what is Somatic Experiencing?

Somatic Experiencing is body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. It evolved from a  multidisciplinary study  by Dr. Peter Levine of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics.  Focusing is at the heart of this process, embedded in it,  which is why we are now offering this approach. 

The Somatic Experiencing approach 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. This is approached by gently guiding clients to develop increasing tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions.

Somatic Experiencing does not focus on talking about or re-living trauma. SE works at the physiological level where traumatic activation is held in the body. 

Often, clients have had therapy to deal with their traumas and still have symptoms, physically, emotionally, and relationally. Perhaps they have symptoms and don’t know why. 

Dr. Peter Levine found that by processing the body and guiding the discharge of stored energy in the body then homeostasis of the nervous system occurred and symptoms resolved. This seems to be the missing piece in trauma resolution, no matter how severe.

Life  and life’s events can be challenging,   and no matter how resilient we are over time  we can start to get overwhelmed, this results in  the  body   and  mind contracting and bracing itself as a way of protecting itself. 

This can result in levels of shut down or anxiety or both, we can slowly get cut off from our own aliveness and vitality. Unlike animals in the wild we don’t feel free to shake off shock and what does not feel good Instead we contain it, we hold onto it  in our bodies and it builds up until our bodies break under the strain and  we start to develop ongoing  symptoms both physical and psychological.    Somatic sessions   help  to  identify  how  to  let  go  of the stress and our habitual bracing and  holding  patterns. We learn to let go of  the build up of  stress from busy over full lives , surgery , accidents and more and instead  create peace  and  harmony  throughout  the whole  system in order to have the capacity  to  function  well.  The sessions are not about re-telling the story but instead releasing stress from the system in order to restore peace to the system.  As this process happens the trauma event/charge loses its power and you will start to feel more like yourself and live a life of ease and pleasure. 

WHO IS SOMATIC EXPERIENCE GOOD FOR?

  • People who have suffered from shock/trauma/ accidents

  • People who have tried lots of modalities and don’t seem to get results but know there is room for improvement

  • PTSD - discharging accumulated energy within the system

  • Digestive issues - more ‘rest and digest’ through the parasympathetic nervous system

  • Sleep - less pressure & anxiety means more rest & life force

  • Balancing emotions and enhancing ability to be with them

  • Promoting more connection throughout the body and mind

  • Ideal as a standalone therapy or in conjunction with talk-therapies

  • Post-pregnancy care and support for mothers

  • Aspergers, Partners and families of people on the spectrum

Sessions   are  designed  to  help  find  relief  from accumulated  stress,  trauma  and  tension,  offering  tools  to find  more  freedom  and  peace  within.  we  work  together to  find  harmony  in  the  system  in  a  way  that  feels  safe  and supportive  which  promotes  ongoing  health  and  well  being.

I have little doubt that as individuals, families, communities, and even nations, we have the capacity to learn how to heal and prevent much of the damage done by trauma. In so doing, we will significantly increase our ability to achieve both our individual and collective dreams.
— Peter Levine, Founder of Somatic Experiencing