Somatic Experiencing (SE)
The founder of Somatic Experiencing, Dr. Peter A. Levine, developed his life’s work as a result of his integrated study of psychology, ethology, biology, and neuroscience. SE is a method for releasing trauma and stress that gets “stuck” in the body as a result of a past traumatic incident, accident, or even a mentally tough situation. We aren’t biologically designed to live in the society we live in. And this causes problems. Big problems. By looking at animals in the wild, we can see a stark difference between how they react to a traumatic situation, and how we react. Humans have built-in fight, flight, and freeze responses that haven’t evolved since we were wearing loincloths and running from saber-toothed tigers. It’s great that the sabre-toothed tigers aren’t chasing us anymore, but our nervous systems don’t know that. When we stay up all night, unable to sleep because of a big presentation, or date, or anything that might be stressing us out, our bodies are going through a stress response similar to being chased in the wild. Then there’s the lesser known freeze response. When we experience a traumatic event, a car accident, or physical or mental abuses, stress can (and often does) stay trapped in the body.