how to identify them. Feeling called to explore this problem, my colleague, Robert Sterling, and I spent the next five years developing a process of self-awareness that would be useful in helping people to find a reliable, inner reference upon which to base life decisions."

    "Using the term principles in the same manner that Johnson (1986) uses this term in the original sense of the meaning as “beginnings” (p. 4) or the sources of discovery, I would like to share the underlying principles of our work. These principles were found by examining how we developed our work and the mysteries that intrigued us and led us to develop a strategy or technique for working with others. I would like to share these principles because they hold a key to somatic awareness that is still unexplored today, yet much needed to understand our true inner nature, both individually and collectively, and to illuminate us in choosing a path of unity, creativity, and health for ourselves and as a human family."

  • Mom's Island Bakens: Over 50 Altered Recipes For a Happy Gut and a Healthy Heart

    • Available on Amazon
    • June 19, 2014
    Authors: Martha Char Love

    While I have spent my career life exploring the intelligence and psychology of gut feelings, I have not written "Mom's Island Bakens" as a professional but as a Mom and lifetime family cook who has always had the well-being of my family's gut and health in mind. I have used my long years of cooking experience coupled with my professional counseling abilities to write a book to guide people who have found it a necessity due to illness or simply a smart move toward well-being to strive to make healthy changes to their diet.

    There are over 50 original recipes in this book and all are very delicious and healthy foods--many entire meals. The recipes that I have included are from my personal collection that I have created over a 40-year span of time and that I have over the years refined to be healthy versions for the gut and heart, reflecting modern knowledge about excellent nutrition and well-being.

    Best of all in this book, you will be given cooking tips throughout that will help you become a skilled and creative cook with gut and heart health in mind. Once you have learned these 50+ recipes, you will have not only a great daily diet, but also the ability to make up your own variations of a large selection of types of dishes and alter any recipe you find on the internet or otherwise into a healthy but very tasty version of your own that will serve your own dietary needs. "Mom's Island Bakens" is not only a recipe book, but also a course in how to cook and to alter recipes to your health specifications. Reading this book will demonstrate to you, for instance, how to take an old family recipe of your own mother's and make changes to it that render it healthier--and yet satisfy your yearning for the comfort of her cooking. Furthermore, many of those delicious looking recipes you come across while surfing the web can also be altered to a healthy version for heart and gut and some of these are also has included in this cookbook.

  • The Six Phases of Somatic Depth Process

    • Excerpt Available from "What's Behind Your Belly Button?" on our Book Website
    • November 2011
    Authors: Martha Char Love

    This is a one page handout that you are welcome to print and use in psychology classes. In the somatic depth psychology process, the individual moves through a cycle of six phases of depth work beginning and ending the cycle with an initiatory experience. We identify, name, and explain these six phases: Initializing or Opening the Doorway; Identifying; Dislodging; Dispersing or Going Back to the Source; Absorbing; and Integrating Initiation or Experiencing the Self. We have used these 6 phases in our book “What’s Behind Your Belly Button?” to assess the Somatic Reflection Process (SRP) with gut feelings as a depth process and it may also be used for other mind-body therapeutic modalities to identify as depth process. We hope this will be useful for you in your research and understanding of Somatics in Depth Psychology.

  • Stepping Out of Your Artistic Comfort Zone

    • The Write Room Blog
    • December 4, 2013
    Authors: Martha Char Love

    There are times that we can not speak our truth, times we have absolutely no words to say what we are feeling, and times we hold an experience either so precious and beautiful or so traumatic and unthinkable that only laughter or tears can come close to expressing the depth of its impact on us. Art is used in therapy with adults with PTSD, with children, and with others who cannot express their feelings in talk therapy. Through making art around a stressful issue, the unconscious is expressed and healing begins to take place directly through the simple act of doing it. Likewise, the doing of some form of art is important in all our lives as a daily practice for self-awareness and self-expression. I encourage everyone to enjoy dabbling in multiple forms of whatever art, fine arts or craft, calls to you—painting, photography, drawing, sculpturing, etc. And for an author, making art can be a way to step out of your artistic comfort zone and help you to jumpstart a new story idea or move you out of a writing slump.

    I would like to share the following true tale with you about one of my humble beginnings at making art—painting—as a way to express both profound beauty and an unspeakable tragedy in my own life. The above featured acrylic painting, called “Peekie’s Garden”, is one I created as an attempt to express my feelings of awe and to share an image that speaks to my experience of living close to nature, with dozens of beautiful peacocks ....

  • Blog Site for Mom's Island Bakens: Over 50 Altered Recipes For a Happy Gut and a Healthy Heart

    • Blog
    Authors: Martha Char Love

    This is the blog site for my book "Mom's Island Bakens: Over 50 Altered Recipes For a Happy Gut and a Healthy Heart". You are invited to visit this blog site for more on the content and updates in Mom's Island Bakens. For instance, I do hope you enjoy using the popular recipe I have included on one of the blog posts for a gluten-free flour mixture that may be substituted 1 to 1 in any of your favorite recipes.

Martha Char Love's Skills & Expertise

  1. Psychology
  2. Stress
  3. Research
  4. Coaching
  5. Career Counseling
  6. Teaching
  7. Published Author
  8. Somatic Reflection Process
  9. Time Management
  10. Mental Health
  11. Healing
  12. Family Therapy
  13. Adolescents
  14. Psychotherapy
  15. Treatment
  16. Crisis Intervention
  17. Mental Health Counseling
  18. Educational Psychology
  19. Educational Materials
  20. Somatic Psychology
  21. Stress Management
  22. Depth Psychology
  23. Art Therapy
  24. Child Development
  25. Career Assessment
  26. Psychological Testing
  27. Psychometry
  28. Early Childhood Education
  29. Emotional Intelligence
  30. Higher Education
  31. Community Outreach
  32. Public Speaking
  33. Program Development
  34. Curriculum Design
  35. Fundraising
  36. Technology Needs Analysis
  37. Adult Education
  38. Curriculum Development
  39. Clinical Supervision
  40. Interpersonal Communication Abilities
  41. Clinical Research
  42. Social Services
  43. Instructional Design
  44. Editing
  45. MBTI
  46. Self-esteem
  47. Mindfulness
  48. Group Therapy

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Martha Char Love's Education

Sonoma State University

PMA, Art Therapy


400+ hours of internship in SSU undergraduate classes teaching art as therapy, and in assisting Dr. Geri Olson in the Doll Project, first through fourth grades.

Sonoma State University

MA, Depth Psychology


Master's thesis involved a research study approved by the SSU Institutional Review Board of Human Subjects. Title of thesis: "Empty Mind—Full Belly: A Conceptual Exploration and Depth Inquiry into a Reflection Process of Somatic Instinctual Responses in the Area of the Hara and Solar Plexus".

Activities and Societies: Taught a full term undergraduate class in Jungian Psychology called "Jung and Synchronicity".

University of Georgia

MA, Educational Psychology, Specialty Psychometry


Activities and Societies: Graduate assistantship with Dean of Women, serving as the graduate resident in 7 floor dormitory.

Martha Char Love's Additional Information


I am particularly interested in exploring the intelligence of human nature and gut instincts as "It appears that a conscious, balanced use of the two centers of intelligence [head and gut] has never been allowed to emerge in human history—for reasons not absolutely clear we haven’t used the brains we were born with."

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