"Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a body (soma) centered healing modality developed by Dr. Peter Levine over 45 years ago. It is not psychotherapy. It first and foremost, addresses the lingering effects of trauma held in the body by resolving and discharging powerful, incomplete survival energies.
Dr Levine's extensive study of trauma and recovery in the animal world led him to question why we, as humans, suffer in extended states of pain, flight, fight, or immobility. He discovered that trauma is in the nervous system. Not in the event!
When a traumatic event occurs (accidents, poison, sudden loss, surgery, etc), a powerful protective circuit between the body and brain activates. Our fight, flight, freeze impulses respond and the body may begin to tremble, cry out, or run. These responses are physiological reactions to trauma discharge energies that signal back to the brain, "Hey! Im alive and safe!" and the further need for fight, flight, freeze passes through. With the circuit completed, you return to a state of calm and balance.
If however, the body is too overwhelmed to respond successfully (surgical procedures, MVA, etc.), this response energy becomes suppressed in the body tissues. You may be unable to fight or flee. Over time, you may come to accept the impact of the event, but your body's memory remains stuck in the past! Without the "all clear" signal from the body, the impact continues to live on in the tissues as real as the moment the trauma occurred.
SE addresses the resulting stress of trauma accumulated in the body and nervous system. The guiding principles of SE are safety and containment. In SE, we slow down the experience, in a titrated way, allowing the body and nervous system to process events in the present moment, to finally complete a circuit interrupted by trauma. We begin to reacquaint with our bodies as allies!
What can SE help with? To name a few categories:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
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