Somatic Experiencing® is a powerful body-based method developed by Dr. Peter A. Levine which employs cutting-edge science and supports the regulation and resetting of the nervous system using neuroscience and Western anatomy. SE™ is based upon the observation that wild prey animals, though routinely threatened, are rarely traumatized. Animals in the wild use innate mechanisms to regulate and discharge the levels of energy arousal associated with defensive survival behaviors.
Trauma is anything that is experienced as threatening to our nervous system, our survival, or our wellbeing and can result in lingering symptoms. The body holds memories without words; it holds feelings, emotions and reflexes of a moment.
While studying the stress responses of animals in their natural environment, Dr. Peter A. Levine discovered that trauma is not about the event, but is actually the biological and physiological response to the event. It is the overwhelmed response to the perceived threat which results in an unbalanced nervous system.
Our nervous system is affected by everything we do and our environment. The nervous system also affects the other systems in the body: the digestive system, the muscular system, and the immune system are a few examples. Chronic stress can negatively impact daily life with feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, depression, or feeling “stuck”. Our bodies aren’t meant to live in states of chronic stress or arousal and over time, can develop chronic illness or pain conditions.
SE is a particular way of paying attention and reading the nervous system in order to support it. SE employs awareness of body sensations to help people “renegotiate” and heal rather than re-live stressful behaviors or re-enact traumas. We don’t have to talk about the story. We get curious about the sensations beneath the feelings. This is is the pathway to a balanced nervous system, and learning to feel safe in your body. Dr. Levine believes that accessing the nervous system and bypassing the brain allows for more relaxation, containment, and emotional self-regulation.
Jen works with each client to create a uniquely safe space. Together we’ll work at a pace that feels reasonable, in increments that feel possible. SE is a collaborative process between client and practitioner, where we discover together how to create the best initial conditions for you to recover your resilience, ease and resourcefulness. Unlike traditional therapies, the goal of Somatic Experiencing® is to be present in the "here and now", explore choices and options, and create stability and containment.
Together, we will develop a “toolbox” of resources to gently expand your capacity for self-regulation as well as an increased sense of inner balance, well-being, and integration. SE addresses the ways our physiology keeps us “hooked” in old ways of functioning, and together we’ll create a new “road map" to support deeper shifts in present relating engaging in life.
People often report feelings of greater ease physically and psychologically. The measure of “progress” or “success” in SE is always: overall, is your life getting better?
Adults abused as children
Grief and Loss
Hospice / End-of-Life
Medical Procedure Preparation
Medical Procedure Trauma
Motor Vehicle Collisions
Veterans & Families of Veterans
Victims of Sexual Abuse
Victims of Domestic Violence