About Somatic Experiencing
Somatic Experiencing is a body-oriented approach to healing from trauma and other stress-related disorders. It is based on an in-depth understanding of the nervous system function, while maintaining a holistic approach.
Whether we experience a one-off traumatic event or there has been an accumulation of stress through ongoing circumstances in the past or present, we can feel overwhelmed and as if we don't have all of ourselves fully available. We might experience intense PTSD-like symptoms or perhaps less obvious signs such as chronic fatigue and sleeplessness.
Somatic experiencing (SE) helps us to let go of any patterns that our nervous system might be stuck in, whether recently acquired or long-held. This helps us return to feeling more like ourselves, or perhaps feeling for the first time that we've got resilience and life force, that we know more clearly what we want and what we don't want, where our boundaries are and how to express them effectively.
With SE we can address symptoms stemming from a wide range of traumatic events, including:
Global High Activation (relating to pre- and perinatal trauma, anaesthesia, high fevers, suffocation, choking and drowning);
high impact trauma (falls, motor vehicle accidents, etc.);
medical trauma (surgery, any medical and dental procedures, the effects of receiving a medical diagnosis);
interpersonal and emotional trauma, including sexual abuse;
loss and grief;
natural and man-made disasters.
Although we might be addressing things from the past, with SE, we very much work in the here and now, learning to notice and name sensations, getting to know our body and our nervous system. Learning to recognise when we are in a calm, so-called rest-and-digest state, and when we are activated, our survival impulses coming to life. Importantly, SE also works with the less easy to recognise states of freeze and dissociation, helping us to come back into the flow of life, re-associating, into presence.