How Somatic Experiencing Therapy can help In healing trauma

November 8, 2016

Mia Elwood:  Hi. I’m Mia Elwood, clinical social worker with Healthy Futures.

Dr. Kim DiRé:  My name is Kim DiRé. I’m a psychotherapist, and both Mia and I are Somatic Experiencing practitioners.

Mia:  Today, we’re going to be talking about what trauma is, from an SE or a Somatic Experiencing perspective. A lot of people think trauma is an act of war, or some really horrific event that happens. From an SE perspective, we really look at it a little bit more globally as anything that really disrupts our natural healing abilities of our nervous system.

They can be events, or they can be a succession of events, or they can be something that we don’t really even know about, like something pre-verbal, before we could talk, things like birth, things like accidents, things like surgeries, things like bullying over a long period of time.

It’s really important that we look at anything that hurts or disrupts our nervous system, as something that we can heal from.

Dr. DiRé:  A lot of people ask me what it’s like to be in a session, and they want to know what that’s going to be for them before they get into the session.

Somatic Experiencing or SE sessions really look a little bit different than psychotherapy, in the fact that we’re not doing so much analysis or a thought process up here. We’re including the body in that blocked energy place, where we can get it to flow a little bit easier.

Many times, it looks pretty creative, but the part would be that the practitioner or I would look at the physiology of the person and see where they are activated in the session. Maybe recalling an event, or feeling an event that they have no memory of or no voice for, and working through that by breaking up the physiology in a place where they can complete self-protective responses.

Also in a place where they can start becoming aware and becoming more present with that activation, or the stimulus that happens with the blocked energy.

In session we are then releasing that, so that the person can become more and more present, and able to then carry on in a flow with a balance of life.

Mia:  If you’re interested in more information on SE and these resources, you can attend to the description on this video. Thanks.

Happy couple on a bike

Everyone experiences trauma differently

Traumatic experiences are not just for war heroes.  Trauma can be experienced in many ways.  It can come from specific events or a series of events.  It can present from pre-verbal times or events from which we have no memory.  From a somatic experiencing perspective, trauma happens when the natural healing abilities of our nervous system are disrupted.

The somatic experiencing therapy perspective treats trauma differently from what you may think of with psychotherapy.  The focus is not on analyzing or thinking, but on physiology.

The goal is to release the energy from the body that has been blocked from the traumatic experience.  When the physiology is finally broken down, the body is able to complete its natural self protective response to the trauma.  And, you begin to feel more and more present and balance in your life.

Traumatic experiences are not just for war heroes.  Trauma can be experienced in many ways.  It can come from specific events or a series of events.  It can present from pre-verbal times or events from which we have no memory.

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