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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?

In Somatic Experiencing sessions, we approach trauma with curiosity.   Often we will take a gentle and slow approach to addressing trauma by first building trust, safety, and resilience in the therapeutic setting.   As we discuss traumatic events we will work to notice sensation, movement, and energy in the body.   Moving between activation from trauma and our body’s own resources to self-regulate and heal, clients begin to release the trauma stored in their bodies.