Somatic Experiencing ®
“Trauma is a fact of life. It does NOT, however, have to be a life sentence.” ~ Dr. Peter A. Levine
Somatic Experiencing® is a body-awareness approach to healing trauma developed by Peter A. Levine, PhD. It is a potent psychobiological method for resolving trauma symptoms and relieving chronic stress. It resets the nervous system, restores inner balance, enhances resilience to stress and increases people’s vitality, equanimity and capacity to actively engage in life.
Somatic Experiencing (SE) has become a mainstay of my work over the years. SE sessions are often conducted in a seated position; touch may be used, only if appropriate. Gently and only as your own symptoms allow, I introduce minuscule amounts of traumatic material and then observe your physical responses to that material, such as shallow breathing or a shift in posture. Frequently checking in with you to assess and record somatic sensations that may be imperceptible to me, such as feelings of heaviness, tightness, or dizziness, I proceed carefully and cautiously to avoid re-traumatizing or triggering you. The goal in this work is to help people to develop and employ self-regulating strategies. A key component to enhancing your ability to self-regulate is the practice of alternating, or “pendulating,” between the sensations associated with trauma and those that are a source of strength and comfort.
I will help you to find places of safety, comfort, soothing and spaciousness, whether they be places in the body that are not activated by the trauma, or a physical place to retreat to in your mind. Experiencing the sensations related to the traumatic event in a safe way allows you to fully process the trauma. In the process, you also achieve heightened awareness of your physical responses to stress and this skill can serve you in everyday life.
Somatic Experiencing and Integrative Energy Healing have made a beautiful and potent marriage in my practice. They’ve allowed me to work with the subconscious mind to erase limiting and harmful patterns and to support clients on their journey back to wholeness.