Kear recently received the Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) Certification through a three-year advanced postgraduate and professional course. Training was provided through Ireland SE (ISE) in conjunction with the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute (SETI) in Colorado, USA and the European Associate of Somatic Experiencing (EASE).
What is Somatic Experiencing?
Somatic experiencing (generally known as SE) is an approach to trauma resolution that is both holistic and psycho-biological. Developed over forty years by Dr Peter Levine, SE incorporates a variety of disciplines, including biology, psychology and indigenous healing practices. The resulting framework works with the body and focuses upon where trauma is held in the nervous system. This allows for an assessment of how the incomplete instinctive fight, flight or freeze responses continue to impact an individual’s ability to live well. The gentle and incremental nature of this approach allows for personalisation, meaning SE is applied at a pace that suits each client without becoming overwhelming or re-traumatising. Because trauma therapy should not be traumatic!
“…we don’t have to live our lives forever defined by the damaging things that have happened to us. We are unique. We are irreplaceable. What lies within us can never be truly colonized, contorted, or taken away. The light never goes out.”
SE is widely acknowledged as a highly effective way to work with the impacts of recent trauma as well as addressing the long-term impacts of traumatic experiences. The approach is underpinned by a belief in the innate ability that human beings possess to overcome the effects of trauma. SE connects with a person’s innate capacity to survive overwhelming events and builds upon the natural ability to re-establish well-being through restoring self-regulation, a sense of aliveness, relaxation and wholeness. These capacities have often been compromised by traumatic events.
The key is to see how each person carries the embodied remnants from our past that haunt the present in the form of overwhelm, fears, anger, dissociation or stress.
How SE differs from other therapy?
Trauma support has traditionally targeted the emotional and cognitive levels, missing the importance of our physiology. Overlooking the physiological encoding of the event at the level of the nervous system frequently leaves the instinctual process of fight, flight or freeze unfinished. The remnants of traumatic experiences are biological in nature, and SE focus upon safely experiencing and discharging them, utilising awareness of bodily sensation to renegotiate and heal rather than relive the trauma.
You can read more about how SE is different and unique in its approach to working with trauma here.
Click here for more information about what typically happens in an SE session.