Our body has its own wisdom to heal. Working in a somatic way we guide the body to complete, integrate and heal what was once a tear in a fabric of our well-being.
Somatic Experiencing® (SE) is based on working with the nervous system to transform traumatic experiences in a way that is manageable. The founder of SE Peter Levine says: “Trauma is not in the event, it’s in the nervous system.” As with all our experiences, they are contained in our bodies and our psyche.
When we are traumatized either by an event in our lives, being overwhelmed in our early life (developmental trauma) or by too much accumulated stress, our system is in a constant fight or flight mode, or will start shutting down. This is a natural way our body protects us. It costs us a lot of energy to be in a fight or flight mode for a long time. We can never relax which can lead to anxiety, burnout, or we can get into shutdown mode and fall into depression or disconnection -- "not being really here" . This cuts us from our life energy.
Transformation comes from accessing small pieces of the original experience and working through them so our system can integrate them and reset to the original base of rest and relaxation.
SE works with it through accessing sensations, emotions, images, behavior, and impulses in the body connected to the issue presented. It is designed to work with traumatic experiences gradually so they won’t become overwhelming.
When traumatic event occurred, our body started a self-protective response that wasn’t able to complete. It was either too much, we were too young, or it happened too fast. Traumatic responses are the way our body protects itself from overwhelm. Incomplete self-protective responses need to be completed in the body.
The Inner Journey