What is Somatic Experiencing?

What is Somatic Experiencing?

The Somatic Experiencing ® (SE) method is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders.

It’s the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine, drawing 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.

What is it used for?  Is it therapy?

SE is different than talk therapy (although therapists may use it in their work)… it’s often used in conjunction with other modalities and across a wide range of types of practice.

Therapists, coaches, educators, bodyworkers, medical professionals, and first responders are examples of professionals who may draw from SE, due to its unique and powerful effectiveness at releasing trauma from the body.

How does it work?

SE works by healing the nervous system and releasing old patterns that were formed due to stress and trauma.

When the body goes through more than it can handle, it will often become stuck in unhealthy patterns of chronic fight/ flight or freeze.  In spite of our best efforts at mindfulness, understanding the root issues, and even doing all kinds of healing work, we can find ourselves reverting to the same old habits and responses over and over again.

This is because at a very primitive level, the nervous system has become “fixated” in particular patterns that, at one point, helped you survive.

When we release the old patterning and stuck places in the nervous system, we open up the body/ mind to greater flexibility, ease, and flow.  We allow it to respond appropriately to stressors and triggers – rather than spiraling into the same old stuck places, rigid responses, or body symptoms.

Read more about how the nervous system works and how trauma affects the body.

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What does Somatic Experiencing help?

Healing the nervous system affects our health and wellness in a powerful way because when we change the underlying patterns of  the nervous system, we affect the physiology of the entire body and mind.  Because of this, the healing that happens with S.E. tends to happen across the full spectrum of a client’s experience.

Specific effects that clients see include….

  •  relief from chronic muscle tension
  •  deeper, sounder sleep
  • shifts in previously “stuck” emotional patterns
  • release from anxiety and intrusive thoughts
  • a new ability to feel present with loved ones and feel safe in relationships
  • greater enjoyment of activities, hobbies, and passion projects
  • improvement in energy levels and overall wellness

I specialize in working with empaths, hsp’s, creatives, healers, and spiritual teachers/ entrepreneurs who are looking to move into greater levels of joy-filled connection to themselves, more ease and safety in their body,  and fuller expression in their creative work.

As a result of my own healing journey, I also love working with folks who are recovering from long term physical or mental health challenges (such as autoimmune conditions, adrenal fatigue, anxiety or depression) and moving into experiencing radiant physical and mental health… perhaps for the first time ever.

(Yes… it’s possible).

In short, I help you come home to safety in your body, release the traumatic imprints from the past, and move into more ease, flow, and joy.

What’s a session like?

Exactly what a session looks like will depend on our goals.  We may talk a bit at the beginning, or we may just move straight into “talking” to the nervous system.

Our first goal involves bringing more safety, connection, and the ability to resource into the body and live there in a safe, supported way.  As you become more grounded and connected to your body, we’ll begin to gently facilitate shifts that release places where trauma and stress have been stuck in the system.

Often, following this release, there will be an experience of profound calm or new insight that will spontaneously arise.

(However, it’s important that we don’t try  to jump too soon to figuring out “what it means”.  I will often be guiding you out of the mind and into the the body’s sensations and experience).

This is important to allow the body’s organic rhythms to fully complete and come back into balance.

(In other words… we’re letting the body be in charge, for a change!  Often, it knows way more than we think). 

When we give the physiology the space and support to come back to balance, often our mind’s understanding and experience will shift into a brand new space as well.  Higher perspectives and deeper insight around the issues we’ve been stuck on are able to spontaneously emerge, along with greater ease and energy flow in the body.

You can read about my own journey and how I got into this work here. 

Interested in working together?  See here.