Psychotherapy and Somatic Experiencing
Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a naturalistic form of healing that will help you learn how to settle and release physiological activation from your body. Very often this process helps people to reduce stress and return to a sense of regulation and mastery in their lives. SE will support you in learning how to attend to uncomfortable sensations in your body and gently unwind them through your conscious attention. SE is particularly useful in managing stress because so many of the symptoms are physiological. If you would like to read more about SE, visit our website at www.traumahealing. org or read In an Unspoken Voice by Dr. Peter Levine. During SE practice, I also draw upon psychodynamic therapy.
I am a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP). I also hold a PsyD in Clinical Psychology. I am a licensed psychologist in Maryland. I have been in practice since 1993.
Benefits and Risks
SE may offer you many benefits such as an increase in your ability to self-soothe and feel empowered. However, there may also be risks as with any treatment that focuses on healing trauma. Although SE is designed to help you resource and work with manageable amounts of discomfort, you may experience challenging feelings, images, or thoughts. Furthermore, as with any stress reduction treatment, there can be no guarantee that you will reach your goals. That said, many people report that SE has helped them tremendously and has created positive change in their lives. Learning how to reorganize “body memory” is often a vital to learning how to relax and calm your nervous system.
SE Session Format
SE sessions are done seated in a chair or couch depending on your preference. Table work may also be offered if appropriate and agreed upon by both client and therapist. You will be asked to share an impression of the sensations that you feel in your body, such as tightness, heat, shakiness, expansion, relaxations, etc. I will teach you ways to track, or follow, these sensations with your awareness and come to a place of rebalance.
SE is not a form of massage. I may offer you touch support for the following reasons: grounding, containment, support, mobilization, or awareness building. You will always be asked before being touched and have the right and my full support to decline. If you do not feel comfortable with touch, or if the session does not call for it, session work will not include touch.