“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Somatic Experiencing® is a gentle and effective therapeutic approach that helps people unravel their fears and sense of paralysis while restoring emotional resiliency and awakening the feelings of safety from within.
This biologically informed process was developed by Peter Levine, PhD. over the last 40 years. Levine’s seminal book Waking the Tiger is a must read for anyone who has experienced trauma or finds themselves repeatedly feeling fear, anger or the sense of being frozen in their lives. The theory behind Somatic Experiencing suggests that these feelings are the result of incomplete survival responses which are still waiting for the opportunity to complete.
When this unconscious survival response is finally completed, an internal sense of competency and engagement with life can return. I’m sure you are aware that neuroscience has been making great strides in understanding our Triunal Brain structures ( Reptilian, Limbic and Neo-cortex) during these past 30 years. As a result of neuroscience research we now understand that before our executive functioning rational thinking brain (neo-cortex)can analyze any sudden dangerous or stressful event, it is our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) that controls our reactions and feelings about the situation.
When one first perceives a threat or danger our ANS sends fight/flight/freeze chemicals to help us escape danger. Once the danger (rape, corporal punishment, war, earthquake, bullying, surgical operation, divorce, shaming, etc.) is over, our neo-cortex comes back on line. With our neo-cortex back on line we scan the environment, evaluate the situation and if we determine we are safe then we figure out whatever we think we need to do next.
Years can pass but when there are reminders of the past situation, or people associated with the stressful event or trauma, it triggers certain neuro circuitry and muscular patterning that feel experientially as if the trauma is happening right in the present time. You might rationalize that you are safe, yet puzzled with the experience of truly feeling anxious or angry as if you are currently unsafe. Somatic Experiencing focuses on the body’s reaction to the memory without over focusing on talking about it. In a safe and gentle manner I help my clients track their body’s sensations or “felt-sense” in order to find and release the incomplete self-defense response born from the original incident. This release is the key towards helping re-regulate the nervous system (ANS) and helping move the experience of the sense of danger into the past and out of the present.
So if you feel like you’ve tried everything don’t give up yet, give this gentle body-focused approach a chance. If you experience some of these symptoms listed in (Are You Suffering?) then consider giving Somatic Experiencing a try.

If you are curious about the possibility of achieving a better connection with your body, mind and spirit, please give me a call or email me. I’m available for a free 15 minute consultation if you want to explore the possibility of this modality helping you with your particular situation.