Somatic Experiencing

"If you leave cloudy water alone, it will become clear again" - Laotse, Chinese philosopher

This saying may apply to manageable turbulences in our lives; it is often different in the case of physical and psychological consequences of drastic live time events. Cloudy water can then more likely turn into silent water. "Silent waters are deep," so a popularly known saying, suggesting the assumption that essential influences may rather be found beneath the water surface, ie where we do not have them in sight.

Early separation, experienced loss during childhood, illness, medical treatment or intervention, falls or accidents: such events, as well as long lasting harmful living conditions, may have a long-term restrictive and distressing effect on our present lives, without us being able to realize a connection to previous life time experiences or circumstances.

The understanding of Somatic Experiencing (SE)® offers the possibility to include such connections in the work with trauma and to finally overcome its consequences during our livetime.

What is Somatic Experiencing (SE)®?

Somatic Experiencing (SE)® is a concept for basic understanding and helpful approach to address people in order to cope with consequences of drastic life events or long-lasting burden (ie trauma). 

Somatic Experiencing (SE)® was developed by the American biologist, body therapist and psychotherapist Dr. Peter A. Levine, who has researched stress and trauma intensively for over 40 years.

The key to this overcoming of consequences of stress and trauma with Somatic Experiencing (SE)® lies in the insight

that the trauma is not in the event, but still stucks in the nervous system of the affected person.

The delicate approach of Somatic Experiencing (SE)® in working with the nervous system is always oriented towards one‘s current individual  need for safty and one's own current abilities for individual progress. Step by step.

Somatic Experiencing (SE)® offers more than just a method or a pure concept:

Therapists trained in Somatic Experiencing (SE)® have learnt during a 3-year training period - which also includes guided self-experience with SE therapists - to physically sense and modulate (= self-regulation) their own posture with regard to the ability of their own nervous system to regulate (= self-regulate). This focus is kept up and continously refined during the entire training period. The ability to self-regulate enables co-regulation as a form of accompaniment in the work with the client's nervous system.

On this basis, the relationship between client and therapist will happen to be experienced particularly safe and thus lead to an increase in interpersonal resonance - both essential prerequisites for overcoming the consequences of trauma within therapy.

When could Somatic Experiencing (SE)® help you?

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Perhaps you notice physical or psychological conditions in yourself for which you have not yet found an explanation. However, these could give you some hints as to why it might be useful to think about a possibly traumatic experience as the cause of your difficulties.

Overview of possible symptoms associated with stress and hyperarousal:

  • low capacity/possibility to deal with stress
  • cannot relax/cannot calm down
  • be frequently irritated
  • very pronounced sensitivity to light, noise or scents
  • violent emotional outbursts like rage that happen uncontrollably
  • be permanently "alarmed"
  • stressful dreams
  • be driven from within
  • always have to make everything perfect
  • be hyperactive
  • fast, "unchecked" speaking
  • increased willingness to take risks, "daring to act"
  • intense emotional states 
  • more likely to expose themselves to too many stimuli/do not feel any limits
  • have a hard time dealing with feelings as a whole
  • have difficulty concentrating
  • feel oneself easily as attacked and being quickly in defensive posture
  • be easily frightened
  • be exposed to panic attacks or unexplained fears
  • in women: severe premenstrual syndrome
  • psychosomatic disorders
  • chronic or recurrent pain for which no cause is found
  • infections/inflammations that flare up again and again
  • dizziness or nausea for which there is no explanation
  • experience of physical numbness/insensitivity
  • difficulty in breathing until shortness of breath
  • persistent sleep disturbances
  • strong physical temperature changes/heat flushes
  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) or other flight impulses such as constant urge to move in feet or legs
  • unexplained body symptoms
  • feelings of indeterminate threat
  • feeling of being crazy or going crazy
  • self-damaging behaviour

If you are looking for further information, you will find video material, recommended literature and information on studies at www.traumahealing.org.

For a non-binding information discussion about your personal request please call me or send me an e-mail. I support you in coming to an individual assessment for yourself, and together we find out which concrete steps can be relieving and helpful for you in your case.