Somatic Experiencing for Female Trauma Victims
The Origins of Somatic Experiencing
Dr. Peter Levine developed this body-oriented approach in order to heal trauma. In this form of therapy, the trauma itself isn’t the focus. Instead, the focus is on the perceived threat and the way the body reacts to it. Somatic Experiencing was developed from the observation that animals in the wild face life and death on a daily basis, yet are not traumatized. But human beings can still feel traumatized long after danger has passed.
When an animal is threatened, a large amount of energy is gathered to prepare for a fight or flight response. After the threat has passed, the energy is discharged through trembling or shaking. People who have dealt with trauma may not release this accumulated energy, and as long as the energy isn’t released, the body believes it’s still under threat. The victim is in a frozen state.
Getting Past Trauma with Somatic Experiencing
The root causes of trauma are addressed in Somatic Experiencing by releasing survival energy found in the body. Using Somatic Experiencing, female trauma victims are gently guided to develop increasing tolerance for suppressed emotions and uncomfortable bodily sensations. This approach to dealing with trauma helps victims pay attention to bodily sensations that are triggered by painful feelings.
After going through Somatic Experiencing therapy, patients often feel much freer and able to enjoy life. As the patient adapts to experiencing the feelings in her body, she also gains the ability to let go of stored negative energy so she can start to heal from the pain that is holding her back.