Somatic Experiencing or SE is a form of body-centred trauma therapy that was created by the renowned psychologist Peter Levine, author of the seminal book ‘Waking the Tiger’.
Sessions are generally structured like seated talking therapy, where the therapist supports the client to access and relay their bodily experience, including sensations, images, behaviours, memories and emotions that are present. SE works with the biological survival mechanisms of fight, flight and freeze to restore balance to the nervous system. Using interventions, the therapist supports this journey, ‘shepherding’ arousal and discharge cycles of the nervous system, integrating and restoring balance.
SE is useful for a full range of disorders, from acute episodes such as physiological stress resulting from high impact events such as a car accident, to the everyday accumulation of stress from destructive lifestyles and relationships.
SE is unlike traditional therapy in that the balancing affect on the nervous system begins from the first session. The initial sessions will hopefully yield noticeable benefits for the client. Some clients choose to finish working after 10 sessions, while others continue over an extended period.