Somatic Therapy

Have you heard about Somatic Experiencing or Somatic Therapy? It's a therapeutic technique used to help reduce tension that your body may be holding after a traumatic event. Now here, the word "traumatic" doesn't have to mean anything extreme, really "traumatic" means any event that disrupts the natural healing abilities of your nervous system. The theory behind Somatic Experiencing is that your body's autonomic nervous system naturally helps you recover from stressful events, except sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it's as if it gets stuck and in this case you might feel overly activated (anxious) or under activated (depressed). Which is where SE comes in. 

Here are the basics for anyone looking to know more about Somatic Experiencing...

Somatic Experiencing

The Symptoms
: Symptoms can manifest in a variety of ways. Clients might find they have physical pain in their bodies, gastrointestinal issues, immune dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, hormonal imbalance depression, anxiety or addiction. 

The Goal
: The Goal of SE is to help clients recognize and release tension that their body may be holding after a traumatic event. (This could be something you've held for 2 weeks or 20 years). 

The Session
: Typically in a session the therapist will help the client track the sensations in their body as they relate to trauma. The client will not be guided into re-experiencing the trauma as much as recognizing ways in which their body may be "holding" tension related to the trauma. SE practitioners often use: Breathing Techniques, Dance, Physical Exercises, Movement and Voice Work to help clients work through and release tension. 

Interested in learning more? Check out this video by Paul Chubbuck as he describes the need for Somatic Experiencing. 

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