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The Power of Somatic Experiencing

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Our bodies hold memories and imprints of our past experiences. The trauma at the root of our anxietydepression, and maladaptive behaviors can’t be resolved without our body finding a way to release these memories and imprints. Sustained healing only happens when our nervous system regains equilibrium. Somatic Experiencing (SE) helps us move beyond the cognitive process of understanding our trauma. It’s a process that reprograms the body’s primitive survival instincts, allowing one to feel a greater sense of connection, safety, and ease in one’s body. 

What Is “Trauma Brain”?

To understand why SE is such an effective treatment for trauma, let’s begin by exploring a new way of looking at trauma. 

When we think about trauma in our lives, we often refer to an event: a burglary, the unexpected death of a parent, an accident that left us injured. But Peter Levine, Ph.D., the founder of SE, has a different perspective. He maintains that trauma is not an event, but the energy that gets locked in your body around real or perceived threat. 

The extent to which a person experiences trauma is directly related to their ability to restore a sense of safety in the aftermath of the threatening event. If they’re unable to effectively do that, their nervous system gets stuck in the survival states of fight, flight, or freeze. 

These survival states are only useful for acute states of threat. When an individual gets stuck in a trauma reaction because they cannot restore their sense of safety, the individual will continually sense danger when danger is not present, or completely shut down and lose capacity to live in the present. 

Think about your own experiences, have you ever found yourself over- or under reacting to a situation for no obvious reason? This is often due to the unresolved trauma from the past that is locked in your nervous system.

Credit: Psychcentral.com

Read full article here

For more info on DR Peter Levine's work on autonomic nervous system regulation and Polyvagal theory visit his site at https://traumahealing.org/about-us/

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