Somatic Experiencing (SE™) is a body-oriented therapeutic model applied in multiple professions and professional settings—psychotherapy, medicine, coaching, teaching, and physical therapy—for healing trauma and other stress disorders. It is based on a multidisciplinary intersection of physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics and has been clinically applied for more than four decades. It is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine.
The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma. It offers a framework to assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states. SE provides effective skills appropriate to a variety of healing professions including mental health, medicine, physical and occupational therapies, bodywork, addiction treatment, first response, education, and others.
I am trained in the SE methodology and use it as the backbone of my practice in helping you to overcome the lingering effects of accumulated stress and trauma. While things like talk therapy or cognitive approaches can be helpful, research shows that these practices fail to address the ongoing causes of trauma. Resolving the underlying dysregulation and turmoil require working directly with the body's physiology and helping the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), the part that deals with safety and threat, to find a new normal.
This work is intentionally slow so as to provide the appropriate conditions for the ANS to contact and discharge the intense survival energies (aka emotions, sensations, images, & movement patterns) that become 'stuck' in our bodies after overwhelming or traumatic conditions. While there is no such thing as a magic bullet, many clients report a decrease in symptoms (such as pain, hyper-vigilance, stress, relational difficulties) and an increase in presence, vitality & connection to oneself and Life from working with the SE framework. Oftentimes these same individuals have tried many other forms of therapy or healing modalities before coming to SE. This work is collaborative and both benefits from, and yields, curiosity. You can find more support on the resources page.
Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence.
-Peter A. Levine