Somatic Therapy is a body-centered therapy that uses mind-body exercises and other physical techniques to help release pent-up tension that is negatively affecting physical and emotional well-being. These exercises can include touch therapies, yogic exercises, breath work, guided meditations, creative visualization, and body awareness practices.
Somatic Experiencing © (SE™) is a cutting edge somatic therapy that is the culmination of over 45 years of successful clinical application by Dr. Peter A. Levine. It results from his multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices and medical biophysics. This potent psychobiological trauma resolution method resolves trauma symptoms and relieves chronic stress.
The SE ™ approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and wounds of emotional and early development attachment trauma.
How does SE ™ Work?
SE ™ is a biophysiological approach to healing trauma. Peter Levine has said that trauma does not rest in the event, but in the individual’s nervous system. By paying attention to the client’s nervous system, the trained therapist supports the client in their experience of a more coherent and resilient nervous system.
SE ™ Techniques do not require a traumatized person to re-tell or re-live the traumatic event. Instead, it offers the opportunity to engage, complete, and resolve-in a slow and supported way-the body’s instinctual fight, flight and freeze responses. It resets the nervous system, restores inner balance, enhances resilience to stress, and increases people’s vitality, equanimity, and capacity to actively engage in life. For more information please see: Somatic Therapy Experiencing
Elissa M. McAlpine is currently integrating Somatic Experiencing Techniques into her work with patients. She is enrolled in the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institutes 3 year program and is currently listed as a Beginner Level SE ™ Practitioner in Training.
Somatic Experiencing integrates incredibly well with Classical Five Element Acupuncture. Integrating the two unleashes a multi-system healing response that Alaine Duncan describes in her book The Tao of Trauma.
Is Somatic Therapy right for me?
- You might consider making an appointment if any of the following apply to you and/or you feel that your nervous system is in disharmony.
- You are a survivor of a traumatic event such as domestic violence, sexual assault, street crime, childhood neglect and abuse, motor vehicle accident, medical or surgical procedure or natural disaster
- You are a survivor of military combat.
- You are a first responder (police, firefighter, EMT).
- You struggle with anxiety, panic attacks, and/or depression.
- You are an addict (drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, pornography, shopping, stealing etc..)
- You have thoughts of suicide or have attempted suicide.
- You always feel like something is wrong, but you don’t know why.
- You think it is possible that you had early childhood trauma of an unknown origin.
- You had a long hospitalization as a child, were being born prematurely or part of a traumatic birthing experience.
- You are struggling with deep loss, for example:
- You or a family member is struggling with a terminal illness
- You are experiencing profound grief after the death of a loved one
- You have had your heartbroken in some capacity
- You are experiencing divorce or life relationship break-up.