Peter Levine’s extensive study of trauma and recovery in the animal world led him to question why we, as humans, suffer in extended states of fight, flight, and immobility. The therapy is centered in the process of observing physiology, behavior and shifts in emotional states on a moment to moment basis. As a body worker, I use touch to help support you and focus attention. Touch in a SE session can help correct a muscular/ skeletal imbalance, calm the heart, lung and guts, provide support and containment, or help bring attention to a deeper layer of the body. The goal of body-based therapy is to assist you in better regulating your states of work, activation and rest, and to renegotiate unfinished states of trauma.
The guiding principals of SE are safety and containment, re-establishing the body’s natural rhythms, and working slowly enough to uncover natural impulses and instincts which may have been unnoticed or disregarded. Sometimes there are treatments to be found in movements or impulses that we actively inhibit. These principles inform all of my session work. Combined with appropriate touch and understanding how trauma affects body systems, they are the basis of SE Bodywork.
A Somatic Experiencing session can be conducted in many ways. We can sit, talking, much as you might do in a conventional therapy session. Touch therapy is provided only with your consent and is done fully clothed. If we are seated and talking, I might provide touch for short moments in order to help support or ground you. I have a massage table in my office and we may decide to work with you seated or lying on the table.
If I am providing touch therapy, I will be drawing on various trainings in Manual Therapy. My background is primarily is in light touch, and I shift between these modalities depending on what is meaningful and helpful to you.