Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a pioneering body-based talking therapy capable of relieving physical, emotional and psychological shock, stress and trauma. It was developed by Dr Peter Levine in the 1970's, the author of the ground breaking book Waking the Tiger, and has been developed over the past decades to deliver an incredibly effective form of trauma release and renegotiation.
It can help relieve pain and anxiety, restore your sense of self, your curiosity for life, your ability to love and be loved, and encourages a relaxed confidence in life.
It is a beautifully simple and powerful process that works with the body's natural self-regulating systems and doesn't necessarily involve touch or body-work, although on occasion I offer this, with your consent, if I feel it would be beneficial to the work.
HOW DOES SE WORK?
Wild animals are regularly threatened with death yet overall rarely become traumatised. The highly charged energy released in their body to enable them to fight back or run away is discharged when the threat has passed. It is this primitive discharge process that helps the animal return to full normal health and not become overwhelmed. See the video link below which gives an example of how this can play out in nature.
We are all naturally equipped with the same capacity to overcome overwhelming experiences, yet we also have a rational brain that frequently 'rejects' the powerful primal instinct of the body. The result is that huge fight/flight energy gets trapped in our nervous system where it can lead to symptoms; sometimes immediately, sometimes years later.
SE's guided gentle process of sensing and tracking, internally and externally, can lead to a renegotiation of traumatic experiences that have been 'stored in the body'. This can have a profoundly positive effect on your ability to recover and put the past where it belongs.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR BODY AND BEHAVIOUR
HOW CAN SE HELP ME?
The key reason for working with SE need not necessarily be due to an obvious traumatic event, but simply the presence of a symptom or symptoms.
Trauma is not in the event but in the individual's physiological reaction to it and whether or not that event was able to be 'renegotiated' at the time.
Symptoms of traumatic stress include:
- anxiety, phobias and panic attacks
palpitations and breathlessness
involuntary tics, jerking or grimacing
'odd' reactions to everyday events
being over alert, hyper-vigilant or on guard
addictive behaviours, from smoking to drug and alcohol abuse
extreme sensitivity to light and/or sound
abrupt mood swings
shame, lack of self-worth, depression
exhaustion, chronic fatigue
psychosomatic illnesses, particularly some headaches, migraines, neck and back problems
immune system issues
avoidant behaviour (people, places, etc.)
attachment and relationship issues such as fear of abandonment or fear of attachment
If you are not sure if SE can help your particular understanding and experience of trauma, do get in touch and we can explore further before you commit to an initial session.
Stress and trauma are a fact of life...
yet we need not be left to suffer
Most of us have been stressed or traumatised. Wide-ranging sources of trauma include but are not limited to:
accidents and falls
medical and dental procedures
the loss of a loved one, sudden or otherwise
bullying at home, at school or at work
exposure to violence
exposure to addiction in the home
childhood neglect or abuse
sexual abuse, incest
When the energy of a stressful experience becomes trapped in your body it can lead to symptoms of traumatic stress (PTSD), as shown in the diagram below. SE works effectively to renegotiate this trapped energy reconnecting you to your true self and your vitality.
The video link below is of Peter Levine working with Iraqi war veteran Ray who has complex PTSD after he returned from Iraq having been blown up by two explosive devices.