SOMATIC EXPERIENCING:  Transforming Trauma

SE's multi-faceted approach works with the beautiful complexity of our moment to moment experience.  Every waking moment consists of thoughts, emotions, body sensations, energetic impulses, internal images and associations to past experiences, which coalesce to form our sense of identity.  And all of these layers of experience are actively involved in memory, how we hold the past, and how we navigate stress and physical and psychological trauma in the present moment.  While understanding our past is vitally important, talking about our life story alone doesn't always reach the roots of our deepest struggles.  We may do years of work transforming our thinking and somehow new insights still don't take root.  At times like this, it’s time to look under the hood, so to speak, to the unfinished business playing itself out in the body.

 

The Somatic Experiencing process pays special attention to body sensations and energetic impulses that accompany our thoughts and emotions because: 

  • Stress, trauma and PTSD is stored in the parts of the brain in charge of the body, emotion and unconscious experience.

  • This is the most direct way to interrupt old stress patterns.  

  • It connects you with survival mechanisms that may have gotten blocked or inhibited as a result of accumulated stress or overwhelming experiences.

  • It accesses unfinished protective impulses in the body, allowing stored survival impulses to complete and releasing the crisis energy in which they are held.   

  • This allows our nervous system to regain equilibrium, helping us come home to a sense of calm and safety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            What is Trauma?

Somatic Experiencing views trauma and PTSD symptoms in a sacred way, not as evidence of illness but as an indication that your body's protective mechanisms have gotten stuck in over-drive.   (more)

 

            Symptoms Include:

 

  • anxiety, panic attacks, hypervigilance

  • depression, fatigue

  • feelings of helplessness, low self-esteem, stuck in shame

  • chronic pain, fibromyalgia, chronic tension and bracing in the body

  • insomnia, digestive issues

  • physical symptoms with no apparent cause   (more)

 

Somatic Experiencing
Sessions Address:
  • Childhood trauma and attachment issues

  • Emotional and sexual abuse

  • PTSD

  • Abandonment or neglect

  • Physical injury and medical procedures

  • Preparing for surgery, recovering from surgery

  • Car accidents, falls

  • Choking

  • Spiritual challenges or crisis

  • Workplace stress

  • Life transitions

  • Loss and grief

 

 

Somatic Experiencing® (SE) is a gentle therapeutic approach for relieving physical and emotional symptoms of chronic stress, trauma and PTSD.   The SE trauma healing process works with stressful experience a little bit at a time and in small steps.  Sessions focus on your changing emotional and physical landscape as we explore difficult issues that are alive in the moment.  Instead of revisiting or reliving past traumas, we will use your past as an entry point to cultivate new experience in the present moment ~ the only place where new discoveries can be made.

 

This body-based mindfulness process was developed by stress research pioneer, Dr. Peter Levine, author of Waking the Tiger, to help you:

 

 

“Somatic Experiencing is

a powerful and valuable complement to mindfulness

and meditation.”
~ Jack Kornfield,

   Spirit Rock Meditation Center

  • Calm your body's emergency response system and build a sense of safety and resilience

  • Change painful or distorted beliefs that may have originated from earlier traumatic or overwhelming experiences

  • Navigate challenging life situations and daily stresses with greater ease

  • Work through long-standing core issues that haven't been resolved by other therapies

  • While traditional psychotherapy explores our inner world by through the lens of our thinking and emotions, Somatic Experiencing broadens its focus to include the all experience that's alive in the body, with special attention to movement impulses, body sensations, imagery, restoring a sense of physical boundaries and protection, all of which helps us regain a sense of calm and mastery.

  • Psychotherapy focuses on the story of our past, and developing a cognitive understanding of how it's effecting our current life.   Somatic Experiencing integrates this cognitive understanding (our 'thought story') with our 'body story'.   Together we explore how your nervous system and emotions may still be replaying and/or trying to manage past experiences, and then work to shift your responses and create more options on the body level.

  • For some, retelling our trauma story during psychotherapy can feel overwhelming.  Somatic Experiencing accesses and shifts the trauma experience without relying on retelling your story.

  • An essential aspect of SE is helping you cultivate a sense of curiosity about your internal experience so you can discover the innate healing mechanisms that live within you in the present moment. 

  • SE puts a strong emphasis on how, at the deepest level, our physiology is navigating our moment to moment experience.

  • Somatic Experiencing is not cathartic.  If you are having symptoms of chronic stress, trauma or PTSD your nervous system is already highly taxed and overloaded.  To prevent re-triggering or worsening symptoms, we work slowly and gently, being careful not to open things up too quickly.

How is Somatic Experiencing Different from Psychotherapy?

experiencing

oakland

bay area

somatic

abby rose somatic therapy ~ oakland ca

somatic experiencing & hanna somatics for stress, trauma, ptsd & chronic pain