top of page

What is somatic experiencing (SE)

Trauma may begin as acute stress from a perceived life threat or as the end product of cumulative stress. Both types of stress can seriously impair a person's ability to function with resilience and ease. Trauma may result from a wide variety of stressors, such as accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual or physical assault, emotional abuse, neglect, natural disasters, loss, birth trauma, or the corrosive stressors of ongoing fear and conflict.

Somatic Experiencing (SE™) is a body-oriented therapeutic approach for healing trauma and other stress disorders. It focuses on bodily sensation and its connection with image, emotions, behaviour, and meaning. Somatic Experiencing is the life's work of Dr. Peter A. Levine and is based on a multidisciplinary intersection that includes physiology, psychology, biology, and neuroscience. 

How it works

The Somatic Experiencing therapists facilitate their clients' awareness of the physiological cues in response to a trigger or physiological reactions. Therapists use different mind-body techniques to help their clients release trauma, toxic stress, and tension in the body.

The Somatic Experiencing practitioners use a framework called SIBAM (Sensation, Imagery, Behaviour, Affect, and Meaning) to help their clients incorporate their bodies in processing trauma. 

The Somatic Experiencing approach is effective in releasing traumatic shock and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma. It offers a framework to assess where a person is "stuck" in the fight, flight or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states. 

Letters SE written on wooden irregular blocks with tiger animal toy. Somatic experiencing

Somatic Experiencing Therapy

bottom of page