What is Somatic Experiencing®?
Somatic Experiencing® is based upon the observation that wild prey animals, though threatened routinely, are rarely traumatized. Animals in the wild utilize innate mechanisms to regulate and discharge the high levels of energy arousal associated with defensive survival behaviors. These mechanisms provide animals with a built-in “immunity” to trauma that enables them to return to normal in the aftermath of highly “charged” life-threatening experiences.
Animals in the jungle use their innate resources to regulate and neutralize the high levels of activation associated with survival behaviors. This allows them to recover their balance and return to normality, even after a great threat, discharging the accumulated tension through tremors and shakes.
Although human beings possess practically these same resources, their use is frequently repressed, among others, by the “rational” part of our brain, which prevents the full discharge of mobilized energy, and makes it difficult for the nervous system, and with it the whole body, to return to its balance.. This unreleased energy remains in “high activation mode”, so that the various symptoms of trauma that persist are a consequence of the body’s attempt to “manage” and contain this energetic overload.
Trauma symptoms are not caused by the threatening event itself, but by activated and unreleased energy. They appear like this: anxiety, insomnia, tiredness, excessive alertness, among others. They appear like this: anxiety, insomnia, tiredness, excessive alertness, among others..
SE offers a safe and gradual way to “let go” of this energy through awareness of bodily sensations to help people recover from trauma without reliving it.
Find a professional
On the website of the Spanish Association of Somatic Experiencing® (AESE) you can find a search engine through which you can carry out searches that correspond to your interests and needs.
The professionals listed on the website are certified Somatic Experience Practitioners.
The body has been designed to renew itself through continuous self-correction.
This principle is also applicable to the psyche.
What benefits does SE have?
Somatic Experiencing® is especially effective in the treatment of post-traumatic stress resulting from various situations such as: aggressions (physical, sexual, verbal, emotional), accidents, invasive surgical procedures –mainly when they are carried out in children who are immobilized and/or anesthetized–, intoxication, prolonged immobilization, serious ailments, experience or testimony of violent acts, effects of trauma in the development of the psychological structure, among many others.
Who is Peter Levine?
Peter A. Levine, Ph.D., is the Somatic Experiencing® creator and founder of the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute.
Levine is an American therapist, author, and educator, who has specialized in the treatment and understanding of post-traumatic stress. He developed Somatic Experiencing® and founded the organization for education and research dedicated to the healing and prevention of trauma: Somatic Experiencing Training Institute.
He worked as a stress consultant for NASA and now occupies a leading position in trauma healing, both as a therapist and for his theoretical and technical contributions.
Dr. Levine is the author of the best-selling book “Waking the Tiger – Healing Trauma”, which has been published in twenty languages. Among his publications, the following may be highlighted:
In Healing trauma, a very interesting question is asked and answered: why are wild animals that are frequently threatened, rarely traumatized? Understanding the dynamics that allow an animal to be virtually immune to its symptoms allows us to unlock the mystery of trauma in humans.
In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Well-Being explores the interconnections between evolutionary neurophysiology, animal behavior, and trauma. It explains the neurophysiological basis of the brain in relation to trauma, and how, using bodily sensations, this trauma can be renegotiated and healed.