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Somatic Experiencing

There are many different somatic practices and ways of working with trauma symptoms or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. At Inner Light Psychology, Somatic Experiencing is the main type of working with all levels of trauma. Somatic Experiencing can treat early childhood, and even prenatal trauma, as well as significant traumatic events such as fires, motor vehicle accidents and sexualised asssaults. It can also support recover from emotional, physical and sexual abuse, and much more.

About SE (Somatic Experiencing) and What Treatment Looks Like

Somatic Experiencing is a technique created by Dr. Peter Levine, and it focuses on the nervous system's response to events and experiences. From an SE lens, everyone has had various experiences of what the nervous system would view as a "traumatic event"- this is something that the body has felt that it wasn't prepared for or wasn't able to protect itself against.

When working with a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, you will likely be asked to notice what is happening in your body, helping to create an awareness and connection to the signs it may be giving you about particular people, events or memories. Sometimes these signals show up as tension, tightness or heaviness; other times, it can present itself as rapid heart rate, heat or trouble breathing. Your body may even move into a freeze response without your conscious awareness of it.

Slowing down to notice and titrate these experiences will help support change in your nervous system. It is not uncommon to notice positive changes in your digestive system, sleep patterns, muscle relaxation, less irritability and even feeling more energized after working with a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner.

Somatic Experiencing is not just a treatment for trauma. It can be helpful in treating depression, anxiety, panic attacks and even attachment wounds. There are interventions to support early childhood trauma, and even working with someone who has no memory of an event but knows that something happened.

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