Stuff to Know
This section offers helpful information about the issues around talking therapy,
such as your emotions and how they impact on different areas of your life and the different kinds of talking therapies.
Somatic Experiencing (SE)
Somatic Experiencing explains that we remember painful or traumatic experiences physically as well as having memories and feelings about it. Your body’s sensations (or somatic experiences) hold the key.
Often, trauma symptoms are caused not by the event itself, but by our physical reaction to the event. We have three survival responses: fight, flight and freeze. These are aroused during traumatic situations but, in modern life (it’s rarely appropriate to attack or flee), they are rarely fully discharged once the threat has passed. So they can get trapped. Somatic Experiencing promotes awareness and releases remaining tension in the body.
You’ll spend part of an SE session with your eyes closed, focusing inward as you chat to the therapist and explore how your body has stored the traumatic event.
Your therapist will guide you through ‘exercises’ to help stimulate various parts of your nervous system, which may have shut down. This will help release you from even longstanding effects of trauma.