Somatic Experiencing is a model for working through stress and trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine as a result of his work in medical biophysics, neuroscience, and psychology.
Through his research and clinical work, Dr. Levine reached the understanding that “trauma originates as a response in the nervous system” rather than being in “the event” itself. He found that supporting clients in reestablishing the natural equilibrium of their nervous system allows trauma symptoms to resolve. With this understanding, a comprehensive system of trauma treatment evolved. In Dr. Levine’s words:
“Somatic Experiencing is a short-term naturalistic approach to the resolution of post-traumatic stress reactions. It is based upon the ethological observation that animals in the wild utilize innate mechanisms which regulate and neutralize high levels of arousal associated with defensive survival behaviors. Somatic Experiencing normalizes the symptoms of trauma, which bind this arousal, and offers the steps needed to resolve activation and heal trauma.”
For more information about Somatic Experiencing and the training of Somatic Experiencing Practitioners (SEP’s) please refer to the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute.