Somatic Experiencing

“Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness.” -Dr. Peter Levine

We all have a brush with trauma at some point in our lives. Whether it is a shock trauma like a fall from a ladder or a car accident, or if it is more along the lines of attachment issues from family dysfunction or
childhood sexual abuse, trauma can wreak havoc on your body, your emotions, your mental state, and
your life.

Somatic Experiencing® is a body-oriented therapeutic model that helps heal trauma and other stress
disorders. Developed by Peter Levine, Ph.D., it is the result of the multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, with more than 45 years of successful clinical application.

Essentially, Somatic Experiencing®
helps people who have experienced trauma to regulate their own nervous systems and to process trauma, often after years of having experienced anxiety, stress, depression, and other disorders secondary to dysregulation from the unprocessed traumatic event(s) they experienced. Many of the trauma symptoms we experience stem from thwarted or incomplete defensive responses
that alter the way our bodies function and our brains process information. By gently and slowly addressing the fight, flight, and freeze responses that arise attendant to many traumas, we allow the body to complete these self-protective actions and release the energy and nervous system patterns that
have been held in our systems.


Just some of the areas we can address with SE:

  • Car accidents
  • Falls
  • Birth trauma
  • Surgeries (preparation for upcoming surgeries or healing from past surgical traumas)
  • Sexual trauma
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Domestic Violence
  • Inescapable attacks (Sexual assault, physical assault/abuse, kidnapping)
  • Developmental trauma
  • War
  • Natural Disasters
  • Loss of loved ones, grieving
  • Chronic Stress and Overwhelm
  • Intergenerational Trauma
  • Survivor Guilt

Common signs and symptoms of unresolved trauma:

  • Changes in mental abilities, such as confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and unexplainable fear
  • Irritability and being quick to anger
  • Lethargy, depression, lack of motivation, fatigue
  • Social isolation
  • Overwhelming sense of guilt or shame
  • Feeling hopeless or despondent
  • Dissociation, feeling disconnected, empty, or numb
  • Insomnia, nightmares or night terrors
  • Headaches, stomach aches, autoimmune disorders
  • Dizziness, vertigo, balance issues
  • Shock, being startled easily, being jumpy; or hypervigilant
  • Denial and disbelief


Somatic Experiencing® is a three-year trauma-healing certificate that is offered through Somatic
Experiencing International. 3 When interviewing a clinician who offers Somatic Experiencing®,
make sure to ask them whether they have completed the full program and whether they have
graduated the program and have earned their certificate. As Somatic Experiencing® is a
“multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, psychology, and
indigenous healing practices” 4 , it takes time and practice to learn.
If you have questions or would like to schedule a Somatic Experiencing® session, call my office