SOMATIC EXPERIENCING® (SE) psychobiological trauma resolution is a potent method for resolving trauma symptoms and relieving chronic stress.
It is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine, resulting from his multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, together with over 45 years of successful clinical application. The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma.
The SE approach offers a framework to assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states.
Trauma and the Science Behind the SE Approach
Trauma may begin as acute stress from a perceived life-threat or as the end product of cumulative stress. Both types of stress can seriously impair a person’s ability to function with resilience and ease. Trauma may result from a wide variety of stressors such as accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual or physical assault, emotional abuse, neglect, war, natural disasters, loss, birth trauma, or the corrosive stressors of ongoing fear and conflict.
The SE approach teaches that trauma is not caused by the event itself, but rather develops through the failure of the body, psyche, and nervous system to process adverse events.
How the SE Approach Works
The SE Approach facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. This is approached by gently guiding clients to develop increasing tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions.
SE trauma resolution does not require the traumatized person to re-tell or re-live the traumatic event. Instead, it offers the opportunity to engage, complete, and resolve—in a slow and supported way—the body’s instinctual fight, flight and freeze responses. Individuals locked in anxiety or rage then relax into a growing sense of peace and safety. Those stuck in depression gradually find their feelings of hopelessness and numbness transformed into empowerment, triumph, and mastery. SE trauma resolution catalyzes corrective bodily experiences that contradict those of fear and helplessness. This resets the nervous system, restores inner balance, enhances resilience to stress, and increases people’s vitality, equanimity, and capacity to actively engage in life.
For more information on Dr. Levine or Somatic Experiencing please visit: www.taumahealing.org
Books by Dr. Peter Levine:
Trauma and Memory
In An Unspoken Voice: How The Body Releases Trauma and Restores to Goodness
Waking The Tiger: Healing Trauma
Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes: Awakening The Ordinary Miracle of Healing
Trauma Proofing Your Kids