Somatic Experiencing Therapy

Somatic Experiencing - Gazelle bounding

human experience similar somatic or physical releases of energy/tension similar to this gazelle leaping

Somatic Experiencing® Therapy restores nervous system balance which can be shaken by trauma, beaten down by stress, or lack of safety in the body.  When familiar coping strategies no longer work, or we seek deeper healing, SE offers different ways of working with stored memories that keep the body locked in the pain of physical injury or loss, betrayal, and shame.  Somatic Experiencing offers a unique approach to doing talk therapy by building more resilient responses as we uncover wholeness and wellbeing.

If we decide to work together, please download this SE Consent Form in addition to the other forms on my Scheduling Page.

My Approach to Somatic Experiencing: A key to health and vitality is finding balance in body and mind. When we get stuck in life, we repeatedly bump up against the same kinds of hurts, challenges, and recurring mistakes. Whether the trouble is on the job, conflict in our relationships, health complications, or unhealed trauma, we may be clueless about next steps. For these reasons, it helps to get a fresh perspective on the situation, and seek guidance to find our sense of equilibrium again. I take an embodied approach to restoring wholeness and balance in my style of doing therapy. I believe the body holds vital information about how to restore health and wellbeing in ways unique to each of us. The body holds onto pain, whether emotional, spiritual, or physical. Thus, the body becomes a guide to healing, giving clues to the source of our pain and ways to release the memory of hurtful or traumatic experiences. This work is about tapping into the body’s healing power to find a new kind of balance in body and mind, along with more resilient and sustainable ways of responding to stress.

My specific approach to doing therapy is informed by the work of Peter Levine and his guiding principles of Somatic Experiencing. He borrowed insights from the observations of animals in their natural habitats. Scientists noticed that wildlife release pent-up stress following the threat of a predator by doing pronking, stotting, or pronging behaviors, other times it looks like seizing as when coming out of a deep freeze. All of these behaviors enable animals to release the built-up charge of a fight, flight, or freeze response to a physical threat and helps them return to balance in their bodies and nervous systems. Levine applied this same principle of an embodied release from danger or emotional vulnerability to humans who have suffered assaults on their early development, like incest, abandonment or domestic abuse, or threats to their safety later in life, such as a car crash, rape or illness. Whether an injury or trauma is in the distant or recent past we often go to great lengths, even unconsciously, to avoid the hurt of reliving a painful experience and brace against future threats. We seek therapy when we find this avoidance strategy does not relieve our pain but only makes it worse.  

The physical exertion of exercise can be so satisfying, though does little to release the body’s memory of a traumatic event or injury. When we respond to familiar triggers without addressing the underlying pain or sense of loss, we never fully recover our equilibrium. Habitual patterns of bracing against threats to defend our emotional and physical safety are draining; creating added emotional strain and muscular tension. Using an embodied approach informed by Somatic Experiencing, I help you to restore balance by working with the body to heal and find wholeness.

If you want to learn whether Somatic Experiencing Therapy is a good fit, please contact me to Schedule a Free Initial Consultation, at 215.498.6360

My Approaches to Psychotherapy & Life-Coaching/Hypnosis Main Services Page