What is Somatic Experiencing Therapy and How It Can Help You?
Traumatic experiences may stay with you for a long period after the actual encounter and take a heavy toll on your life. Their aftereffects, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Complex PTSD (CPTSD), can last for years after the original event and wreak havoc on your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Such PTSD can lead to numerous symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, depression and can even generate physical health issues.
Somatic (literally meaning, “of the body”) Experiencing Therapy can help the mind heal from such traumas by prioritizing the mind-body connection and treating physical as well as psychological symptoms of mental health problems such as grief, anxiety, and depression.
What is Somatic Experiencing and How does it Work?
Somatic Experiencing or SE is a scientific approach, based on the concept of “freeze response”. Unlike the other response during a traumatic incident in which your bodies equip you for either confrontation or escape, freeze response makes you freeze when you can’t do any of the former responses. This freeze response can last long after the actual threat or experience disappears and prevents you from fully recovering from the experience.
SE helps you notice bodily sensations arising from such traumas and uses this knowledge to work through uncomfortable and stressful sensations. SE practices a body-first approach and works toward healing your body’s felt (somatic) experience to heal the emotional experience. It examines the memories related to a traumatic event, recognizes bodily sensations associated with those feelings, and gradually uncovers those sensations.
How to get Somatic Experience Therapy?
We know that seeking therapy for the first time can be a bit difficult as you might have tons of questions. However, SE is a widely recognized solution for not just healing your body but also treating your mind and nervous system and if you are encountering symptoms of PTSD, you should surely consider SE.
Somatic Experience therapy can only be performed by certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioners (SEP). For more information, you can read about Somatic Experiencing Training and get detailed information about how this therapy heals your physiological sensations and makes you overcome your repressed emotions. And always remember, there is no shame or harm in healing your mind.
How does SE help?
According to Somatic Experiencing, traumatic incidents can induce dysfunction in the nervous system and can stop you from processing the full experience. SE helps you in accessing and addressing the frozen response against a traumatic experience that is present in your body and allows you to overcome emotional symptoms such as anger, guilt, or shame.
Similarly, it can also help you against physical symptoms related to traumas or abuse such as chronic pain, digestive problems, muscle pain, and sleep or respiratory issues. Once these problems are over, you can easily address the psychological issues.
There are several processes related to the full therapy such as recognition, resourcing, titration, etc., where the therapist revisits the trauma and the associated feelings and after tracking your bodily response, eventually guides you in the discharge of the energy trapped in your body.
Somatic Experiencing treatment also aids people in becoming more aware of their bodies and supports them in releasing a strong tension from within. It includes several types of training and therapies such as sensation awareness, dance therapy, physical exercise, breathing exercise, and grounding exercise.