Somatic Experiencing® (SE™)
- SE™ is a body-oriented approach to healing trauma and other stress disorders. It was developed by Dr. Peter Levine based on the work of Dr. Stephen Porges and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. Van der Kolk is most praised for his book called “The Body Keeps the Score” explaining how trauma is held in the body. Porges developed the PolyVagal Theory, which allowed the field to understand why and how the body reacts the way it does from trauma to be able to begin to understand how to heal by focusing on the body.
- Through Titration and Pendulation along with Visualizations and sometimes touch, Levine gained an understanding of the body’s need for regulation and for being able to complete incomplete automatic protective responses.
- Somatic Experiencing® has been used in clinical practice for over 40 years and is actually an approach that incorporates studies from many disciplines such as: psychology, physiology, neuroscience, medical biophysics, biology, and indigenous healing practices.
- Levine has written many books, links can be found on the Recommended Reading page. In addition, there are many recommended books that explain the importance of understanding the vagal responses in our bodies to heal trauma written by practitioners such as Deb Dana.
- Porges has done more research on attachment in connection with the Autonomic Nervous System and developed a modality called Safe and Secure Protocol SSP (link to further explanation).
- SE helps build resilience while working to integrate trauma through the use of positive resourcing and creating a new narrative within the body for the trauma or stress to the system that had been experienced. The new narrative becomes a story from the past instead of a re-lived traumatic experience.
We encourage you to check out our Recommended Reading page to learn more about Somatic healing and Trauma.