Somatic Experiencing is a therapy developed by Peter A. Levine
Somatic Experiencing by Peter A. Levine
Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a therapeutic approach developed by Peter A. Levine, a psychologist and expert in trauma healing. It is a body-oriented method that focuses on resolving and healing the effects of trauma and stress on the nervous system.
The core principle of Somatic Experiencing is that traumatic experiences can become “stuck” in the body, causing a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms. These unresolved traumas can disrupt the normal functioning of the autonomic nervous system, which regulates the body's responses to stress and threat.
Individual SE therapy
Through Somatic Experiencing, individuals are guided to pay attention to their physical sensations, movements and internal experiences. The therapist helps the person create a sense of safety and slowly explore and release the physiological and emotional patterns associated with the trauma.
The process of Somatic Experiencing aims to renegotiate and complete the body's stress responses that have been interrupted or overwhelmed during the traumatic event. By gradually dosing the level of activation and supporting the body's natural self-regulating mechanisms, the person can discharge and resolve the stored energy and tension associated with the trauma.
Somatic Experiencing (SE) is based on the understanding that trauma not only has a psychological impact, but also has a profound effect on the body. Traumatic events can trigger an overwhelming response in the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for our survival responses. If the trauma is not fully processed, this overwhelming response can persist and lead to symptoms such as anxiety, dissociation, chronic pain, sleep problems and other physical and psychological complaints.
The goal of Somatic Experiencing is to help the nervous system complete and discharge the unfinished responses to the trauma in a safe and controlled manner. This is done by observing physical sensations, movements and sensations that occur in the here and now. By becoming aware of these sensations and responding to them, the person can release the held tension and energy in the body.
The therapist as guide
The therapist in SE acts as a guide and provides support in exploring the body experiences and emotions that emerge. They help the person increase body awareness, develop resources and restore the connection between body and mind.
SE uses several techniques, including shuttling between sensations of safety and activation, monitoring the physical sensations that arise during the telling of the trauma story, and gradually building the resilience to allow the body to release the stored tension. to discharge.
Restoring the self-regulating capacity
The ultimate goal of Somatic Experiencing is to restore the body's natural self-regulating ability. By releasing the held tension and integrating the traumatic experiences, individuals can experience recovery, build resilience and achieve better overall well-being.
Treating the effect of traumatic events on the body