By Anna Nauka
Trauma can have a profound impact on a person’s life, affecting their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a form of therapy that helps individuals recover from trauma by working with the body’s natural ability to heal. This article will explore the principles and techniques of Somatic Experiencing, as well as its benefits and applications.
Somatic Experiencing: Healing from Within
Somatic Experiencing is a therapeutic approach developed by Dr. Peter Levine, a biologist and psychologist, in the late 1970s. It is based on the understanding that trauma is not just a psychological phenomenon but also a physiological one. Trauma is stored in the body and can manifest as physical symptoms and sensations, such as chronic pain, muscle tension, and digestive issues.
SE is a body-centered approach to healing trauma that recognizes the importance of the body in the recovery process. It aims to release the held energy of trauma and restore the natural flow of bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts. SE helps individuals to access their body’s innate healing capacity and overcome the impact of trauma on their lives.
The Three Pillars of Somatic Experiencing
SE is based on three fundamental principles:
The body has an innate ability to heal itself: The body is capable of processing and releasing traumatic experiences if given the opportunity.
Trauma is not just a psychological experience: Trauma is stored in the body and can manifest as physical symptoms.
Recovery is possible through the release of stored energy: SE aims to release the held energy of trauma and restore the natural flow of bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts.
Unlocking Healing Through Techniques
SE uses various techniques to facilitate the release of stored energy and restore the natural flow of bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts. Some of these techniques include:
Pendulation: This technique involves shifting the attention between areas of the body that feel safe and those that feel tense or painful. It helps to regulate the nervous system and create a sense of safety.
Titration: This technique involves working with small doses of traumatic memories or sensations at a time to avoid overwhelming the nervous system.
Resourcing: This technique involves accessing internal and external resources to support the individual’s healing process. Examples of resources include positive memories, skills, and supportive relationships.
Tracking: This technique involves paying attention to bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts as they arise in the present moment. It helps individuals to stay connected to their body and process traumatic experiences in a safe and regulated way.
Benefits and Applications of Somatic Experiencing
SE has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of conditions related to trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. SE is also beneficial for individuals who have experienced less severe forms of trauma, such as accidents, medical procedures, or emotional abuse.
SE can be used as a standalone therapy or in combination with other therapeutic approaches. It is often used in conjunction with talk therapy to provide a more holistic and integrative approach to trauma treatment.
In conclusion, Somatic Experiencing is a body-centred approach to healing trauma that recognizes the importance of the body in the recovery process. It aims to release the held energy of trauma and restore the natural flow of bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts. By accessing the body’s innate healing capacity, SE offers a path towards healing and recovery for individuals who have experienced trauma.
Both Anna and Karolina are Certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioners and Kasia has completed Level 1 of the training. If you’re curious about Somatic Experiencing and would like to explore this approach as a form of therapy send us an email on: email@example.com