What is Somatic Experiencing® (SE)?
“The Somatic Experiencing® method is “a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. 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.” Source: https://traumahealing.org/about-us/
SE can help people with many common mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, poor stress management, low self-esteem, difficulty concentrating, feeling numb, anger management problems, and much more.
How can SE help me and my partner?
When you are angry, anxious, stressed out, fighting, or sad, where do you feel it in your body?
*Some people feel tension in their chest, back, or neck.
*Some people feel a knot in their stomach or feel nauseous or dizzy.
*Some people makes fists with their hands or feel tension in their jaw.
*Some people have a lump in their throat.
*Some people feel floaty, numb, or distant from their body.
All of these physical sensations give us information about what is happening in your nervous system as you become more activated or upset. When we understand this, we can better treat what is happening in your nervous system so that your body can learn to respond differently in the face of activating situations.
For example, if you struggle with anxiety or a short temper, SE can help release the tension that is stuck in your body that is preventing you from feeling more calm.
If you are feeling depressed, like you don’t have enough energy to push through the day, SE can help you discharge the negative energy that keeps you weighed down.
If you are dealing with chronic pain and the resulting mental health struggles, SE can help you learn how to cope better and find some relief from the pain that you experience.
If you have had negative sexual experiences and can’t get past the tense, frozen, or floaty way your body feels in an intimate context, SE can help you heal those body triggers and help you learn to stay present.
If you get stuck in a conflict cycle with your partner that is negative and out of control, SE can help train your nervous system so you and your partner can disagree in a way that is more calm and far less damaging to your relationship.
I am in the second year of a three year training process to become a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP). I am currently seeking supervision and consultation with practitioners who have completed their certification. I have been treating trauma since 2010, and I am already excited about the progress that clients are making with SE interventions. Since I began training in SE, I have found that it has worked well in conjunction with EMDR, a specialized trauma treatment, and has significantly helped clients who were stuck with EMDR alone.
Learn more about EMDR here: http://www.wellnesscounselingmn.com/EMDRTraumaCounseling.en.html
If you struggle with unpleasant sensations of tension and discomfort that are difficult to shake, reach out to learn how to help your body feel better now.