Somatic Experiencing®/SE™

«The conscious mind thinks - the subconscious mind directs» (M.L. Möller)

Somatic Experiencing - Traumatherapy according to Dr. Peter A. Levine

Somatic Experiencing®/SE™ was developed by Dr. Peter A. Levine. It is a body focused approach with the aim to release the symptoms of trauma and shock by focusing on the client’s perceived body sensations. 


When we experience shock, we might lose 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 effects of such difficult events only appear years after the original experience. Symptoms of stress after traumatic events are not a sickness as such. They are a response to various of causes, such as

  • Accidents (road or traffic accident, sporting accident, home and leasure accident, etc.)
  • Medical operations
  • all kind of violence (domestic violence, abuse, neglect etc.)
  • Loss of a person
  • Birth
  • Heavy illness
  • Termination of job contracts
  • Natural disasters (e.g. earthquake)
  • War 
  • and other difficult and overwhelming experiences.

It is important to mention that not everyone who experiences a difficult situation reacts the same way. It is possible that two people encounter the very same experience. One of them continues life as before, the other one remains in shock or collapse and develops symptoms that complicate life, sometimes days, months or even years after the original experience. It is, therefore, not so much the event that counts, but what the event did with us. 


Polyvagal Theory by Professor Stephen Porges

Somatic Experiencing®/SE™ can only be fully understood in relation with the Polyvagal Theory developed by Stephen Porges. The Polyvagal Theory gives us an understanding on how our body reacts to various challenges. See more in this interview with Stephen Porges and Gunther Schmidt.


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


The exposure of a hypnotherapeutic or somatic experiening® treatment does not exclude the consultation of medical or other psychotherapeutic treatments. Hypnotherapy and Somatic Experiencing is considered as complimentary to other forms of therapies.

In this video, Peter Levine works with Ray, an American Marine who was blown up by two explosive devices while serving in Iraq.