Somatic Experience- trauma Therapy
Somatic Experience (SE) is a method developed by Dr. Peter Levine, Ph.D. in medical biophysics and psychology. SE is a body-oriented way of treating trauma and stress-related diseases. The methods are developed as a result of long-term research on animal and human instinctive responses and have their basis in neuroscience, biology and psychology.
A trauma is defined differently in different traditions. Often trauma is associated with dramatic individual episodes such as car crash, assault, etc. but the chronic and prolonged trauma in relationships should be seen with equall seriousness because it most likely affects our self-esteem i a deep way. The traumas we can get in the upbringing are often more difficult to reveal because we get used to them and can view it as normal.
What characterizes a trauma as we define it within Somatic Experience is that you find the traces of it in the nervous system. It does not depend on the severity of trauma seen from the outside, but on how your body has responded to external or internal loads. This settles in the body and leads to an overactive or inactivated nervous system where you can´t fully access your vitality. Somatic experience aims to retrieve your life energy and to dissolve the energy that is bound up in trauma.
Treatment in Somatic experiencing is about getting to know the body's language through senses, emotions, images and motion. Somatic touch is also used carefully for clients who benefit from it. We mainly go away from our minds and are concerned with the bodily and emotional experience as it is here and now. In that way, that wich have been blocked can start moving again and you will have greater ability to regulate emotions.
Within trauma psychology, we think that what is currently seen as inappropriate patterns that inhibit you, once has been appropriate and necessary. We must respect and recognize the defenses and the protection mechanisms we have before we can change them. Those who have experienced trauma have at a time experience losing control on a basic level and an important part of the therapy is that you as a client should feel that you are in control and that we move at the pace that is right for you.