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The somatic experiencing® method



Excerpt taken from the Somatic Experiencing® website in Brazil:



What is SE® and how is it therapeutically applied?


First, let's understand what trauma is.


Trauma may begin as intense stress arising from situations perceived as potentially life-threatening, such as accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual, physical or emotional abuse, neglect, wars, natural disasters, losses, birth trauma, or recurrent stressful situations of fear and conflicts that accumulate over time.


The Somatic Experiencing® method understands that trauma is not caused by the event itself, but that it develops due to an inability of the body, mind and nervous system to process these stressful events. Dr. Peter A. Levine, the North American psychologist and biophysicist who developed this method, noted that wild animals have a natural capacity to biologically recover themselves from stressful and life-threatening situations that they experience routinely.

Human beings have the same capacity, but due to excessive rationalisations and judgments, they end up partially losing it, resulting in a series of physical and psychological symptoms that cause suffering, and loss of confidence in life.


The SE® approach acts on the behaviour of the autonomic nervous system, through awareness of body sensations related to the traumatic situation.


By focusing and directing sensorimotor awareness in their body, the client gradually and safely expresses and releases the hyperactivation of survival energies that remained trapped after the event that caused the trauma. In this way, the client can find a new meaning for his suffering, thus restoring his internal balance, improving his resilience to future stressful situations, increasing his vitality and ability to engage in life activities.

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MARIANA FRANÇA

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