Somatic Experiencing is a body-centered approach to treatment and has shown effectiveness in treating a number of mental health symptoms. Somatic Experiencing involves attuning attention to how your body is reacting rather than what your brain is telling you. Many physical sensations go unnoticed; a shift in posture, a change in breathing, fidgeting, tension or "holding", tightness in the chest, a lump in the throat, or a knot in the stomach. These physical responses provide insight into traumatic memories that are stored in the body, and are 'stuck'.
When a person experiences a stress response (fight/flight), the part of the brain involved in higher cognitive functioning (planning, weighing pros and cons, decision-making, rational thought) becomes less accessible, allowing us to immediately react. Consider a parent automatically pulling their child away from the path of an oncoming car (physical threat) or a person lashing out when they feel abandoned (emotional/attachment threat). In these instances, you're less likely to think things through - you just react.
In therapy, clients can expect a combination of psychoeducation, breath work, guided meditation, visualization, grounding, and body attunement interventions.
"Somatic Experiencing (SE™) is a body-oriented therapeutic model applied in multiple professions..."
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