WHAT IS SE?
SE (Somatic Experiencing) is a gentle, yet powerful body-based method of healing that is integrated into the process of psychotherapy. It helps people gain skills to handle difficult emotions, heal from previously upsetting events, and become more attuned to, and comfortable with their body. It is especially helpful to transform the symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Dr. Peter Levine, Ph.D., developed Somatic Experiencing based on his work in the field of stress and trauma for more than 40 years.
WHEN IS SE USEFUL?
While many methods of psychotherapy work from the outside in − applying coping skills to address or reduce the effects of stressful events − SE works from the inside out.
SE practitioners teach their clients how to develop a greater capacity to tolerate a range of emotions and their accompanying body sensations. This method works especially well with people who have had, or perceived they have had, little or no control over their environment. SE can be used successfully to take the charge out of experiences that created high anxiety such as accidents, serious illnesses, childhood abuse, grief and loss, natural disasters as well as for situations of sustained fear or distress.
HOW DOES SE WORK?
With Somatic Experiencing, it is not necessary to re-tell or re-live past events. A person explores a previously upsetting or ‘activating’ experience by tracking body sensations that may have gotten stuck in the fight, flight or freeze responses. These somatic feelings can become ‘un-hooked’ from the original event, liberating a person toward greater peace and vitality.
One of the hallmarks of the SE approach is that the therapist and client set the pace of their work together, which helps reduce the possibility of the client either being re-traumatized or becoming numb.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SE?
SE enables people to rebound from stressful experiences, helping to build emotional strength and body awareness that becomes more natural over time.
People describe having more energy to focus on what’s really important to them. No longer are they ‘gripped’ by fear, anxiety, and anger; they describe feeling more content, confident and engaged in their life.
After working with a therapist using SE, individuals report better sleep, increased motivation, healthier relationships as well as more joy, peace and spiritual fulfillment. People become more resilient and freed up from the past, more able to handle life’s events with greater ease.
CINDY DERN’S SE CREDENTIALS
Cindy completed the three year SE Professional Training, and she received her SEP (Somatic Experiencing Practitioner) certificate through the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute. Since incorporating the principles and methods of this modality into her psychotherapy practice over the years, Cindy has witnessed profound results in her clients. This body-oriented, holistic approach fits naturally with Cindy’s clinical philosophy and embodied approach to living.
SE has given me the capacity to experience a deeper and more profound joy, to get back in touch with my body and mind.
Cindy’s experiential work – the work she does with the body – has really changed me. It’s opened up some things in me that have been closed for a long, long time.
The more I do SE, the more settled I feel. I have many more times during the week when I feel joyful, good. I now feel freer, and feel my body more.
I’m learning to “be” with my feelings, not shut them away.
Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute is the official website for Somatic Experiencing (SE) based on founder Dr. Peter Levine’s work. It includes a general overview, information on professional training and how to find a practitioner.