Somatic Experiencing®

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Our bodies hold our history and the keys to letting go of our suffering. Through Somatic Experiencing®, developed by Peter A. Levine, PhD., We find safety and listen to the truth our bodies tell us, and how we can shift patterns that hold us back, to live more fully and resiliently. This can include working with depression, anxiety, stress, chronic pain, parent child attachment and relationship problems, as well as trauma and PTSD, whether from old wounds or accidents or falls. Through both one-on-one and group sessions, I support people in tracking body sensations, finding inner resources, developing healthy boundaries and reaching greater peacefulness and relief of stress.

Questions & Answers About How Somatic Experiencing® Helps Relieve Stress
(Developed with Suzie Gruber, MA,SEP)

What Does Stress Do to Us? Have you ever felt so stressed that you couldn’t focus on what you needed to do? Stress can be a joy killer. It gets in the way of living more fully. Stress ruins lives. Whether it comes from bad memories of things in the past, or painful, hurtful relationships, or losing your kids, or domestic abuse, or war experiences or accidents and falls, it creates trauma that is stuck inside us, stored in our bodies. Alcohol and drugs don’t help. We need a way to let go of it and calm ourselves in order to live more fully.

What is Somatic Experiencing® & How Can It Help? Somatic Experiencing®, developed by Peter A. Levine PhD., is an educational method that helps us focus on how to settle our nervous system. We learn to tune into our bodies, notice and track our sensations. We learn techniques to calm ourselves so we can feel more “in control” and function better, listen better and breathe easier. We learn to set healthy boundaries to take better care of ourselves and our children.

Do I Have to Tell All My Painful Stories? No, you do not. Somatic Experiencing® tools are respectful and easy to use. The Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner helps you learn the techniques without having to rehash all your painful stories. In a few sessions, most people can learn some valuable techniques to start letting go of stress.

What Happens in a Somatic Experiencing® Session with an SE Practitioner? The one hour sessions usually begin by exploring what stress is troubling you. Then the Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner teaches some skills for tracking and relieving stress, so that you experience more ease and relaxation. As you bring these skills into your life, rather than reacting to life’s twists and turns, you will ride the river with grace.

What is the Overall Goal of Somatic Experiencing®? Here’s how Jacqueline Carleton, PhD. describes it: “Somatic Experiencing allows an individual to pendulate effectively between states of resource and states of highly charged traumatic energy. This allows for the negative energy locked in the nervous system to be safely released, while giving the individual space to explore resourced states of safety. As the therapy operates under an assumption that within all of us is an innate secure attachment, it simply works to bring out our secure attachment, freeing us of the emotionally heavy obstructions within our nervous system that hinder our potential for a healthy, thriving, and generative development.”

“Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence.” – Peter A. Levine, PhD.

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