Somatic Experiencing (SE), developed by Peter Levine, is a leading technique in trauma resolution. It is a short-term, naturalistic, bottom-up approach that works with the body to release trapped survival energies. It is among the most gentle trauma resolution techniques, suitable for highly sensitive nervous systems.
Somatic Experiencing is based in the idea that animals in the wild are exposed to trauma quite frequently, but are rarely “traumatized” by it. They are able to mobilize survival energies, then discharge those same energies and return to a resting state. PTSD occurs when the body’s own survival responses are thwarted or prevented from completion. This results in stuck, chaotic energy in the body and a wide range of destructive symptoms.
Through dialogue and gentle touch, the SE process creates a safe container to allow thwarted survival responses to rise to the surface and find regulation, release and completion. This brings your system back into balance – sometimes completely resolving symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
SE does not require the verbal recounting of traumatic incidents; it works directly with the nervous system. First, we work towards a baseline level of regulation in your body. This means establishing a safe, connected relationship between client and the therapist. Then, we gradually (very gradually!) access and move through difficult bodily sensations and stored emotions. Then result is often a feeling of increased capacity, regulation, groundedness, and coming home to the body.
Although you may see immediate results after only one session, more are often necessary to reach your full healing potential.
SE is incorporated in every Somatic Integration session.
Read more about Somatic Experiencing here.