(SE) is a gentle form of therapy aimed at relieving and resolving different forms of trauma. The sources of trauma are wide-ranging and include natural disasters, exposure to abuse, violence or neglect, immense stress, loss of a loved one, serious illness, accidents, surgeries and difficult childhood experiences.
The symptoms of trauma can be extreme (i.e. posttraumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, dissociation) or much milder (i.e. generalized anxiety, sleep disruption, headaches, breathing restriction).
Based on Research and Development
Somatic Experiencing® is the result of over forty years of observation, research, and hands-on development by Dr. Peter Levine. Based upon the realization that human beings have an innate ability to overcome the effects of trauma, SE has touched the lives of many.
SE helps restore self-regulation, and returns a sense of aliveness, relaxation and wholeness to traumatized individuals who have had these precious gifts taken away. The theory behind SE postulates that traumatized individuals have experienced dysregulation in the nervous system.
As a result of traumatic circumstances in its varied forms, the body holds onto physical tension, which can contribute to a variety of emotional and physical complaints. The focus of SE is to help clients begin to notice and release pent up tension, emotion and restriction.
Dr. Peter Levine and other somatic experiencing practitioners have applied the work to combat veterans, rape survivors, auto accident and post surgical trauma, chronic pain sufferers, infants after suffering traumatic births and individuals who have experienced developmental traumas including neglect and other forms of abuse. It is often used as an adjunct to traditional psychotherapy and bodywork modalities.