Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a highly effective body-awareness approach to healing trauma.
Trauma is stored in both the mind and body. While talk therapy allows the mind space to heal, SE addresses the stress and trauma that can get ‘stuck’ in the body. Used together, a natural flow between the mind and the body is created. SE helps to regulate the nervous system, creating a sense of safety and allowing trauma to slowly release from the body. This approach promotes resiliency and the capacity to heal. It can help us to gently integrate difficult life experiences and increase capacity, energy, and goodness in our lives.
In the words of Somatic Experiencing developer, Dr. Peter Levine:
“I have come to the conclusion that human beings are born with an innate capacity to triumph over trauma. I believe not only that trauma is curable, but that the healing process can be a catalyst for profound awakening - a portal opening to emotional and genuine spiritual transformation. 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.”
Somatic Experiencing is effective in healing single-incident trauma and complex trauma.
Examples of Single-Incident, Shock Trauma include:
- Car Accidents
- Medical Procedures or Surgeries
- Illness or Injury
- Natural Disasters
- Sexual Assault
Examples of Relational, Complex Trauma include:
- Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Abuse
- Intergenerational Trauma
- Physical and Emotional Neglect
- Community Violence
- Experiencing Discrimination (Racism, Homophobia)
- Attachment and Developmental Wounds