What is Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing® (SE) is a safe and naturalistic approach and a potent psychobiological method for resolving trauma symptoms and relieving chronic stress and anxiety. This approach helps to release traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma. It uses your own natural ability to connect with the underlying health of your nervous system. SE helps restores self-regulation and returns a sense of aliveness, relaxation and wholeness to traumatized individuals who have had these precious gifts taken away. Somatic Experiencing® is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine, resulting from his multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, together with over 45 years of successful clinical application. It is based on the science that human beings have an innate ability to overcome effects of trauma and stress, however, when this ability is thwarted by overwhelming events and states of helplessness (we become “stuck” in the fight, flight, freeze, or collapse responses). This response creates the symptoms of trauma. Change and healing happens when the body’s own physiology is used in the process of working with these traumatic symptoms. It is important the symptoms are worked within a safe, gentle, contained way or you will be spun back into the vortex of trauma and there will be no change. The symptoms of trauma are real, but are not always recognized as this. The field of somatic (body) focused trauma work is relatively new and there maybe times when even well-trained health care professional just can’t understand or relieve your suffering. If you are seeking help with overwhelming, unexplained, symptoms left over from traumatic or overwhelming experiences; please allow me to introduce a cutting edge approach that provides a gentle path back to wholeness. Peter Levine – Nature’s Lessons in Healing Trauma: An Introduction to Somatic Experiencing®   This work has been applied to resolve trauma symptoms from: • Military combat (active and veterans) • Rape survivors • Survivors of childhood abuse and /or neglect • Auto accident falls and personal injury trauma • Dental and medical surgical trauma • Infants after suffering traumatic births Relief has been found for those suffering from: • Bladder interstitial cystitis • Pelvic pain and unexplained chronic pain • Amputation pain • Complex PTSD • Chronic gastrointestinal issues • Insomnia • Fibromyalgia and...

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What SE Offers

• Reduction or alleviation of trauma symptoms such as: anxiety, depression, irritability, anger, unexplained chronic physical pain, recurring tension, hypervigilence, flashbacks, headaches, blurred vision, fatigue, mood swings, hypersensitivity, disconnection, etc. • Transformation of negative, abusive, overwhelming experiences (even if they occurred years ago) and restoration of sense of boundaries • Ability to be more present and engaged in life • Increased ability to focus and concentrate • Greater sense of peace, ease and calm • Increased resiliency to future stressors • Restored sense of optimism and hope • A way to feel more integrated, coherent and whole • Able to foster natural spiritual connectedness • A way to gain a deeper, more resilient sense of self Medical Disclaimer: Nothing contained on this website should be construed nor is intended to be used for medical and/or psychological diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your qualified mental and health care provider. Should you have any health care related questions, please call or see your therapist or physician or other qualified providers promptly. Always consult with your qualified provider before embarking on a new treatment program. You should never disregard medical or psychological advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this...

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How SE Works

Somatic Experiencing® facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. SE does not require the traumatized person to re-tell or re-live the traumatic event. Instead, it offers the opportunity to engage, complete and resolve (in a slow and supported way) the body’s instinctual fight, flight, freeze, and collapse responses. Individuals locked in anxiety or rage then relax into a growing sense of peace and safety. Those stuck in depression gradually find their feelings of hopelessness and numbness transformed into empowerment, triumph, and mastery. SE utilizes corrective bodily experiences that counter those of fear and helplessness. This resets the nervous system, restores inner balance, enhances resilience to stress, and increases people’s vitality, equanimity, and capacity to actively engage in life. SE is the process that helps enable the human body to complete the frozen biological response to the overwhelming experience, release it, and ultimately heal the impact of traumatic events. SE is not “talk therapy” – It is a deep physiological process using body focused awareness and a container of safety. This is a process in which you are involved in every step of identifying and safely healing the wounds of...

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Trauma and Science

Trauma may begin as acute stress from a perceived life-threat or as the end product of cumulative stress. Both types of stress can seriously impair a person’s ability to function with resilience and ease. Trauma may result from a wide variety of stressors such as accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual or physical assault, emotional abuse, neglect, war, natural disasters, loss, birth trauma, or the corrosive stressors of ongoing fear and conflict. SE teaches that trauma is not caused by the event itself, but rather develops through the failure of the body, psyche, and nervous system to process adverse events. In his studies, Dr. Levine found that prey animals in the wild are rarely traumatized despite routine threats to their lives. Yet human beings are readily traumatized. Since humans and other animals possess nearly identical brain- and body-based survival mechanisms, Dr. Levine worked to identify what was interfering with the human threat-recovery process,and to develop tools for restoring people’s innate capacity to rebound following overwhelming experiences. All mammals automatically regulate survival responses from the primitive, non-verbal brain, mediated by the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Under threat, massive amounts of energy are mobilized in readiness for self-defense via the fight, flight, and freeze responses. Once safe, animals spontaneously “discharge” this excess energy through involuntary movements including shaking, trembling, and deep spontaneous breaths. This discharge process resets the ANS, restoring equilibrium. Although humans are similarly designed to rebound from high-intensity survival states, we also have the problematic ability to neo-cortically override the natural discharge of excess survival energy. Through rationalizations, judgments, shame, enculturation, and fear of our bodily sensations, we may disrupt our innate capacity to self-regulate, functionally “recycling” disabling terror and helplessness. When the nervous system does not reset after an overwhelming experience, sleep, cardiac, digestion, respiration, and immune system function can be seriously disturbed. Unresolved physiological distress can also lead to an array of other physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral...

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