Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a form of therapy that focuses on the body’s physical sensations and responses to trauma. SE recognizes that trauma is not just an emotional or cognitive experience, but is also held in the body. The goal of SE is to help individuals process and release these physical sensations and responses to trauma, leading to a reduction in symptoms and an increased sense of well-being.

During SE sessions, the therapist may guide the individual in tracking their body sensations, helping them to identify areas of tension or discomfort related to the trauma. The therapist may also encourage the individual to move in specific ways that can help release these sensations, or to use tools such as shaking or deep breathing to aid in the process.

SE is often used in conjunction with talk therapy to address both the physical and emotional aspects of trauma. The length of treatment can vary depending on the individual’s needs and the severity of the trauma, but it typically involves a series of sessions over several months.

Homework and Exercises

Homework and exercises for SE may involve practicing body awareness and tracking sensations throughout the day. The therapist may also provide guidance on specific movements or exercises to do outside of therapy sessions that can aid in the release of physical tension.

Other homework assignments may include journaling about bodily sensations related to the trauma, or practicing self-care activities that help to reduce overall stress levels.

Is SE Right for You?

Somatic Experiencing may be particularly effective for individuals who have experienced physical or bodily trauma, such as a car accident, physical assault, or medical trauma. It can also be helpful for individuals who struggle with chronic pain or tension related to trauma. As with any therapy, it is important to find a qualified and experienced therapist who is trained in SE techniques.