Our life experiences are etched into our memories, and we tend to react to life through the perspectives of what our past experiences have shown us. This can sometimes create problems in our lives when we react to present and future events from past references. Through a combination of approaches of psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and Somatic Experiencing®, I assist individuals in releasing reactions to past events that can become stored in memory and body, and help to restore the nervous system to balance.
Somatic Experiencing® is an approach that teaches body-awareness to individuals who have experienced trauma on any level. Trauma can occur during pregnancy, during birth, and throughout any stage of life. It can be caused by a direct experience or by witnessing a traumatic or horrifying event. It can be caused by the loss of loved ones, including pets. There is shock trauma, such as an explosion or automobile accident, or inescapable trauma such as sexual, emotional or physical assault and abuse.
SE® is taught throughout the world, and is the culmination of over forty years of observation, research and development by Dr. Peter Levine. In conducting his doctoral dissertation research, Dr. Levine theorized that human beings have an innate ability to overcome the effects of trauma, and through his seminal work, his approaches have touched the lives of countless individuals. SE® restores self-regulation, and returns to those who experience it a sense of aliveness, relaxation and wholeness to those who have lost the ability to connect to those gifts. Dr. Levine has applied his work to healing combat veterans, rape survivors, Holocaust survivors, auto accident and post surgical trauma, chronic pain sufferers, and even to infants after traumatic births. Through the application of this body-based approach to trauma resolution, dysregulated nervous systems can be returned to balance and equilibrium can be restored.
Trauma is a Fact of Life … but it doesn’t have to be a life sentence.
A single brief exposure to an overwhelming event can throw a normally functioning individual into an abyss of emotional and physical suffering.
Whether or not a person rebounds from this dark edge of near insanity, or tumbles more deeply into the ”black hole” of trauma (or even exactly what causes it), has been an enigma to modern psychiatry.
Somatic Experiencing® (SE) is a naturalistic approach to the understanding and healing of trauma developed by Peter A Levine over the past 40 years and taught throughout the world. SE® is a clinical methodology based upon an appreciation of why animals in the wild are not traumatized by routine threats to their lives while humans, on the other hand, are readily overwhelmed and traumatized. Fortunately, the very same instincts (and related survival based brain systems) that are involved in the formation of trauma symptoms can be enlisted in the transformation and healing of trauma. Therapeutically,
this “instinct to heal” and self-regulate is engaged through the awareness of body sensations that contradict those of paralysis and helplessness, and which restore resilience, equilibrium and wholeness.
Because human responses to potential threat vary so greatly, it is difficult to identify or classify sources of trauma. Most people associate trauma with events like war, violence, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, crippling accidents, or natural disasters. However, many ”ordinary” or seemingly benign events can also be traumatic.
For example, so-called minor automobile “whiplash” accidents frequently lead to bewildering and debilitating physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms. Common invasive medical procedures and surgeries (particularly those performed on frightened children who are restrained while being anesthetized), can be profoundly traumatizing.
Somatic Experiencing® utilizes basic tools (and “building blocks”) but also works differentially with various sources of trauma. These diverse categories include:
Medical: hospitalizations, surgeries, invasive medical procedures, anesthesia, burns, poisoning, fetal distress and traumatic birth.
Accidents: falls, high impact accidents (including auto accidents), head injury, electrocution.
Suffocation: drowning, strangulation.
Attack: rape, war, bombings, physical abuse, mugging, molestation, physical injury, stabbing, gunshot wounds, animal attacks.
Natural and man made disasters: earthquakes, ?res, tornadoes, ?oods, terrorism, dislocation from the natural world and community.
Horror: Seeing an accident (especially with blood, gore and dismemberment), watching someone else being abused, raped, killed or tortured, killing or hurting someone.
Developmental: neglect, abandonment, loss and ongoing abuse.
Torture, repeated rape and systematic abuse
Levine, P.A. (2013) What is SE®? Somatic Experience®. Retrieved January 25, 2013 from www.traumahealing.com