What is Somatic Experiencing® (SE)?
Somatic Experiencing® is a body-awareness approach to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) being taught throughout the world. Though trauma may be caused by one powerful event or many smaller repeated events, PTSD shows up within an individual or group as an exaggerated form of psychological or physiological reactivity or depression/dissociation. This is known as the fight, flight or freeze response.
Somatic Experiencing® is the result of over forty years of observation, research, and hands-on development by Dr. Peter Levine and his colleagues. SE® has touched the lives of many thousands and is based upon the realization that human beings have an innate ability to overcome the effects of trauma. Through a careful guidance into body sensations associated with wellbeing and those connected to the traumatic arousal, SE® restores self-regulation, and returns a sense of aliveness, relaxation and wholeness to traumatized individuals who have had these precious gifts taken away. The work has been applied to those with PTSD such as combat veterans, rape survivors, Holocaust survivors, auto accident and post surgical trauma, chronic pain sufferers, and infants after suffering traumatic births.
SE® is also appropriate for mind-body healing connected with any deeply seeded psychological or physiological pattern of dysregulation, contraction, compulsion or collapse. SE® can be combined with mindfulness meditation to open patterns we find in ourselves during meditation. While some these patterns may not seem to be caused by a particular traumatic event, they repeatedly resist opening or transforming with mindful attention. When these patterns have been identified, SE® can be used in combination with mindfulness to allow a deeper letting go and integration.