What is Somatic Experiencing?
Somatic Experiencing is one of the best ways to help people suffering from traumas cope, recover and live a normal life. The word somatic is derived from the Greek word “soma” which means living body. Somatic therapy is a therapy that studies the relationship between the mind and body.
The SE method is an approach aimed at relieving the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental and physical trauma-related health problems. It focuses on the sensations that the stress brings up in the body and it is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine, resulting with over 45 years of successful clinical application.
Everything that has happened to us is stored in our bodies, we hold the memories, the feelings, the trauma, and they may manifest as physical symptoms like pain, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, lower immune response, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, depression, addiction, and chronic conditions.
How it Works
The main goal of SE is recognition and release of physical tension that may remain in the body in the aftermath of a traumatic event. The SE sessions involve the introduction of small amounts of traumatic material with the client tracking his or her experience of sensations throughout the body, such as shallow breathing or a shift in posture. When we talk or remember traumatic events often we will hold our breath, not even aware that we are doing this.
The SE therapist notices these changes in the body posture of the client and can guide the client to stay with and release the tension and holding in the body.
Somatic therapy offers a variety of benefits. It reframes and transforms current or past negative experiences, inculcates greater sense of oneself, confidence, resilience and hope. It reduces discomfort, strain and stress while developing a heightened ability to concentrate.
When somatic therapy sessions are completed, the patient often reports a feeling of being free, less stressful and more engaged with life. It decreases the level of physical pain and mental stress, too.
Somatic Research Evidence
In recent years neuroscience has emerged with evidence that supports somatic psychology, showing how the mind influences the body and how the body influences the mind.
The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma. It 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.
How do I know if Somatic Experiencing Therapy is right for me?
While there are no guarantees for any therapeutic approach, SE has had great success with people who have experienced acute physical trauma from accidents, high impact falls, near-drownings, surgical procedures, to physical assaults including rape, as well as more chronic or complex trauma such as emotional, physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or deprivation.
It can help to reduce symptoms of insomnia, hyper-vigilance, explosive outbursts, exaggerated startle reactions to numbness and dissociation. Clients who benefit from SE report feeling more open, engaged in life, and competent at navigating new challenges.
Accredited Counsellor and Supervisor
087 939 2197
Bridget Haren DIP/MIACP/SEP
It is this story that is stored in the body
So we devise a story that explains it to ourselves, that gives us a sense of control over it.
DIP, MIACP ,SEP
About Bridget Haren
Bridget offers Energy Healing to support and deepen the counselling experience. Her many qualifications include healing techniques such as meditation and visualization.Click the button below to learn more about Bridget.