Our Expertise is Healing Trauma - The sense of separation from oneself and others
Our therapeutic approach is a synthesis of Somatic Experiencing™, the Polyvagal theory and classical Chinese Medicine. We have synthesized them together into Somatic Science™ over a period of two decades. Trauma is the single most important factor determining whether we are comfortable or uncomfortable with ourselves -whether or not we consistently experience the joy of living.
Quite amazingly, trauma is also ignored by most traditional and allopathic therapeutic modalities. Trauma is unwittingly reinforced in our society as conditioning due to its subliminal nature -its physiological basis in human survival and evolution.
We start from the assumption that there is nothing wrong with us, rather there is a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the natural healing processes of the body and consciousness. By supporting a firm yet gentle focus on the present moment and the wonderful body resources we all have, traumatic content naturally and spontaneously begins to unravel.
This is a therapeutic approach that is collaborative, non-pathologizing and enjoyable. Its basis is relational safety.
It is non-pathologizing in that people are viewed as having all of the resources they need, rather than as having a disease or deficit. Instead of lacking resources people are seen as being constrained from using innate strengths by polarized (unsafe) relationships both within themselves and with the people around them. Our approach is designed to help people release these constraints, thereby liberating our innate resources.
Our method uses the client's experience of the body (rather than intellect or emotion) to process trauma, and directly treats its effects on physiology. This greatly facilitates affective and cognitive processing.
Ours is not a cathartic process where past trauma needs to be re-experienced. By helping individuals gently access the energy, sensations and other body experiences of incomplete life events, we empower them back to wholeness. Our therapeutic approach is radically different compared to psychotherapy or psychiatry. It is a synthesis of the Somatic Experiencing™, the Polyvagal theory and classical Chinese Medicine.
We use natural language and/or gentle touch to contact procedural (implicit) memory. This initiates the deactivation cycle of the stress response in the motor cortex to flush out incomplete self-protective responses. These responses can take the form of experiences such as sensations, images, behaviors, feelings, or meaning.
The key element is the client’s new ability to be a conscious, cognizant participant in these experiences - no longer a victim of them.
The process helps the Autonomic Nervous System complete fight, flight and freeze responses while in a state of containment (relational safety). It re-instates the natural oscillatory rhythms of neuromuscular activation and deactivation at key structures comprising the amygdala and the ANS, primarily the vagus nerve and brain stem with their related extensions throughout the organism.
Panic and Anxiety / Hypervigilance
Nightmares / Difficulty sleeping
Chronic feelings of guilt / shame
Chronic pain / Migraines
Trouble paying attention / ADD
Emotional Numbness / Rage / Depression
Inexplicable chronic illness
Clear symptoms of trauma include persistent:
Redrawn from: Peter Levine