Somatic Experiencing is a body-oriented psychotherapy that offers help in healing trauma. Peter Levine, the developer of SE, observed that animals in the wild survive by their inborn immunity to trauma. He discovered that human beings have the same natural healing abilities, but that our more highly developed brains actual get in the way of our instinctive processes. Somatic Experiencing helps us access our own natural healing ability.
Peter Levine points out, “Human responses to threat are primarily instinctive and biological and secondarily, psychological and cognitive. They comprise 3 innate action plans: fight, flight, freeze. These 3 responses are common to all mammals.”

But unless we’re able to discharge the fight-or-flight energy our bodies mobilize in response to trauma, we may remain stuck in the “freeze” state, not unlike a car whose accelerator and brakes are being floored at the same time. The effects of our traumatic experiences remain lodged in our bodies, creating emotional and often, physical distress.

Somatic Experiencing focuses on the individual learning to pay attention to the “felt sense,” to bring awareness to the physical sensations that accompany painful emotions or memories. Trauma is healed through the process of discharging trapped survival energy.
I’m 33 and have suffered from insomnia since adolescence. I tried every old and new “cure,” every herbal or pharmaceutical “solution” over my 20-year struggle with insomnia. It was not until I started doing Somatic Experiencing with Ellen that I found true, healthy and lasting relief from insomnia.

Michael P.

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