Somatic Experiencing and Trauma

Health and growth are conditions of ease, relaxed activity, expansion and consolidation, flow and connection. Trauma does not feel like this.

Trauma is unfinished regulation business bottled up in the body and making itself felt in the form of pain, anxiety, flashbacks, altered perceptions of risk and danger, feeling stuck or in psychosomatic distress.

It can come from a single event such as an accident or other violent experience. Or trauma can be complex and from multiple incidents over a prolonged period. What these cases share is stress that was overwhelming and crossed a boundary that resources at that time could not contain.

We are resilient creatures and our bodies carry not only pain but also the keys to repair and recovery – the paths to come back from bound-up stress. In my practice, I work with Dr. Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing for coming back from trauma and into healing and growth.

In Somatic Experiencing sessions with me, I listen to your experience on many levels: how both the things that ail you and the things that nourish you express themselves in your thoughts, feelings, symbol world, body sensations and spontaneous movements.  If you would like to, we can work with a verbal narrative of traumatic events but we do not have to. If a story is overwhelming or not in conscious memory, it is possible to engage in this therapeutic process without narrative detail.

What I will ask about are your resources. Traumatic shock sets in when stress greatly exceeds available strengths and supports. Coming forward from this point starts with altering this imbalance. In our sessions, we will take a closer look at your resources and explore moments where you or someone you know felt, for example, light (or safe, powerful, relaxed, valued, free…) The purple questions at the end of some of these pages are examples of resource exploration.

From here, Somatic Experiencing sessions follow your body’s pace and wisdom for seeking completion, coming back to safety, and restoring its own self-regulation. This releases traumatic stress. When this stress is discharged, body and mind return to a state of dynamic flexibility and the energy that was tied up is once more available to your vitality, capabilities, relationships and sense of meaning.

My goals with Somatic Experiencing are to support post-traumatic growth and build resilience: to rediscover resources, release stress, increase body awareness, and re-establish meaning, purpose and our connection to joy.

Capable – when was a moment this week where you felt „I can“?