Trauma Somatic Experiencing®

Somatic Experiencing”Somatic Experiencing” (SE) is a short-term, naturalistic approach, developed by Dr. Peter Levine, to renegotiate and heal both shock and developmental trauma.

Stress and trauma occur in the body, not in the event, as they are the body’s reactions to “threatening experiences.” The fight/flight/freeze response, otherwise known as ‘instincts’, is how we are hard-wired for survival.

The word “trauma,” unfortunately, overshadows the intricacies and insidiousness of the long-term affects of threat, whether the threat is/was real or perceived.

The easy way to differentiate stress from trauma is that any event is considered traumatic when the symptoms of arousal (reaction) don’t pass, even after the threat has passed.

Sometimes these unresolved physiological events can remain dormant in the body for years before getting triggered again.

SE employs the awareness of body sensation to safely and gradually allow the autonomic nervous system to discharge previously truncated survival energy trapped in the body.

Treatments Provide Relief From:

  • Anxiety
  • Habits & Addictions
  • Patterns & Cycles of Self-Sabotage
  • Dissociative Behaviours
  • Stress & Anxiety

It brings on a sense of reawakening and access to instincts which illicits feelings of groundedness, centeredness, boundaries, empowerment, being “in the moment”, safety and joyfulness.

What Somatic Experiencing (SE) Can Do For You

Imagine feeling present, grounded, centered, boundaried, embodied, empowered, in the moment, safe and joyful!

This transformative process can allow you to deepen your sense of connection to self and others. The healing journey can be an “awakening” to untapped resources and can help you to achieve an increased sense of vitality and flow.

Most of us have spent years trying to change the external environment (the details and circumstances of our lives) in an effort to change the internal environment (the way that we “feel”).

Perhaps the final frontier is within. If you don’t go within … then you go without.

When the autonomic nervous system is discharged and residual immobilizations of the fight/flight/freeze responses are renegotiated, people frequently experience a dramatic reduction in or disappearance of their traumatic symptoms.

Whether there are conscious events (abuse, abandonment, neglect, rape, car accidents, near death experiences, divorce, falls, disability, medical procedures, loss, natural disasters, etc.) that you know have left a lasting impression on your world and life, or, if you are confounded by repetitive behavior or destructive patterns (P.T.S.D., self-sabotage, stage-fright, social anxiety disorder, habits, compulsions, depression, phobias, vicious cycles, etc.), then Somatic Experiencing may be just the path you needed to find!

Because the body (physiology) is the common denominator of all of life’s ‘traumatic’ experiences, healing can be profound, illogical and non-linear.

What you can expect during a typical SE session

A Somatic Experiencing session is similar to traditional “talk” therapy (for lack of a better term), except that the focus is on the biology rather than the biography. Talk therapy works more with the higher brain (rational mind), while SE focuses on the lower brain survival (instinct) responses, the autonomic nervous system, and the “felt” sense.

SE is an experiential process, including learning new skill-sets to counteract stress, anxiety, P.T.S.D., panic attacks, negative mental chatter, self-sabotage, disorientation, dissociation, disconnection, etc.
The, fore mentioned, skill-sets, help to recondition and reinstate orienting responses, grounding, centering, boundaries, a sense of connection, empowerment, safety, healthy aggression and joyfulness.

Because the lower brain doesn’t know the difference between that which is real and that which is perceived, guided visualization and the imagination can be used to help to renegotiate past events on a cellular memory level.

Touch is incorporated as a way to resource the client with a sense of support and to increase attention and connection to sensation and the body itself, but this is not massage. The client may remain seated or recline during the session.

Much time and attention is spent getting the client resourced (feeling better). Delving into past events cathartically is avoided, as that can re-traumatize and further set trauma into the system.

Sessions are about one hour in length and, initially, most effective in consecutive weekly or bi-weekly appointments. Please allow for extra time, as the session does NOT necessarily end because 50 minutes has passed.

Somatic Experiencing® (SE) is a short-term naturalistic approach to the resolution and healing of trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine. It is based upon the observation that wild prey animals, though threatened routinely, are rarely traumatized. Animals in the wild utilize innate mechanisms to regulate and discharge the high levels of energy arousal associated with defensive survival behaviors. These mechanisms provide animals with a built-in ‘’immunity’’ to trauma that enables them to return to normal in the aftermath of highly ‘’charged’’ life-threatening experiences. This modality is particularly effective for releasing the stored trauma of auto accidents, surgical and dentistry procedures and life altering emotional shocks. For more information, visit