Trauma Healing – Somatic Experiencing

Through a series of techniques that interplay between memories, body sensations, and dialogue with the therapist, traumatic events held in the body are discharged, allowing the body to be regulated and emotional balance to be restored.

Dr. Peter Levine is the founder of this highly effective method of working with trauma symptoms.

Somatic Experiencing (SE) was first developed by Levine in the early 1970’s and is known to be a very effective therapy for resolving symptoms of trauma including post-traumatic stress disorder and overcoming extreme life events.

Trauma is a widespread fact of modern life. Most, if not all, of us have been traumatized in some way. Both the causes and consequences of trauma are wide-ranging and can be obscure or unconscious.

The causes include natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis, motor accidents, serious illness, sudden attack, difficult birth, troubled relationships or high levels of stress.

The symptoms are also diverse examples of which are panic attacks, chronic fatigue, obsessive/compulsive behavior, random phobias, anxiety, migraines and insomnia.

It can often be the case these symptoms don’t show up immediately, they can remain hidden for years after the event that triggered them.

The definition of trauma is something that is overwhelming and happens too fast and too soon for our systems to deal with.

Levine’s research and experience has shown that trauma is actually stored in the nervous system, in the body, it is not in the event that caused it. The level of trauma is gauged by the effect it has on the person, not on the event itself – one person could perceive a situation as very traumatic while another may not be phased by it.

We have seen that there is no need to review the memory and details of the event, and that in fact it can often be re-traumatizing and a hindrance in resolving the issue. Treatment is not dependant on reliving the content or story or through psychological approaches – the therapist works through the physiology, without necessarily knowing the initial cause of the symptom.

The therapist assists the client to discharge survival energies that are bound in the body during a traumatic event.