Mark Lewis

Somatic Experiencing

A naturalistic approach to resolving trauma

Somatic Experiencing (SE) was originally described by the founder and developer, Peter Levine, as a short term naturalistic approach to resolving trauma. 

Over time it has been adapted and developed to suit many different people and types of difficulties as well as blended with other therapy models for the longer term treatment of complex trauma. Nevertheless Somatic Experiencing remains firmly rooted on the fundamental premise of the need to include the bodily nervous system in order to effectively treat trauma.

Overwhelming experiences of stress and threat to our well being evoke survival responses in ways that are familiar natural responses in most mammals. These protective flight, fight and freeze states are usually naturally resolved in animals in their normal environments however they can be much more problematic for human beings. 

Experiences of threat and powerlessness and the associated emotions and impulses towards action can remain unresolved. Our nervous systems can remain stuck in an ‘over charged’ or ‘frozen’ state neither moving on from the trauma nor resolving it.

Regain your sense of being part of the ‘flow of life’

The SE approach works by ensuring you feel adequately resourced and then bringing careful guided awareness to your bodily sensations and reactions. This process can help you discover and restore thwarted defensive reactions as well as melting states of frozen immobility in your body and mind.

This mindful process of being guided to track your sensory experience and to move between the bodily experience of traumatic stress and the experience of being resourced,
enables a release or discharge of the stuck ‘survival energy’. This can manifest in a variety of ways such as trembling, increased breathing, muscular changes etc but leads to your body and ultimately your psychological experience being able to relax, expand and find a new healthier organisation.

As you are supported to integrate these changes, you will often experience ‘higher level’ effects such as your emotional responses shifting and new meanings becoming available in your thinking as well as instinctively reaching out and connecting with others and the world more easily.

Ultimately Somatic Experiencing helps you to regain your sense of being part of the ‘flow of life’ as you are helped to release the traumatic stress that has kept you feeling ‘stuck’ and on the outside of things.

The Somatic Experiencing in Somerset clinic provides all elements of the SE approach.

I provide Somatic Experiencing in Somerset to enable people to recover from the debilitating effects of traumatic stress. I offer one to one sessions, supervision and bespoke workshops both in person in and online.