Treatment of PTSD with Somatic Experiencing
Many people suffer from symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after experiencing traumatizing events such as war, rape, and violent accidents. A recent study has revealed that any event perceived as threatening can trigger PTSD-like symptoms and negatively impact a person’s quality of life.
Somatic Experiencing® (SE™) was developed by psychologist Peter A. Levine to address the effects of trauma. Levine developed this modality after observing that prey animals, whose lives are constantly threatened in their natural habitat, recover quickly when they release stress energy accumulated during the event.
Human beings don’t have this same capability of processing trauma. Our nervous system regulate themselves naturally, but we override that natural ability and instead feel emotions like shame and fear. Somatic Experiencing helps people to work through trauma and find peace.
What is Somatic Therapy Exactly?
Somatic therapy combines psychotherapy with physical therapies to bring about the holistic – or whole-person – healing. By focusing on the mind-body connection and using physical and talk therapy techniques, it helps a person relieve pent-up tension in their bodies that negatively impacts their health.
Somatic therapy can be very beneficial to people who have suffered trauma or abuse, as well as people who suffer from stress, anxiety, depression, grief, and addiction. Techniques such as these may prove effective in individual or group setting when other forms of treatment have failed to achieve desired results.
What to Expect from Somatic Therapy
During a session, a therapist uses talk therapy to help their client revive past memories of traumatic experiences. The client then pays attention to any physical responses. A variety of physical therapy techniques can be used with this therapy to relive symptoms, including deep breathing, relaxation, and meditation. In addition, yoga, dance, and exercise are examples of additional physical therapy techniques that may be used alongside this therapy.
How to Choose a Somatic Therapist
Somatic therapy can easily be integrated into other counseling practices. As a first step, find a somatic therapist who is licensed and experienced in somatic therapy techniques. You should also find someone who you feel comfortable with, as well as someone who has the right skills and background.
Through somatic experiencing, you can release what is holding you back from experiencing joy and peace. If you’d like to explore this treatment approach, please get in touch with me. I’d be more than happy discussing how I may be able to help.