Somatic Experiencing® (SE™) is the ground breaking work of Dr. Peter Levine, one of Dr. Ida Rolf’s early students. He observed that animals in the wild, although routinely subjected to life threats, do not suffer the debilitating after effects that humans often experience as a result of overwhelming experiences or even seemingly benign events such as medical procedures.
Life in nature is dictated by cycles. If they survive, prey animals pause to shake off the intense energies that arise in response to threat. Human beings have the same innate ability to self-regulate, but modern societies no longer allow time for these natural healing sequences to complete.
Trauma results when the body is not allowed to complete its natural responses. When this happens, we tend to over or under react to life events and are not able to be fully present in our lives. We survive the surgery, fall, car accident, earthquake, etc. and yet have lost a sense of well-being and resiliency. A difficult situation has passed, but our thoughts return over and over to the same old story. We feel “stuck”, and that “stuck-ness” has a physiological basis. Even the joys of life can, at times, be overwhelming.
SE is a method that renegotiates the stress response in the body through attention to sensations, emotions, images, behaviors, and meaning leading to deactivation of the stored survival energies of the past. The nervous system responds by expanding and deepening the range in which it can comfortably function. The gift of trauma is that the very act of surviving and returning to balance leaves us with a greatly increased capacity to be present in our lives.
SESSIONS IN THE PHOENIX AREA
The Structural Integration work I do is deeply influenced by the sophisticated understanding of nervous system processes taught in the 3-year professional SE training and my own personal sessions. I do not, however, offer SE sessions per se at this time but I highly recommend it. You can find a practitioner at the Somatic Experiencing® Training Institute website.