Somatic Experiencing has a basic three step process: We use the process to build capacity so we can start to digest things that overwhelmed us in the past.
We find ways to shift out of threat responses and towards ease.
We go into small manageable bits of things until we can manage them in bigger bites. Slow is fast. Getting overwhelmed can be retraumatizing.
We find ways to release the activation, or charge in the nervous system, so it can rest and heal, enjoy relationships, and drop out of hypervigilance.
It is a cooperative, manageable process. Understanding the process helps it move along faster and more smoothly. I have developed graphics that help my clients (and their friends and families and therapists) understand Somatic Experiencing® and the 3-in-1 Autonomic Nervous System. (Link to graphics on the left.)
We can work with emotions, symptoms or the story. We do not need to know history. Clearing trauma does not necessarily require recall.
Recovery from trauma means being able to rest deeply, when it is time to rest, and engage fully, when it is time to work and play. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD) interferes with this basic regulation of the nervous system. We can get stuck on “on” – wound up, anxious, unable to sleep, or stuck on “off” – depressed, burnt out, unable to get going, make decisions, or feel our love of life.
This dysregulation of the nervous system leaves us overwhelmed by things that we used to handle easily or even enjoy. We reclaim our capacity to handle the demands of our lives by learning to cooperate consciously with our nervous system. The more severe the trauma, the smaller the steps we need to take to re- regulate without re-traumatizing. As we move towards balance, we find we sleep better, breathe deeper, and have more desire and less fear of engaging with our world.
Beth is a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, an advanced training assistant, and approved to do sessions at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.