Somatic Experiencing

"Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves, all those imperfections that we don't even want to look at."
 
 Pema Chodron

 

 

What is Somatic Experiencing?

"Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a potent psychobiological method for resolving trauma symptoms and relieving chronic stress. It resets the nervous system, restores inner balance, enhances resilience to stress, and increases people's vitality, equanimity, and capacity to actively engage in life." 

During a traumatic or scary event, the nervous system does whatever it needs to do to make it through. We may try to fight or flee, and if we can't then we go into a freeze state. Some of us may find that when the event is over, we aren't quite the same as we used to be. We may have a lot of fear, hypervigilance, physical pain, anger, intrusive images, a hard time being in relationships, shame, anxiety, depression, an inability to feel or give love, or stress. If this is the case then it usually means that while parts of us were able to move on, other parts are stuck in the past. Current research has taught us that trauma gets stored in the body. So, while our minds are able to know on an intellectual level that whatever happened is over- our bodies, our nervous systems continue to tell us that we are still in danger.

Somatic Experiencing helps the nervous system, body and Spirit rediscover safety, which is the opposite of trauma. When the body can reestablish safety on a cellular level, through the felt senses, healing naturally occurs. 

Somatic Experiencing can be done either through talk therapy or through Somatic Experiencing Touch Therapy. A talk therapy session looks like a normal therapy session from the outside- You sit on your chair and I sit across from you on mine. Together, we both pay attention to the different feelings, emotions, images, and sensations that arise within. In a trauma-informed touch therapy session, you are fully clothed and often under warm blankets, resting on my touch table. I sit near you on a stool and offer supportive touch to key areas in the body which hold nervous system dysregulation. The intention is to build regulation and resilience in the nervous system while working directly with the body. You are welcome to be in silence or to talk at leisure. I will frequently check-in with you to make sure that you feel safe and comfortable. 

Both modalities work within the awareness of the present moment, which is the most potent moment for us to begin healing.

In addition to completing all three years of study at the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, I also trained with Kathy Kain and Steven Terrell to learn Touch Skills for Trauma Therapists with a focus on Developmental Trauma.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact me at 419-3052 for more information.

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