Somatic Experiencing® (SE™) is a body-oriented approach to healing trauma. This form of trauma therapy focuses on physical sensations in the body in order to release "shock" or energy that has been stored in the body after a traumatic event.
How Does it Work?
When we experience an event that is perceived as stressful or dangerous, our Nervous System protects us by activating our survival responses: Fight, Flight, or Freeze. If the body was not able to release that energy or in other words, if the trauma was not fully processed, then our system will continue to activate our Fight, Flight, or Freeze responses even when there is no real threat.
I work with individuals to help them bring awareness to their bodily sensations and emotions so that the traumatic energy that is stored in the body can be released. As the practitioner, I track the client's Nervous System by watching physiological and emotional cues that reflect a Fight, Flight, or Freeze response. Additionally, I guide the client to gently move through these responses. Once the energy is released, the Nervous System can return to equilibrium and healing can occur.
“Trauma is perhaps the most avoided, ignored, belittled, denied, misunderstood, and untreated cause of human suffering”
– Peter Levine
Fight, Flight, Freeze
Fight Response: anger, getting defensive, irritation, rage, frustration, adrenaline rush, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, aggression
Flight Response: anxiety, worry, panic, fear, increased heart rate, discomfort when still, fidgety, increased blood pressure
Freeze Response: feelings of shame, feeling trapped, depression, feeling stuck, numbness, shutting down, helplessness, hopelessness, high pain tolerance.
Symptoms of Trauma
Someone who has experienced trauma may struggle with:
Nightmares Inability to remember details of event
Flashbacks Negative view of the world or self
Dissociation Feelings of shame
Depression Feelings of guilt
To learn more about Somatic Experiencing®, visit SEI