Somatic Experiencing Therapy for Trauma
Mary Luard MSW RSW RP SEP is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner through the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute
Symptoms of a Life Impacted by Chronic Fear and Shame
Do you feel on edge, on guard, worried and expecting bad things to happen?
Do you keep a distance from others, go behind a wall to protect yourself and end up feeling “safe” but disconnected and alone?
Do you struggle with bad feelings about yourself, that you’re not enough, broken, unloveable?
Why does this happen?
Much anxiety and depression, triggered reactivity, flashbacks, nightmares, hyper vigilance, avoidance, isolating, anxiety and panic attacks, etc. originates in our past and how we were shaped by events and how we were treated by those we depended on. This affects our relationships, our sexuality, our confidence and potential.
What is a Trauma?
A trauma is an event (single or repeated) that results in a breach in protective barriers against stimulation, leading to loss of resiliency in the nervous system. Basically, the world comes at you TOO MUCH, TOO SOON, TOO FAST. Often it is associated with a state of severe fright, helplessness, and loss of control.
Trauma stifles the unfolding of being, strangling our attempt to move forward with our lives. It creates a loss of connection – disconnects us from our selves, others, nature and spirit. And it sets up a situation whereby our instinctive energies (regulated by our nervous system) are all revved up with no place to go.
Traumatic symptoms (physical or emotional) are the result of the energy that got mobilized during the traumatic event remains “stuck” in the body. The body’s attempt to manage the energy that did not get released is what we see as symptoms. These can range from pain symptoms, emotional responses, illness, sleep disturbances, etc.
What is Somatic Experiencing?
A body-awareness approach to trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine. It is based on the realization that human beings have an innate ability to overcome the effects of trauma. It is designed to help individuals release the stuck energy and restore balance in the body as animals in the wild do. It has been successful with those who have suffered childhood neglect and
violence, combat veterans, rape and incest survivors, Holocaust survivors, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, motor vehicle accident and post surgical trauma, chronic pain suffered and even infants after traumatic births.
What is Post Traumatic Growth?
“While life traumas are a fact of life, they do not need to be a life sentence. In fact, trauma can be healed with appropriate guidance and support and even become a significant force for psychological, social, and spiritual awakening and evolution.” (Peter Levine)