Somatic Experiencing (SE) therapy was designed by Dr. Peter Levine to assist with healing from various forms of trauma, nervous system dysregulation, and other disruptions within the mind-body connection. SE is considered a bottom-up form of therapy meaning that SE helps people heal from the body, nervous system, and then up the brain direction versus top downs forms of talk therapy. SE supports healing by increasing awareness and attention to establish, maintain, and re-regulate the nervous system to support homeostasis in the body. Click here to read more about SE therapy from Somatic Experiencing International.
SE Helps Us Understand the Nervous System
A SE therapist near you will help you understand how the nervous system works and how it responds to trauma. Our nervous systems have developed through the millennia to respond to threat.
There are different states to our nervous system. Where we want to stay is in our window of tolerance, which is one state of our nervous system. This is where we have the ability to connect with others and assess to be in a position to be vulnerable with ourselves and others.
Another state of the nervous system is hyper-arousal. This is the sympathetic nervous system state or aka our fight/flight response when we perceive threat in our environment. This state, when implemented, jolts the body into immediate response to the real or perceived threat.
The last major state of the nervous system is hypo-arousal. This is the parasympathetic dorsal state of the nervous system. Essentially, this state is the collapse/freeze response to when we perceive threat in the environment.
Lastly, we can have mixed state responses where both hyper and hypo arousal components arise. In certain traumatic situations, parts of both hyper and hypo-arousal may arise. This is completely natural and is just how evolution has shaped our nervous system to respond.
SE Therapy Helps Heal
A SE therapist implements various interventions to support healing in a person’s body. An overview of these interventions is follows:
- Titration – essentially breaking down overwhelming stress responses into bit size chunks that do not overwhelm the nervous system
- Pendulation – is exactly as it sounds. We swing into an uncomfortable sensation and then back into feelings of safety and support
- Tracking Sensations – increasing awareness to how sensations arise and track how these sensations shift throughmind-body awareness
- Stress response completion – A SE therapist will help you complete a/the stress responses held inside the body
- Integrate and meaning making – lastly, SE helps to integrate and draw meaning from past experiences
SE Therapist Near DTC
At Revitalize Mental Health PLLC, we utilize SE therapy to inform individual and online therapy and support Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Daniel Gospodarek is currently in the beginning training modules of the SE curriculum with the Somatic Experiencing International program. If you’d like to take the jump and start the healing process with SE therapy, call now or submit a form online here. We look forward to hearing from you!