Through the Science of the Physiology of Emotions and Principles of Energy Psychology
What is Somatic Experiencing (SE)?
Somatic Experiencing® (SE™) is a body-oriented approach for resolving trauma symptoms with training programs in over three dozen countries around the world. It was developed by Dr. Peter Levine, PhD, the recipient of the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy’s lifetime achievement award. Based on the neurobiology of trauma and using concepts and tools such as autonomic freeze, tracking of body sensations and involuntary movements, resourcing, discharge, completion of incomplete defensive responses, titration, pendulation, trauma and healing vortices, and regulation, the approach relies on downregulating autonomic and somatic nervous systems as the primary strategy for resolving physiological as well as psychological symptoms of trauma. When working with more complex aspects of trauma such as memory, cognition, emotion, and behavior, the same tools, concepts, and strategies for working with the body are usually employed.
Having been interested in affect theory for many years, I found Raja’s approach spot on in terms of redirecting attention to affect (rather than sensation) and connecting it to the whole body. This helped me understand why I was sometimes frustrated with SE™. On a personal level I found the “hands-on” experience very valuable and meaningful, both as a patient and as a therapist.
ISP was a very helpful addition to my training in Somatic Experiencing. The emphasis on the bodily experience of emotions and how to work with them—recognize, experience deeply, and manage/regulate—was invaluable for my professional and personal growth.