Somatic Experiencing®/SE™


Somatic Experiencing®/SE™ was developped by Dr. Peter A. Levine. It is a body oriented approach with the aim to releave the symptoms of trauma (PTSD) by focusing on the client’s perceived body sensations.

 

When we experience shock and trauma, we loose contact to our ourself, especially to our body. We remain in freeze and shock with the effect that we are no longer able to find our true way to unfold our full potential. Sometimes the effects of trauma only appear years after the original traumatic experience and reveals in psycho somatic symptoms, for example

  • Fears, panic attacks
  • Phobias
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Lack of energy, depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Powerlessness
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic muscle tension
  • Sleep disorders or nightmares
  • Dizziness
  • Distorted body images
  • Digestive
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Autoimmune disorder
  • Lack of connection with self, others or surroundings
  • Persistent or unexpected sadness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Breathing or heart rhythm disosrders
  • Unexplained behavioral disorders
  • Addictions
  • Disturbences of the senses
  • General nervousness or restlessness, with no clear medical indication
  • And more...

 Trauma is not a sickness. It is a response to various of causes, such as accidents, medical operations, violance, the loss of a person, birth, heavy illness, termination of job contracts, natural disasters, war and other difficult and overwhelming experiences.

 

It is important to mention that not every bad experience causes trauma. Only when the shock remains in the body and is not able to naturally discharge it might trigger traumatic symptoms. It is very much possible that two persons go through the same shocking experience. One of them continues life as before, the other person remains frozen in shock and develops post traumatic symptoms (PTSD). We therefore do not focus on the traumatic experience as such, but on the effects at our system. This is the reason why it is not absolutely necessary for me as a therapist to know what happened. Your body (sensations, feelings, emotions, images) guides me.

 

Additional information about Jacqueline Erb's background, career and competences here.

“In Somatic Experiencing®, the traumatic event isn’t what caused the trauma, it is the overwhelmed response to the perceived life threat that is causing an unbalanced nervous system. The SE™ approach facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms.” (Dr. Peter A. Levine)

In this video Dr. Peter Levine works with Ray, a marine who returned from Iraq. He was deeply traumatized because he was blown up by two  explosive devices.