Somatic Experiencing® is a body-based approach that supports individuals to release stress and trauma by listening to their bodies. Somatic means of the body and in this modality, refers broadly to the study, practice and guidance towards embodiment, trauma resolution and nervous system resiliency.
It is a gentle intervention that does not reactivate trauma by retelling or reliving the story. Trauma maybe an acute shock trauma, a specific event such as an accident, medical or surgical trauma, an ongoing build-up of traumatic stress, or developmental trauma from adverse childhood experiences. Trauma is simply anything that is too much, too soon or too fast for our systems to manage at that time.
A healthy nervous system naturally and rhythmically moves between action and mobilisation, and rest and settling, in a process of self-regulation. It’s when we are stressed, overwhelmed or traumatised that we lose our capacity to regulate in this way and move between these two states.
In Somatic Experiencing, we are interested in how the imprints of trauma are held as survival energy in the body (fight, flight or freeze responses) and can be gently discharged with awareness. This is based on the pioneering work of Peter Levine who noticed how animals in the wild responded to threat and naturally discharged survival energy from their bodies by shaking and releasing. He has developed a range of movement, touch, breath and awareness techniques to support individuals to tap into these natural physiological processes.
In this method we slowly ‘track’ together the cycles of arousal and “de-arousal” in your nervous system. This can support physical shifts in the body by gently following sensations until completion. These shifts may include yawning, sighing, tingling in the limbs, hands or feet, changes in breath rate and size, softening, a sense of weight or heaviness in the muscles.
Through this process, we can help to re-establish the natural rhythms of regulation in your autonomic nervous system and build your overall capacity and resilience. From a place of awareness, we naturally have a deeper connection with our innate sense of aliveness, vitality and ease.
Online sessions available via Skype or Zoom
"Trauma is not caused by the event itself, but rather develops by the failure of the body, mind, spirit and nervous system to process extreme adverse events"