Somatic Experiencing

WHAT IS Somatic Experiencing?

Somatic Experiencing® (SE) is a method for resolving trauma symptoms and relieving chronic stress. It 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. The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma.

Black man reclines with eyes closed.
Black man reclines with eyes closed.

How Does Somatic Experiencing Work?

Peter Levine has said that trauma does not rest in the event but in the individual’s nervous system. By paying attention to the client’s nervous system, the trained therapist supports the client in their experience of a more ‘coherent’ and ‘resilient’ nervous system.

What is a Somatic Experiencing Session Like?

The eye movements will last for a short while and then stop. You will then be asked to report back on the experiences you have had during each of these sets of eye movements. Experiences during a session may include changes in thoughts, images and feelings. With repeated sets of eye movements, the memory tends to change in such a way that it loses its painful intensity and simply becomes a neutral memory of an event in the past. Other associated memories may also heal at the same time. This linking of related memories can lead to a dramatic and rapid improvement in many aspects of your life.

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