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.